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Feet-Stretching Exercises For Ballet

Whether you're dancing in pointe shoes or still in soft slippers, stretching your feet before you do the most basic plies or attitudes is imperative in ballet. Feet stretching helps you avoid injuries from minor cramps to more serious ankle twists. The more you stretch, the better your foot flexibility and toe-point will be.

Ankle Down
Working with a resistance band can really improve your foot flexibility, but if you do not have a resistance band, you can use a towel. Sit on the floor with the resistance band under your foot and hold one end of the band in each hand. Stretch your leg straight out, raised above the floor. Push your ankle down to the floor as far as you can. Bring your foot back to the starting position and repeat on each foot 10 times.


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Toes Up
You have probably done this stretch in ballet warm-ups using your hands, but using a resistance band gives you a better stretch. Tie both ends of the resistance band to a stationary object. Sit down and insert your foot into the band, so it wraps over the top of your foot. Begin with your toes pointed down. Then, stretch your foot up, so your foot is perpendicular to the floor, with your toes pointing to the sky. Do 10 repetitions one each foot.

Side to Side
The Orthopedic Specialists of North Carolina recommend this stretch, which they call the ankle inversion and eversion stretch. While sitting down with your legs outstretched in front of you, grab your right foot in both hands with your thumbs atop your foot and your fingers underneath. Turn your foot to the inside and hold for five seconds. Then, turn your foot to the outside and hold for five seconds. Repeat on each foot 10 repetitions.

All Around
The all-around foot stretch should be a routine part of your warm-up. Sit down with your legs straight out in front of you. Simultaneously point your toes down on both feet. Hold for five seconds, and then flex the toes up for five seconds. Repeat again, but this time use your hands to push your toes down and pull them up. Next, alternate pointing the toes on one foot while you flex the toes on the other foot. Repeat for five repetitions. Finally, wind your feet in circles clockwise and then counterclockwise.

  Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/331336-feet-stretching-exercises-for-ballet/#ixzz1anOz04EF