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March 26, 2000

Do You Look Fat?

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Wearing short skirts and high heels every day may actually change your body's shape - in a bad way. Here, Dr. Michael Clark, CEO of the National Academy of Sports Medicine, explains why this happens - and how to fix it.

Body Buster: Stiff, high-heeled boots
What They May Give You: Flabby inner thighs
Why: Thick-soled shoes that don’t flex correctly cause the feet to turn out slightly when you walk, making the deep, outer butt muscles tight (a good thing), but the inner thighs weak and flabby.
Quick Fix: Wall Squats. Place a stability ball between your lower back and the wall, and squeeze a folded towel between your knees. Lean back against the ball so that your shoulders are over your hips, and slowly squat down by rolling the ball down the wall. Keep the pressure on the towel by squeezing your knees together. When your legs make a 90-degree angle, press through the heels to stand back up. Do three sets of 15 reps three times a week.

Body Buster: Short skirts
What They May Give You: Saddlebags
Why: If you wear minis a lot, you constantly sit with crossed legs—fine for modesty, bad for body. Crossed legs can weaken your outer thighs and make them jiggle.
Quick Fix: Sidesteps. Wrap a resistance band around your ankles and sidestep across the room, your knees slightly bent, leading first with the right foot for 15 steps, then with the left. Repeat two more times; do three times a week.

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