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Strength Training: Dance-Inspired Circuit!

Photo by James Weber

Women start to run for countless reasons—but Karina Smirnoff’s motive was a little unusual. For the Dancing With the Stars performer, the running bug bit thanks to a heated argument. Following a fight with her mom and dad, a teenage Smirnoff decided to lace up her sneakers and  y out the door. “I’d seen people do it in movies,” she explains. “And when you’re young and you live with your parents, you have nowhere else to go.”

Smirnoff’s means of blowing off steam soon became a passion. “From that point on, I started running,” she says. Now that she’s a dancer on the ABC smash hit, Smirnoff continues to run to stay in shape for the show’s grueling performance demands and “so I can let my mind rest while my body works hard.”

During filming breaks, Smirnoff prefers long slow runs “someplace beautiful.” But when Dancing with the Stars is in season, her schedule shifts dramatically. To  t her run in on days when she’s in the studio for five hours or longer, Smirnoff shortens the distance and mixes up the speed. “I go slower, then I go faster. Sometimes I freeze for 10 seconds, then start sprinting again.”

Smirnoff says dancing also helps make her a better runner. As a woman who regularly appears on national television in little more than a sequined bikini, she knows what it means to tone every inch. Her signature workout featured here is all about using the fundamentals of dance to engage often-ignored muscle groups. Crank up your favorite tunes and perform the exercises back-to-back for a total-body challenge!

Workout Guidelines

Perform the following exercises as a 10-minute circuit. After you’ve completed the circuit, rest for two minutes and repeat once or twice.


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