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RETURN TO BLOG Posted 12 November 2020

How to Improve your foot flexibility & strength

By Claudia Dean

We are all capable of improving our feet further. Whether you were born with flexible, stiff, hypermobile or strong feet, we can always transform the shape of them through daily Key Exercises & commitment. Personally, improving the flexibility of my feet was one of the areas I struggled with the most throughout my training & professional years. Fun fact: the specific stretch and strength exercises I created to develop the aesthetic line required for my feet were how my Key Exercises were born! 

The years I spent working to transform my feet taught me that applying resilience and consistency are key to improving any area of your body! You can do this too. You don’t need to be born with archy feet, flat turnout and natural flexibility- you can create it. Through hard work and the right daily key exercises, you can improve your weaknesses and also make your strengths even stronger! 

Some of us have very strong feet, certain dancers have flexible toes and others have flexible arches, some were born with both, or have worked consistently to get there. It’s important to recognise what your abilities are and more importantly, know what area you need to stretch & strengthen to improve the look of your feet. Once you know that, you can target the specific area that needs work through my magic Key Exercises.

Remember, when you want to increase your foot range, you will require a combination of flexibility & strength. Focusing only on one and ignoring the other will stop you from reaching the maximum range in your feet.  

Having strong feet will enhance the height of your jump, strengthen your pointe work & give you more stability for adage. To get this you'll need to strengthen your calves, ankles and intrinsic muscles under your feet. You can do this by clicking 'Foot Strength' in the Improve My section on my platform & focusing on the Key Exercises:  ‘Power Ball Push Downs,’ ‘Rises with Power Ball’ & ‘Fishing One Foot in Power Band’! 

To complete your aesthetic foot line, gaining more flexibility in your feet is important. This will enhance your pointe work & complete any extension during class. To gain more flexibility in your instep & toes, you should try completing 'Barre Foot Stretch', 'Demi Pointe Stretch' & 'Roller Foot Stretch' Key exercises.  

No matter what goals you set yourself, working on the correct alignment when pointing your foot is crucial too. To encourage the right line and prevent excessive fishing or sickling, think about pointing in the line of your third toe. I often imagine a line running down the centre of my knee, down to the third toe to maintain correct alignment at all times. My Key Exercise 'Power Ball Push Downs' has an added benefit of encouraging the correct foot alignment!

If you are working on improving your feet daily, remember to release the tension under your foot every single day too. If the bottom of your foot is tight, this will restrict your flexibility! The more released your feet are, the more articulation & flexibility you’ll achieve. I liked to grab a golf ball & roll it underneath my feet on carpet at the end of performances or once I had finished rehearsals for the day so my range of motion was always at its maximum.

Dancers, let’s make the most of the last two months of this year to create the most beautiful foot & leg lines we can! If you haven’t completed my 3 day FOOT FLEXIBILITY & STRENGTH Course yet, go to ‘Courses’ & start your Free Trial now to complete it. It will take you 15 mins to complete per day & your results will be incredible! Remember to DM your results to the @coachmeworld Instagram, I can't wait to see yours!