3 Easy Steps to Improve your Dancer Feet
Not all of us are born with great dancer feet meaning defined arches, flexible toes, elongated insteps and strong feet. In order to transform your feet or to continue improving them, follow these exercises:
- Instep – to elongate and loosen your instep
- On the floor sit on your heels with your legs bent under you. Make sure that your heels and toes are aligned with the bottom on your feet looking upwards this way you are sure not to sickle your feet.
- Remain in this position for a few minutes. Your goal is to eventually stretch your insteps and improve flexibility so that when you sit on your heels in this position there is one continuous line from your shin to your insteps flushed with the floor.
- Arches & Feet – to strengthen your arches, feet and toes
- Practice doing 8 relevés in first, second, and sixth (parallel) positions and repeat until you have completed 4 reps of each. This is a great exercise to do anywhere; for example, when watching TV.
- Make sure you relevé towards your big and second toes. This will ensure you are not sickling as you go onto your relevé.
- Tendus are another great strengthening exercise that can be done whenever you are barefoot or in socks.
- In first position practice doing 8 tendus in first and fifth positions in each direction. Really focus on the articulation of your feet, using the floor to your advantage. Notice how you are pushing your heel forward passing through the ball of your foot and lastly arriving at your elongated (not crunched up) toes as you go out. As you come back reverse the movement, heel, ball, toe back to your ballet position.
- Toes – Increase flexibility and foot strength
- Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Ensure your knees are stretched and your knees are facing the ceiling. Make sure you are engaging your core and your back is straight. (Feel free to sit with your back against a wall.)
- In this position, point and flex your feet focusing on passing through each stage: Flexed, arches, toes (heel, ball, toes) and then come back through your toes, arches, flexed. Repeat this movement in parallel position and in first position by engaging your hip flexors to turn out. Strive for 4 reps of 8 pointing and flexing in parallel and in first position.
You should start to see results in a couple of weeks; if you keep at it your feet will improve drastically. These are also great exercises to keep your feet strong and flexible while on vacation.
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