June 12th 2021
Elle Macpherson: How I keep my legs in great shape
June 11th 2019 / 0 comment
At nearly 6ft tall Elle's nickname at school was 'Legsy 11'. How does she keep those famous pins toned and buffed? In her GTG column this month, Elle talks all things leg care – from whether to wax or shave, to keeping on top of cellulite and the best smoothing moisturiser
My nickname at school was Legsy 11. My mother has long legs so I think I inherited them from her. Luckily they came in handy later in life when I started modelling.
As I have got older, I have found that the best way to tone my legs is by drinking lots of water, doing yoga (I like vinyasa flow), sleeping properly (seven to eight hours for me) and having regular infrared saunas. Focusing on being ‘body alkaline’ makes a huge difference too.
What I eat for great legs
Apparently, diet effects the look and feel of legs. In the past when I have had sugar, salt and wheat, my legs have looked heavier. When my diet is predominantly alkaline and I am eating mainly vegetables and drinking a lot of water, the shape of my legs changes for sure.
I generally stick to a plant-based diet free of sugar and wheat (for the most part) and supplement it with two teaspoons of Super Elixir Greens every morning and afternoon. It is formulated with 45 plant-based nutrients including acai, pomegranate, grapeseed and rosehip powders that support healthy skin elasticity and horsetail extract for healthy, strong connective tissue.
When my legs feel puffy...
I was once told to treat leg issues like this with water. I help disperse fluid retention by drinking water throughout the day and with outdoor exercise. One of my favourite moves is lying on the floor and stretching my legs up against the wall. I find it super-effective for fluid retention.
When it comes to cellulite...
For cellulite, body scrubbing, hot and cold showers and my infrared sauna help improve skin texture and lymphatic drainage.
My infrared sauna is a portable one by Therasage [a similar version is available in the UK by Firzone, £219]. It transmits full-spectrum wavelengths, which are highly therapeutic for improved blood circulation, natural detoxification and increased metabolic rate.
A good rich moisturiser is essential too. I love products by The Lost Explorer such as the Arnica and Wintergreen Movement Massage Balm, £46.50 47ml and the Everyday Support Balm, £46 for 47ml.
I dry brush, wet brush and use body scrubs in the shower. My go-to is our WelleCo limited edition Japanese salt scrub formulated with ingredients sourced from the mountains of Japan. I find it’s the best detox for skin and helps boost my circulation, shed dead skin cells, and nourishes and renews super-dry skin. I finish with a generous slathering of my favourite moisturiser.
The best exercise for shapely thighs, calves and glutes
If I am lucky enough to be by the sea, I walk waist deep or thigh deep in water. The resistance of the water is a fantastic way to tone my legs and for combatting fluid retention. It helps with circulation and tone. I notice a huge difference very quickly. When I’m working I endeavour to be active during the day, and spend just short phases at my desk with lots of walking around. My legs and muscles generally are active most of the time.
Shave, wax or laser hair removal?
I don’t do laser. Instead, I wax from the knee up and shave from the knee down.
The best trousers for long legs
I love to wear trousers but they are never long enough! I wear full-length trousers by designers such as Isabel Marant and style them as if they are cropped. I also love J Brand and Superfine jeans and I love a wide-legged pant.
Heels or flats?
I wear heels a lot, but only quality ones from Louboutin, Aquazurra or Giuseppe Zanotti. I love wearing flats too, mainly because I don’t like to be too tall (I’m 1.82m – six feet). If I am going to a business meeting I like to be able to look people in the eye.
My remedy for tired legs and feet
I use lavender and chamomile aromatherapy oils, do yoga poses such as legs-up-the-wall pose (viparita karani). I take magnesium foot baths (Better You Foot and Body Soak Magnesium Flakes, £9.95 for 1kg) and soak in Epsom salts to soothe tired legs. I have regular pedicures with Toni Jade because I like to have well-groomed hands and feet. I wear Kester Black non-toxic nail polish in white, black or navy. It's Australian-made and vegan.