The holiday season in New York City would not be complete without the lighting of the Rockefeller Christmas tree, the window displays along 5th avenue, and of course the famous Radio City “Christmas Spectacular” featuring the high-kicking Rockettes. These dancers spend hours rehearsing, training, performing, and perfecting those eye-high kicks that you see during their 90 minute show. It requires a ton of stamina, flexibility, and strength to keep up with the Rockettes–so, how do they do it?
We’ve got some healthy eating tips, workout pointers and tough exercises to sculpt lean legs worthy of the Rockette’s Christmas Spectacular!
They Love PB&J: This is the power-packed snack of choice for the Rockettes. Peanut butter and jelly on whole-grain bread provides protein and a much needed energy boost without being too filling.
They Say “No” to Soda: In between shows the Rockettes stay away from all energy drinks and soda, and instead hydrate with plenty of water and sports drinks to replenish lost electrolytes.
They Eat Breakfast: Most people run out the door in the morning without having a balanced breakfast, but not the Rockettes. Elaine Winslow-Redmon, the Rockettes’ head trainer with a master’s degree in nutrition and a former Rockette herself, suggests that the girls eat a hearty breakfast like an omelette with spinach or veggies and whole-grain toast.
They Snack Healthy: High-quality snacks to munch on in between meals are essential for a Rockette on a tight schedule. Healthy eats like bananas, yogurt, or a handful of nuts are the perfect fuel to tide them over until the next meal.
They Don’t Push Themselves Too Hard: Rehearsing for hours at a time can definitely take a toll on your body. The Rockettes train hard so that their bodies can endure the 90 minute Christmas Spectacular, but never to the point where their health is in danger. Erin Harold, who performed in the show in 2009 told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Everything is about prevention. If there is anything that doesn’t feel right with our bodies we definitely go to our athletic trainers.”
Get Those Amazing Legs!
Curtsy Squat: works legs, butt, and core
- Stand with feet hip-width apart, hands clasped in front of your chest
- Step your right foot behind you and to the left, and squat down
- Your left knee should be at about a 90 degree angle to the floor.
- Push through left heel to rise up and bring right knee to hip height, toes pointed, and arms out to your sides.
- Return to standing start position. This is one rep.
- Do 12 reps on each leg, 3 sets
- Stand with feet together, knees slightly bent, and hands on your hips.
- Jump up and kick your left leg high, with toes pointed.
- Return to start, and immediately repeat move on opposite leg. This is one rep.
- Do 10 reps, 3 sets
- Stand with your heels together and toes pointed out, hands on your hips.
- Lift heels off the floor and come onto the balls of your feet.
- Slowly lower back down to start position to complete one rep.
- **To intensify the exercise, jump feet out to shoulder-width apart, feet parallel and repeat the move**
- Do 12-15 reps, 3 sets
- Tie a resistance band around your thighs, just above your knees.
- Lie down on your left side, knees bent and legs stacked, with your left arm extended under your head and right hand on the floor in front of your chest.
- Keeping your feet together, raise your right leg.
- Return to start position to complete one rep.
- Do 12-15 reps on each leg, 3 sets
- Tie a resistance band just around your legs, just above your ankles.
- Stand with feet together, hands on your hips.
- Flex your right foot and extend your right leg out in front of you.
- Then slowly extend your right leg out to your right side, and finally out behind you, keeping foot flexed.
- Reverse the move to return to start and to complete one rep.
- Do 10-12 reps on each leg, 3 sets