It’s safe to say fitness plays an integral role in a Miss America contestant’s life.
Sometimes, being in top shape is essential for a talent, particularly for dancers. But even the singers, instrumentalists and otherwise gifted competitors have to keep their physical health in mind.
Lifestyle and fitness play a hefty role in the competition. That category makes up 15 percent of the preliminary scores, and amounts to 10 percent for the top 15 competitors who make it to the final night of the pageant.
To score as high as possible in those categories, many — if not all — of the Miss America competitors are working their hardest at their workouts.
Before you see them on stage on Sept. 13, doing their little twirls on the catwalk, here are exercises favored by some of this year’s contestants.
Lindsey Giannini, Miss New Jersey
When 21-year-old Giannini is at Fitness Mogul in Hammonton, she’s often not alone.
The Hammonton native said she likes to do class workouts, often getting support from other members of the class, making her workouts more fun for her.
“Especially when we have to do Russian twists, I need that extra encouragement,” she said, describing a specific ab workout.
It’s not the Russian twist, but here’s another exercise Giannini does to keep herself in top shape.
Facility: Fitness Mogul, Hammonton, NJ
Exercise: Single Leg Reverse Lunge in a TRX trainer
Muscles Targeted: Core, Quadriceps, Glutes, Deltoids, Biceps
Equipment: TRX Suspension Trainer, barbell (beginners start with 10 pounds, up increments of 5 pounds. Keep it heavy enough to be a challenge, but maintain form. Giannini uses a 20-pound barbell)
Sets/Reps: 3 sets/10-12 reps on each leg
Anchor the TRX straps about 12 to 14 inches from the floor (Note: if you are 5' to 5'5” your straps should be 12 inches from the floor. If you’re taller, increase the distance between the floor and the TRX's foot cradles.)
Stand 3 feet in front of your TRX's anchor point and place your right foot in both foot cradles. Balance on your left foot and retrieve your barbell with your palms facing up. Hold the barbell at chest level.
Once your left leg is stable you will begin to hinge at the left knee and lunge the right leg back until your left knee is at a 90 degree angle, ensuring that your right knee remains soft. After your reverse lunge is complete, engage your core and left glute to return to starting position. Repeat 9 to 11 more times on the left leg and repeat with your weight on the right leg.
Bree Morse, Miss California
California is a place synonymous with Muscle Beach, the stacked Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger and generally beautiful people. Miss California Bree Morse, 23, says fitness is important to her.
“Exercising can provide an escape from everyday stressors, and with the endorphins released, just makes you happier,” she said in an email.
Here, she demonstrates a Pilates move, which she says is physically and emotionally beneficial.
Facility: Core Arts Pilates in Anaheim Hills, California
Exercise: Scissors of the Hamstring Series
Muscles targeted: Adductors, hamstrings
Equipment: Gyrotonic Cobra Tower, weight set at 30 pounds for each side (beginners can use less weight to start)
Sets/reps: One set, 5 to 10 reps
To start, sit at the edge of the bench. Pull one leg into your chest and slowly lay down on your back. Once you’re completely on your back, pull your other knee toward your chest, in a fetal position. This makes the next steps easier.
Place your feet inside the foot loops on the higher straps of the Gyrotonic Cobra Tower. Extend your legs straight out, so you’re laying in a straight line.
Lift one leg up in the air toward the ceiling, flexing your foot. At the same time, reach the opposite leg down toward the floor, pointing your toes. Then switch the position of your legs, slowly and controlled.