How to Do Callanetics Leg Exercises

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Callanetics is a system of precise calisthenic movements, similar to isometrics, created by Callan Pinkney, according to the Callanetics website. The leg series creates long, toned muscles and requires nothing more than a carpet and a dining chair, says Pinkney.

  • Stand in front of a ballet barre, or a sturdy counter or chair. Hold on to the barre and step back about 18 inches.

  • Perform the bend and curl exercise. Touch your heels together and turn your toes out to create a "V" with your feet. Bend your knees to lower your hips 2 to 3 inches. Slowly tuck your pelvis, bringing your pubic bone forward. Feel your stomach create a "C" shape. Hold this position for three breaths, then release. Repeat this exercise 10 times.

  • Lift your heels off the floor as you perform the tucks. This intensifies the exercise. As you become stronger, you will be able to tuck more deeply, Pinkney says. Make this exercise more stable by stepping your feet hip-width apart. To focus on the outsides of your thighs, keep your toes wider than your heels.

  • Perform the plie balance exercise. Turn your legs out in a narrow "V." Slowly bend your knees to lower your hips as far as possible, without lifting your heels off the floor. Keep your spine straight as you rise without changing your foot position. Make this exercise one continuous flowing movement as you complete 20 repetitions. Make this exercise more intense by lifting your heels off the floor during the plies. Lower your heels to the floor after each plie. Create more stability in this exercise by stepping your feet hip-width apart.

  • Perform the inner thigh tightener exercise. Sit on the floor facing a chair. With your knees slightly bent, press the arches of your feet into the sides of the chair legs. Allow your spine to stay relaxed as you squeeze your feet against the chair as hard as you can. Count to 25, and then release. Repeat this exercise three times. Make this exercise harder by extending your legs straight out and then performing the squeezes.

Tips & Warnings

  • Move in triple slow-motion to get the most out of every isolated movement, Pinkney recommends.
  • Do not let your hips drop lower than your knees because this will put unnecessary pressure on your knees.

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References

  • Photo Credit feet with hands image by jimcox40 from Fotolia.com
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