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The Beauty & Style Lounge The Beauty & Style Lounge

Would You Exercise in High Heels?

Posted by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 6:59 PM
  • 23 Replies

eye rolling

Would You Exercise in High Heels?

Think you already know that those four-inch heels make you look sexy and now science substantiates that: A recent study published in the journal Evolution and Behavior found that women who wear heels are perceived as more feminine than those who wear flatter shoes. 

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And with spring coming earlier this year (according to Groundhog Day, anyway) paving the way for shorter skirts, a slew of sexy exercise classes seeks to help you enhance your gait even more by offering group sessions to women who want to work out in, you guessed it, high heels.

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One such class is designed and taught by certified fitness instructor Kamilah Barrett, 35. Called "Heel Hop" the class is a no-impact hour of strength-training that helps women develop cardio vascular strength and the confidence and skill to rock high-heeled shoes. Participants pay $15 for a weekly class to learn Barrett's 10-signature moves that include re-training the foot to decrease the amount of shock impact while walking and how to align the spine. Women can wear heels of any size ranging from one to six inches.

Stiletto Fitness Classes in Kansas City, M.O. touts itself as a "core and lower body high-impact strength and training fitness class." Created by former dancer Coryelle Abney in July 2012, her class helps women look graceful wearing heels while offering a serious calorie burn. The women saunter across the room to practice their walk,  engage in strength training exercises including squats, and gyrate their way through dance sequences.

But is it safe to wear high heels when exercising? "It depends on how high-impact the class is, but as a very general rule, it's not the best idea," says New York City based podiatrist Hillary Brenner. "If you're jumping up and down, you're forcing all your body weight to rest on the balls of your feet which can result in stress fractures and ligament damage. You can also hurt your knees and your lower back. In some cases, it can be a total body disaster."

High heels came into prominence over a millennium ago when in an attempt to land a husband, Chinese women had their feet pressed and bound to fit into three-inch long lutes slippers, a look that at the time, was very appealing to the opposite sex. But with mass production and the array of shoe styles available to the public along with the emergence of the short flapper skirts, the trend caught like wildfire. But were these heels ever intended for every day use, much less a dance class? Probably not.

"I wouldn't advise women to bring their Jimmy Choos to a class like this," says Dr. Elisa M. Kavanagh, DPM, who treats the New York City Rockettes. "If you're curious, wear character shoes (they look like a classic Mary Jane with a chunky heel) that are flexible and designed for stomping, kicking, and twirling. It might be okay to wear heels while doing bar work and strength training but with something like a squat where you're putting all your weight on your heel, wearing high heels will just put harmful pressure on your heel."

According to Brenner, if you want to give these types of classes a whirl, try using foot pedals—small cushions that are inserted into your heels. Just make sure they're made of poron, a material that aids shock absorption. "Otherwise in your quest to be sexy, you could end up with an injury that's anything but," she says.

by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 6:59 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Gweneveer
by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 7:54 PM
I can barely walk in heels, so no way!! I'd kill myself in the process of getting fit, lol.
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ToYnyc
by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 8:41 PM

 Sounds like fun. i would try it, especially if it would help me walk for gracefully in high heels

SadeAyosmom
by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 8:49 PM
1 mom liked this

yup its called dancing!

sophiesmom07
by Platinum Member on Feb. 4, 2013 at 8:57 PM
1 mom liked this

Heck no!  

jellybeanjean
by JeanJeanie on Feb. 4, 2013 at 9:47 PM

Exactly!

Quoting SadeAyosmom:

yup its called dancing!


.Holly.
by Holly on Feb. 4, 2013 at 9:52 PM
Dancing with a bit lower heels for dance class is one thing, exercising in a stiletto heel class is another. Lol

Quoting SadeAyosmom:

yup its called dancing!

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AimSnapHolz
by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 10:36 PM

Um, I don't even try to WALK in heels.

littlemascara
by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 11:32 PM

I would not do an aerobics class in any shoes. ;)

0Glitter0
by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 8:21 AM

no that is stupid and just asking for injuries

momof3_dll
by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 4:41 PM
1 mom liked this

Ok...you're already shortening your calf muscles by wearing heels casually and now exercising in them?  What in the world. 

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