from the no pain, no gain file: thigh dancing
Physique 57 co-founder Tanya Becker may be the only fitness instructor in existence willing to admit that she hates to exercise. “If I didn’t work here, I’d probably look like a zeppelin,” she wisecracks. Lest anyone read too much into Becker’s empathy for the listless, it must be noted that the technique she and her fellow Physique 57 instructors punched up from the ashes of the Lotte Berk Method currently represents the most cringe-inducingly effective workout in New York (three or four classes a week are all but guaranteed to make a person cry). But with summer upon us, even the most unrepentant lazybones is probably looking for a fitness quick fix. Becker’s recommendation: thigh dancing. “If you do one thing, do this,” says Becker. “It gets the heart rate up, leans out the legs, puts some muscle on the thighs that will burn calories all day, works the core, and tightens up your backside.” Here’s how it works:
1. Put a good song on the stereo. Becker recommends “Ch-Check It Out” by the Beastie Boys, but really, this part is up to you.
2. Kneel on the floor, tighten your abs, lean backward a touch, and start bouncing to the beat, making sure that your glutes aren’t coming to rest on your thighs.
3. Use your arms: You can do some jabs, climb an imaginary ladder, wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care, or mix it up. Feel free to be creative, but keep the arms moving—that’s how the cardio comes into play.
4. For variation, circle the hips around in either direction—again, keep the arms up and moving. This will burn.
5. If you’re feeling ambitious, take a break after one minute, then start over…
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