1940s Women’s Army Corps ( WAC) – Leg and Feet Exercises.
During the Second World War, some 150,000 women served in the US Women’s Army Corps – WAC. The US, now faced with a two front war, no longer looked down their noses at these girls. The women of the WAC were the first – other than nurses, to serve within the ranks of the US army. These images taken in 1943 by Alfred Eisenstaedt for Life Magazine, show a series of exercises for the feet practiced daily by WACs to keep their feet and legs in shape. Bear in mind, serving women marched just as much as men – and in heels!
WAC Exercise 1.
Girl Rise on her toes whilst standing on edge of heavy object close to ground, the weight of her body supported by the balls of the feet.
Stretching out legs and pressing the soles and tips of her feet together, WACs did this daily to keep their legs in shape!
Not sure what this did for either feet or legs, but it involved keeping the feet close to ground while moving the soles of her feet back and forth.
Lifting her leg with toe pointing outward, then repeat with heel stretch.
A long day at the barracks wearing uncomfortable army issue heels left many girls in agony. These exercises apparently helped alleviate the pain whilst toning her pins at the same time.
Incidentally, the photographer Alfred_Eisenstaedt was famous for the famous VJ Day photo in New York’s Times Square of a young woman being kissed by a sailor.