Love Your Legs
Take a look at any costume catalog or website, and you’ll find skirts with high slits on either one or both sides. Many belly dancers cringe at the thought of baring that much skin and given that 90% of women have cellulite, no wonder. But there are things you can do that will not only improve the appearance of your legs, but the muscle tone and strength as well. For a regularly performing belly dancer, strength is key, and it’s necessary when executing many moves, including level changes. After all, once you bend down, you need to be able to rise up without straining or toppling over to one side.
Regular workouts on elliptical machines and treadmills will tone the muscles without adding bulk, and most belly dancers don’t want to add any more to their thighs. Using light weights with high repetitions will also tone up the area. Most gyms have machines which target specific muscle groups. Leg press machines are excellent for toning up the quadriceps, leg curl machines target the hamstrings, and adductor and abductor machines work the inner and outer thighs.
Running, walking, and squats are also ways to tone up with no gym membership required. The trick is finding a workout routine that works with your schedule and stick with it. Three times a week is a recommended schedule, and most gyms have personal trainers who can help develop a plan that will work for you. If you have any problems with your knees or ankles, you should always consult your physician first.
With respect to cosmetic improvements for concealment, or to combat the winter-pale look, self-tanner works wonders. There are even temporary spray-on solutions, the so-called ‘tan in a can’ products. Some belly dancers use waterproof body makeup to hide bruises or other discolorations. There are also dozens of firming lotions and cellulite creams on the market which purport to help.
Take care of your legs, keep them strong, and they’ll serve you well, not only in belly dance, but in your everyday life.
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