Thera-bands for Dancers, Part 3: Foot & Ankle Exercises

Exercise bands, Thera-bands or similar resistance training are often suggested for dancers to increase the strength with at-home practice.  What exercises should dancers do and what can be done safely at home, without a teacher to observe incorrect habits being formed?

We will be exploring these questions and more during our series:  Thera-bands for Dancers

Today's post is about foot exercises you can do in class or at home to improve your muscle strength.  Before you begin, remember to review our exercise tips.

Benefit to dancers: Improved foot articulation, strengthened point during all exercises, extra push during jumps, higher foot arch (posterior tibial muscle), toe flexors and extensors along with your ankle and calf muscles.

Toe Crawls**
Lay the band (you can also use a towel or piece of fabric) out away from your foot.  While standing or sitting, use your toes to "grab" and pull the fabric / band towards you.  Repeat for the full-length of the band.  You can also strengthen your toes by "grab" marbles or other small objects.



Toe Flexion**
Sit with your foot flexed.  Loop the band around your foot with one end under your heel and the other over your toes, pulling the ends towards you, creating resistance.  Slowly push with just your toes to a crunched position.  Repeat

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