Do’s and Don’ts - Stretching Your Ballet Feet

Ballet Dancers Feet

No one can argue that greater foot flexibility allows dancers to point, rise on their toes, brush their feet along the floor, and to jump.
What are some ways to stretch the your ballet feet? A proper ballet foot stretch gently stretches the parts of the foot without injuring the dancer.

The footstretcher is a personal portable tool designed for dancers and gymnasts. The footstretcher offers a snug fit in a study base so the user can stretch the foot with the heels slightly forward. This way, it can work the whole leg with its maximum stretch which is often difficult to reach or feel without such an external aide. In addition to the footstretcher, there are some recommended stretches you can do at the barre or by sitting on a chair to improve your ballet feet. Let’s find out more.

Ballet Feet

Footstretcher - Ballet Foot Stretch 
The footstretcher is a new, easy and effective way to stretch the feet and legs. It helps in the process of the development of the arch of the foot by creating more leverage through the mid-foot and arch area and a greater degree of mobility for the feet. Furthermore, the footstretcher helps the dancer feel the maximum stretch of the knees, thighs and feet with the accompanying turnout of the hips. It stretches the foot further and lengthens the leg line. The footstretcher can also be used to mold pointe shoes the way you want. So you see, the footstretcher has many advantages as a tool for dancers.

Barre Stretch
Face the barre with your heels together and feet in a turned-out first position. Hold the barre and engage your core muscles. Slowly slide your right foot to the side by pressing the ball of your foot, the part of your foot between your toes and arch, into the floor as your heel lifts up. Slide further, lifting the ball higher but keeping the big toe on the floor. Hold for the count of 4. Slide your foot back to first position. Repeat 8 times. Then repeat this ballet foot stretch with the left foot.

Instep Stretch
Sit on a chair with feet flat on the floor in front of you. Take off your shoes and socks. Lift up your right foot and rest it on your left thigh. As you point your toes to the left, hold the foot firmly with both hands. Put light pressure on your instep (the bony arch on the top of your foot) to slowly stretch your foot for 10 seconds. Then let your foot relax and repeat the ballet foot stretch 4 times before switching feet.

Instep Press
Begin this ballet foot stretch by sitting in a chair with your bare feet on the ground. Hold on to the seat of your chair. Start with your right foot. Point and rest the tops of your toes on the floor. Keep your toes on the floor and move them back under the chair. Now turn your ankle towards the floor until you feel a stretch along the right instep. Hold for 10 seconds and then rest and repeat 4 times. Repeat this ballet foot stretch with the left foot.

Plantar Fascia Stretch
This ballet foot stretch has you sitting (bare feet) in a chair and resting your right foot on your left thigh, just like many of the previously described stretches. Hold your foot firmly with both hands and flex the foot, twisting at the ankle so the instep and toes point to the right. With your right hand, pull up gently on the toes so they point back towards the front of your right leg. Hold this ballet foot stretch for the count of 10. Then rest and repeat the stretch 4 times. Repeat this ballet foot stretch with the left foot.

Somethings to avoid while stretching:
Tucking your feet under large objects
Applying too much pressure

Ballet dancers need to stretch their feet to develop more flexibility. Finding easy and effective ways to do so allows dancers to gain that flexibility. The Ballet Foot Stretch is one way to deliver on that promise. Various stretches at the barre or by sitting on a chair can also add to helping improve the feet of dancers. It is important to be careful when using any number of stretching methods to ensure safe and effective ways to increase ballet foot stretch.