Karina Smirnoff: Relevé Parallel Squat

Train abs and glutes like a dancer!

Karina Smirnoff: Relevé Parallel Squat - Train abs and glutes like a dancer!
When one wants to see the ultimate embodiment of a dancer’s body, there’s no need to look any further than Karina Smirnoff of “Dancing with the Stars.” And Karina knows all about getting in shape— she’s been involved with “Dancing with the Stars” for the last seven years and also has a DanceFIT program where she teaches shape-up classes in hotels and on cruise ships and also gives nutritional advice.

Over the next several weeks, we’ll feature a move from Karina you can add to your abs and glutes routine! For even more ab and glute-shaping moves, be sure to check out the October issue of FitnessRx for Women with Karina on the cover! And tune in to “Dancing with the Stars” on ABC beginning September 16.

This week, Karina demonstrates a move that will engage almost every muscle in your body, but especially your abs and legs: the Relevé Parallel Squat! Karina usually does 4 to 8 reps of each exercise for 8 sets, before moving to the next exercise. It takes about 5 minutes for each. For beginners, she recommends starting with 4 revolutions and then graduating to 8.


Place feet shoulder-width apart. Go up on your tippy toes to the highest point. Make sure your back is completely straight and that you’re not arching.

Curl the last three to four vertebrates of your spine and your tailbone a little bit under as if you are sliding down a wall, pushing your knees and arms forward and lifting your chest. Go down slow and gradually; don’t make any sharp movements, until you end up in a squatting position.

Make sure that your knees are not pushing up or down, but that instead they are very straight, like you are trying to balance a box on your knees. Stand back up again, flat on your feet, and start from the top again.

“The main thing about this movement is that… you do not want to put the heels down onto the floor,” said Karina. “And you want to go down as slow as you can.”

Lisa Steuer

Lisa Steuer is a journalist and freelance writer, and formerly the managing editor of FitnessRx for Women. Lisa is currently a Content Developer at Flexographic Technical Association.

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