I Worked Out with the Radio City Rockettes & These Are the 3 Moves I’m Totally Stealing

Plus, secrets to perfecting the iconic kickline

Elena Pimukova/Mike Pont/Getty Images

It’s the most wonderful time of year, and no one does the holidays quite like the dazzling Radio City Rockettes.

Like peppermint mocha lattes and pine tree-scented candles, the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes in New York City is one festive feat I look forward to all year long. Combining top-notch talent with performance magic, this iconic show has been bringing the holiday cheer for 90 years and counting.

Earlier this month, I got the chance to live out my kickline dreams with a dance-inspired workout hosted by Gatorade in the landmark theater that started it all: Radio City Music Hall (cue the goosebumps). Led by two world-famous Rockettes, LaTarika Pierce and Katie Hamrah brought us through a warmup and exercise circuit plucked straight from their daily routines—all of which thoroughly whooped my butt. Though I’ll leave the kicks, flicks and bevels to the professional dancers, here are three workout moves I’m totally stealing.

The Best Red Lipstick, According to a Radio City Rockette


1. Bodyweight Lat Pulldowns

We’re all fans of the iconic Rockette kickline—it’s their signature move after all—but did you know the dancers aren’t actually holding onto each other while busting out their eye-high kicks? Nuts, we know. Instead, they use their core and back strength to ensure a level line while giving the illusion of being hooked together. Bodyweight lat pulldowns are a great way to warm up the trunk, strengthen the back and improve overall posture.  

Step 1: Begin standing with your feet hip-width apart, pelvis slightly tucked. Raise both arms directly over your head until fully straightened.

Step 2: Pull down with your palms facing forward and cactus your arms out to the side, stopping at a 90-degree angle once your elbows are just below your shoulders. As you lower your arms, create tension through the upper body by actively squeezing your shoulder blades together behind you (as if pinching a pencil).

Step 3: Return to the starting position and repeat. Complete 3 sets of 10 reps total.


2. Jumping Jack Lunges

Ever notice how dancers have quads like a Greek god? Well, it’s for good reason. All those pirouettes, pas de bourrées and pliés require a lot of lower body strength. This compound exercise combines cardio and strength into one heart-racing movement that will have you feeling the burn in no time.

Step 1: Begin standing with your feet hip-width apart. Do two jumping jacks, sending both feet out and both arms up.

Step 2: As you complete the second move, jump out into a lunge, sending one foot forward and one foot back, bending down until both knees are at a 90-degree angle.

Step 3: Jump back to center and repeat, switching legs during each lunge. Complete 3 sets of 10 reps total (5 on each leg).


3. Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift

In addition to firing up the glutes and hamstrings, single-leg RDLs can also help increase ankle stability by strengthening the teeny, tiny muscles that surround your joints and ligaments. With two to four performances a day during the busy season, the Rockettes can’t afford any injury setbacks. This move helps them maintain mobility so they can nail the “12 Days of Christmas” tap routine day after day (after day).

Step 1: Begin standing with your feet hip-width apart.

Step 2: Keeping your right knee slightly bent, send your left leg back and up while hinging forward at the waist, slowly lowering your left hand toward the ground as if you were picking up an apple.

Step 3: Grounding down through your right ankle, squeeze your hamstring and glute to lift your chest and lower your leg, returning to the starting position. Complete 3 sets of 5 reps on each leg, alternating after each set.

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Executive Managing Editor

Catrina oversees content production across all PureWow verticals. When she's not managing editorial schedules, digital issues or newsletter production, you can find her...