Some of us were born with beautiful feet, but for the rest of us, we have to work pretty hard to improve our pointe! Regardless of natural gifts, all dancers can benefit from feet strengthening techniques. So whether you’re a pro or a beginner (or most likely in between) these simple exercises, done with repetition and over time, can help improve the strength of your feet.
A good point starts at the ankle
Simply making circles with your ankles in both directions, and then flexing and pointing your feet in repetition will help flexion and strength. Be sure to pull your toes up and back as far as you can and then point hard to receive the most out of the exercise.
This can also be done using a theraband. Wrap the theraband around the ball of your foot and pull for more resistance.
Strengthen the core muscles of your feet
Foot doming is something you can do to stimulate the muscles in your feet. Begin by having your feet firmly on the ground. Then press your toes into the ground, keeping them as straight as possible and lift through your arch. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times per foot.
Do Your Degages
Doing a series of both slow and quick degages at the barre will help immensely to improve the strength of your feet. Be sure that you can feel the ball of your foot and all five toes as they brush off of the floor, and then feel as your toes and the ball of your foot returns to meet the floor pulling back in.
Utilize a Flexi Ball
Pushing your toes into a flexi ball can help build resistance and strength, especially for point work. Allow the ball to sit up against the wall and your toes on the ball. Use nothing but your toes to press down into the ball and then lift them back up. Repeat 10 times on each foot.
Scrunch your toes
Sit on the floor with a towel under your feet. Actively scrunch your toes and try to lift the towel, hold and release. Repeat 10 times on each foot.
Work with a partner
Grab a friend for this one! Sit on the floor with your legs out long in front of you. Have your friend put pressure on the top of your arch and help to stretch your feet as you point, and then have them press into your arch underneath your foot as you flex. Do both feet, and then switch with your friend!!
What are some of your tried and true ways to stretch and strengthen your feet? Let us know in the comments!