The first thing the Rockettes are known for is their incredible synchronized high kicks.
The second thing they're known for is the way their legs look when they do those kicks. Countless hours of practice, rehearsals and performing (sometimes up to four shows a day) leave these ladies in tip-top shape.
Take some cues from Stacy Paydo, a Los Angeles-based Rockette, who created a fusion workout of ballet, Pilates and yoga that'll get you on the way to the famed Rockette legs (if you run through this set of exercises enough times, that is).
Before you start, do a five-minute warm-up by taking a brisk walk or another easy cardio exercise. Do each exercise 8 to 10 times and repeat the set three times for a full workout.
Standing leg pulses
Stand straight with your feet under your hips. If you have a Thera-band, place it around the outside of both ankles so your feet are inside. (Get one for $15 at thera-band.com. They are color-coded to your level, so if you're a beginner, get the red one. If you don't have one, you can do the exercise without it.)
Starting with your right leg, extend it straight forward to the maximum height the Thera-band will allow. Pulse and lift here 8 to 10 times. Repeat the exercise to the side and to the back and then switch to the left leg. Hands can be placed on your hips. This exercise also challenges your balance, which works your core muscles.
Standing calf raises
In dancer lingo, these are known as relevés. Heels can be lifted with feet parallel hip-width apart, or you can turn out to first position (heels touching, toes apart) to work those deep lateral rotators buried in your gluteus maximus.
For added challenge, find a chair for balance and try single-leg calf raises (same exercise but one leg at a time).
Crescent lunge to warrior III
Start in a deep lunge, create a 90-degree angle with your front leg keeping your back leg straight. When lunging, your heel should be right under your knee.
Reach your arms high into the sky. Slowly transfer your weight forward, lowering your torso, and lifting your back leg until you are parallel with the floor and feeling like a big capital "T." Arms reach forward by your head or can be taken out to the side if you are having trouble balancing. With control, bend your supporting leg and return to your starting crescent lunge. Switch sides.
Jumping squats in second