Ballet Exercises- Pointed Feet and Knuckling Toes

by Savannah

Ballet Exercises- Pointed Feet and Knuckling Toes

Hi Odette,
When I pointe my feet my toes knuckle I’ve heard it called, where your toes kind of bend over instead of staying flat but pointed. I don’t want this to happen, I’ve heard it’s bad for your feet. Is there any way to stop it from happening?
Thank You!


Reply by Odette
To:- Ballet Exercises- Pointed Feet and Knuckling Toes

Thank you for contacting me, it’s great to hear from you. I really understand what you are saying and if I am correct, then I can definitely give you some great tips to improve your pointed feet. In fact, this is the exact same thing I used to do when I was 11 and entered my vocational ballet school.

I crunched my toes when I pointed my feet, until my ballet teacher at school noticed this and instantly corrected it. Even now, I still remember her saying it can eventually damage the Achilles tendon, because when you crunch the toes it shortens the Achilles rather than keep it long and lengthened.

You understand the term as knuckling, but I know this phrase more as ‘crunching’ . You should aim to keep the toes long and flat when you pointe your feet but instead, many dancers curl the toes under and crunch the toes up.

I managed to improve this habit very quickly with feet exercises and learning to understand the correct way in which I should be pointing my feet. First, you have to focus on using the metatarsals in your feet. This is essential to having good footwork and strong, pointe toes.

You can do exercises where you put your foot flat on the floor, sitting down, and focus on just lifting up the metatarsals. Gradually, you can advance this movement and go further into a pointed foot whilst still concentrating on keep working the metatarsals.

Also, you can use what is known as a thera band in physical therapy equipment to strengthen the metatarsal. By simply just pointing and stretching the foot, whilst using the resistance against the band and working your metatarsals, you can greatly strengthen your feet.

I wish I could show you these exercises for the feet, because it will improve your crunching toes. But you must ask your teacher about the metatarsals if you don’t know already, so she can show you these vital little muscles that you must work instead of crunching.

Remember, I am always here to help!

Best wishes,

ps. To become the best dancer you can be, learn the Seven Secrets ..... go to my 'Seven Secrets of Ballet' page

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