How To Get Toned Legs Like A Sports Illustrated Model

The answer is this way.

By: Noah Lehava
Photography:

Gather 'round friends. Today's fitness lesson—featuring ballet leg toning exercises with a side of boxing moves—is coming to you from Leila Fazel at Aerospace NYC by way of the super lithe and fit swimwear model Ebonee Davis. You see, it may surprise you (it surprised us!) supermodels, even Sports Illustrated swim models, are just like us: they need to keep up their training. So when Davis dialed us up looking for a workout buddy, we quickly threw on our Lucas Hughes, grabbed our coconut waters and met her at the gym. Because, we needed to see and copy whatever she does to gets legs like *that*. 

 

Move #1

Pliés in 2nd position

 

“Stand with the feet slightly wider than the shoulders and legs turned out from the hips (not the feet—this is very important). Find your turnout from the rotation in the hip sockets to avoid any strain on the knees. Bend the knees to 90-degree angles, making sure the knees are going over the middle toe. Keep the chest up and spine straight and do not let the pelvis tilt back. Relax the shoulders and neck, and put all the work into the core and lower body. Stay in a deep plié and lift and lower the heels.”

 


 

Move #2

Left uppercut / Straight right

 

“Start in a boxing stance: left foot forward and on the ball of the back foot. Bring the left hand up in a scooping motion. Have the body over on the left side and bring the left shoulder forward and right shoulder back at the point of (imagined) impact. The palm of the hand should be facing you. Follow with a straight right, twisting the torso and bring the right shoulder forward. Project the fist forward with the palm facing the ground.”

 


 

Move #3

Changement

 

“Starting with feet in ballet 3rd position: feet turned out with the right heel in front of the arch of the left foot. Jump straight up, keeping your knees straight while you're in the air. Quickly change feet and land with the left foot in front of the right.

Tip: If you point your feet and jump, it will give you a little extra elevation and help keep your knees straight.”

 


 

Move #4

Arabesque

 

"Hold onto something—counter, wall, etc.—with your left hand and lift your right leg directly behind the right shoulder blade. Both legs should be turned out, the supporting leg should be slightly bent and the lifted leg should be long and straight like an arrow in motion. Lift and lower the leg, activating the glute. The motion is not large but you should feel it working through the repetition."

 


 

Move #5

Right uppercut with left hook

 

“Start in a boxing stance: left foot forward and on the ball of the back foot. Bring the right hand up in a scooping motion towards the left shoulder. Keep the body tilted to the right side and twist in the torso to bring the right shoulder forward, causing the arm to move with the elbow away from the body and with the fist facing you. Follow with a left hook: a circular punch coming across the body with the wrist, elbow and shoulder all in the same line. Keep it parallel to the ground. The fist should be facing you on impact and the body turned at the waist, while the lower part of the body stays grounded and engaged.”

 


 

Move #6

Coupe plié into passé

“Facing the barre or chair, stand up high on the ball of the left foot, with the right foot at the ankle of the left foot. Your right leg is bent and your knee should be facing to the side, turned out from the hips. Go into a deep plié, bend, dropping as low as you can while making sure the left knee is also going out to the side. As you straighten back up, draw the right foot up the back of the left leg until the right toe touches the back of the left knee. Remember to keep that right knee out to the side as it comes up.”

 


 

Move #7

Dying swan

 

 

“Stand on the left leg and tuck the right leg behind (in a curtsy position). Bend both knees as if kneeling on to the right knee. Lift the arms up to the side, bending the wrists and bringing the back of the hands towards each other. As you straighten the knees, reverse the direction of the arms.”

 

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