Start off leaning against a wall, making sure that your back is perfectly flat against the wall. You do not want any space between your lumbar spine and the wall.
Walk your feet out so that you feel like you are sitting in a chair, starting off a bit higher than 90 degrees (left image). Keep this position for 1 minute. You can then challenge yourself to slide your back down, so that you are in a perfect 90 degree angle from your head to hips, hips to knees and knees to toes (right image). Hold this for 1 minute.
For an extra challenge, try to lift one leg up at a time and hold it out (knees connected) for 30 seconds and then repeat with the opposite leg.
To start a plie, turn your feet out so that your toes and knees are facing towards the walls next to you.
Open your feet hip distance apart (if not a little wider, this is called second position – shown below) and bend your knees. They should be over your toes and your back remains flat (as if sliding down a wall – compare to wall squats).
Bend and straighten your legs 8-10 times, holding in the bent position for at least 2 seconds. To advance this position lift the heels up off the ground and proceed with the movement doing 8-10 reps.
NOTE: These can also be done in ballet first position (heels are touching, toes apart) as pictured below. Repeat the same sequence with your feet in first.
Begin with your right leg in front of your left, hips are squared to the front (left image).
Bend both of your legs simultaneously. Try to keep both hips squared and also get both knees to 90 degrees, but do not let the back leg touch the floor, bring it to a hover (right image). Switch your stance and repeat doing 10-15 reps in each position.
Be sure to stretch your quads after these workouts. For balance, you may hold on to a chair with one hand. Grab your right ankle with the right hand, squeeze the knees together and pull your ankle towards your glute. Hold this for 5 t0 10 seconds, then repeat on the other side (see below).
You are now one step closer to feeling great in those jeans!
For more of Stefanie's fitness tips and advice check out her blog page Women's Workout Daily.