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Get right to the point!

Awful pun, I know. We hear “point your toes” regularly when we dance. It’s easy to forget about what our feet are doing. After all, we are concentrating on engaging our lats while we hold our scapulae together and down and use our core to lift ourselves into whatever position….. and the feet are alllllll the way down at the bottom of us. 🙂 But then what happens when you realize they’re not pointed? Improving your toe point isn’t something you just *do* over the course of a minute. Foot and ankle flexibility are the same as flexibility anywhere else on your body. You need to work for them. Here are a few warmups/exercises that will help you improve your toe point no matter how advanced you are. 1) Sit on a mat with hands behind you stabilizing your position. Bend knees toward your chest while keeping your feet on the floor. Keeping your core engaged, bring one foot off the floor and point your toes away from you (remember the calf muscles are as important in toe pointing as anything that happens with your foot!). Second, flex your foot and bring toes toward you. Now make small circles with your toes; imagine you are drawing circles on the ceiling with them. See how much you can increase the circle without moving your whole foot. Just move the toes and rotate your ankle! 2) Use resistance bands to work the muscles associated with your point. There’s a good series of exercises and descriptions HERE. 3) This YouTube video takes you through an entire warmup and stretch sequence. It says ballet … but ballet dancers have amazing toe point! It’s important to remember that these are MUSCLES and JOINTS you’re working. You must must must strengthen them to do the work you’re asking of them, and then train them to be flexible. Don’t expect a Misty Copeland-level point right away, and try not to get frustrated. Progress, not perfection!!! Nadia Sharif meme credit: Kriston Leagh

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