Tone Your Legs Like A SI Model

Tone Your Legs Like A SI Model

Tone Your Legs Like A SI Model

Gigi Hadid, Alessanda Ambrossio, Ebonee Davis, what do they all have in common? One: they are all successful models. Two: they are genetically blessed and we hate them. Three: legs for daaaayyyysss. While we can’t always look like models, or you know, be models, it turns out we can train like them. Despite Maybelleine telling us maybe she was born with it, most models do need to keep up their training so we may as well steal their workouts for ourselves. This workout is from Leila Fazel at Aerospace NYC and features ballet leg toning exercises with a few boxing moves thrown in for good measure. Moves demonstrated by absolute babe Ebonee Davis.

Pliés in 2nd position

Start with feet slightly wider than your shoulders with your legs turned out from the hips (not your feet – this is very important). Find your turnout from the rotation in the hip sockets to avoid straining your knees. Bend the knees to 90-degree angles, making sure your knees are going over your middle toe. Keep your chest up and spine straight, and don’t let your spine tilt back. Relax the shoulders and neck, and use your core and lower body instead. Stay in a deep plié and lift and lower the heels.


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 across your body. 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.



Start with feet in 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.



Hold onto something—barre, chair, 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.


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.


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.


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.


Photos: Erik Tanner
Elise Stitt

Elise Stitt


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