5 Exercises to correct your dancers sickled feet!

We have all seen them! The beautiful dancer who moves gracefully across the floor and then BAM! They lift their leg for an extension and our eyes can only see the terribly sickled foot. This correction is one that needs to made early on for dancers so that they can retrain their muscles to stretch through the foot properly without inversion of the foot. In order to do so, we need to train the peroneal muscles, which are responsible for concentrically plantarflexing and everting the foot.
These 5 Exercises will do just that while helping to increase the range of motion in your dancer’s ankle and foot! Which is also crucial to a nice pointed foot.
  1. Parallel Pointed Eversion Pulses- Start in a seated position on the floor with the inside arches of your feet together. Without changing the rotation or placement of your legs or ankles, try to move your big toes away from each other for 4 counts and then release back together for 4 counts. Repeat this exercise 10-20 times.
  2. Flexed Eversion Pulses- Remain in the seated position and flex your feet starting with heels together. Slowly evert your feet without moving your ankles. Then return to starting position and repeat 10-20 times.
  3. Foot Circles- Starting in a seated position lift one leg and hold the knee so that your lower leg is parallel to the floor. Slowly make big circles with your foot in one direction. Do this 10 times and then switch directions. Repeat on other foot.
  4. Forced Arch PliÈs- Starting in a parallel standing position facing a ballet bar with the inside arches of your feet together. Slowly bend into plie, allowing the knees to fall forward past the toes. Then slowly return to starting position and repeat 20 times. You should feel a good stretch in the balls of your feet.
  5. Banded Flex to Point- Sitting on the floor with one leg stretched out in front of you, place an elastic band around the ball of your foot covering the big toe. As you pull on the ends of the band to add resistance, move your foot from a flexed position to a pointed position back and forth 20x. Make sure you are not sickling when you are pointing through this exercise.
Do these exercises before class for a great ankle and foot warmup or at home for extra practice. You will be amazed by how well they work! Thanks for reading and be sure to share with a friend!