Meet Sharon Quinn
Part 9: Fine Tuning Your Runway "Strut"
Ever since I appeared as a contestant on the first season of Mo'Nique's
F.A.T. Chance, I have gotten questions on a daily basis regarding
runway coaching or tips on how to make someone's "strut" better.
Well, in my opinion "there ain't nothing to it but to do it", but I
have put together a "can't miss" list of things you need to "tighten
your runway game up"!
Stretching & Warming Up
I cannot stress enough how very important
it is to warm up and stretch your muscles BEFORE you put on a pair of
heels and even THINK of hitting a runway. Have you ever done a
show and had to stand around in 3" or 4" pumps and your feet or legs
start to cramp? Have you ever been in a show where you
continuously had to change heel heights for different outfits? Have you
ever been on a runway in mid strut and gotten a cramp and had to try
and "walk" it out without screaming or letting the audience know?
It's not pretty people and it happens all the time. A 5-10 minute
stretching routine is a great way to avoid foot & leg cramps as
well as muscle spasms in the middle of a show. The routine does
not have to be difficult; you can start with the basics here:
Warming up or stretching before walking prepares the mind, heart,
muscles and joints for the runway. Warming up lowers blood pressure,
improves blood flow to the heart, increases muscle temperature and
makes muscles more pliable. Warm up for five minutes at an easy walking
pace before stretching, never stretch cold muscles or you risk tearing
them. Stretching creates flexibility and can make your walk more
Stretch all the major muscle groups used when walking. Slowly apply
each stretch listed below; stretch until tension, but not pain, is
felt. Hold each stretch for at least 15 seconds. Do not bounce up and
down while stretching. Breathe normally. These low-intensity exercises
should last from five to 15 minutes.
Quadricep Stretch - Stand erect, holding onto a wall or post for
support. Bend your knee behind you so that you can grasp your foot,
holding your heel against your buttock. Stand up straight and push your
knee gently back as far as you can. (Your hand just keeps your heel in
place. Some people find it more comfortable to use the opposite hand.)
Hold for 15 to 30 seconds, and then switch sides.
Calf Stretch - Stand an arm's-length from the wall or a support. Lean
into wall, bracing yourself with your arms. Place one leg forward with
your knee bent (this leg will not bear any weight). Keep your other leg
back, with your knee straight and your heel down. Keeping your back
straight; move your hips toward the wall until you feel a stretch. Hold
30 seconds. Relax. And then repeat with other leg.
Achilles Stretch - From the calf stretch position, bend your back knee so that the angle is changed to stretch the
Achilles tendon. Keep your heel down. Hold 15 to 30 seconds, and then switch legs.
Ankles and Feet Stretch - Balance on your left leg, supporting yourself
by holding onto something or someone for support. Point your right
foot/toes forward. Gently rotate to make small circles your foot.
Alternate/change legs and repeat procedure.
Lastly, place your feet together. Hold onto a wall or ledge for balance then push up and down your toes for 10/20 seconds.
Always try to do this warm up routine before you begin walking and remember do slowly and gently without bouncing.