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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Foot muscles


Miriam

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Guest MKdance

What has worked for me is Thera Bands, which are long elastic bands like you would get from a physical therapist. You put this under the ball of your foot, keep your foot off the ground (you can sit or stand),and push down(like you are going to releve' with out a floor) You can also work just the toes, by bending and flexing them with the band under your foot. Discount Dance sells them by Gaynor Minden with a book called "Dancers Dozen," Which gives you the exercises to do with them. Other online suppliers carry just the bands without the book.

I hope this helps, it is easy to do too! It is a nice way to keep in shape while watching TV, or reading:D

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Thanks.. I've seen the book, Dancer's Dozen... and I did want to get it, but since I live in the Netherlands it would cost me at least 30 dollars because they have to ship it here :-(

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Guest MKdance

I would look for online dance suppliers in your area to save shipping costs. You could buy just the band, if they don't carry the book. I personally don't have the book either, I purchased a pilates video that utilized the bands, and it came with three different strength bands. That would be another area you may want to check into. Hope this helps, and I love your elephant:D

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Guest beckster

There is a company that sells therabands in the UK, called dance direct. The website was dancedirectworld.com but it doesn't seem to be working. They might be able to sell you the bands cheaper than from the US, since you are in Europe. I'll try and find their number for you if you are interested.

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Did you get a theraband from them, beckster?

 

I have been thinking about getting one but I wasn't sure where, so this may help.

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Well, the bands isn't the problem, I saw them in a store a few days ago, but thanks anyway.... it's more the problem of what to do with them :-)

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Semi interesting personal story to tell regarding strengthen the feet. Once upon a time, before I had ever thought of dancing, I was extremely strong. When I started dancing, however, my feet constant were sore and I had all kinds of aches. I couldn’t figure out why. Thought it was just old age creeping up.

 

I had rejected the idea that it was a strength problem. After all even in my old age I knew I was physically stronger than most 20 year old pros. So I just tolerated the foot aches and pains. Then one day I decided to do some foot exercises, not to strengthen the muscles, but rather to develop more mobility in the foot. These exercises I knew also strengthened the feet, but I paid no heed to that.

 

Interestingly, what happened was that the foot pains started to go away and I realized that the original soreness and pain was due to my lack of foot muscle strength. What a revelation to me anyway. I had grossly underestimated the amount of foot muscle strength dance required and overestimated the extent my big muscle strength in the back and legs generalized to the fine muscle strength that move the feet.

 

Therabands can be used to strengthen the feet. The other great exercise I have found is simply concentrating on articulating the feet while doing tendus and while stretching. Other great exercises are the little foot exercises (sorry I don’t know what else to call them) placed in class combinations and in modern classes. The good thing about those exercises is that they don’t require equipment of any kind and they do really work.

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what you can also do to get therabands is just find a physical therapist in your area and they might carry them there also. I got a theraband from my friend's dad because he's a physical therapist. :)

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Originally posted by beckster

There is a company that sells therabands in the UK, called dance direct.  The website was dancedirectworld.com but it doesn't seem to be working.  

 

Beckster, thank you so much for posting this company in Europe. I've been trying to find other online stores to buy my ballet stuff from. :cool:

 

The website is currently down because it is being updated. It should be accessable again on May, 17th. I'm already looking forward to it! ;)

 

To Miriam:

Major Johnson has already posted a lot of links and advice concerning this topic. The best link for theraband exercises would be this one:

http://physicaltherapy.about.com/library/w...ercisebands.htm

 

You can also use the "search"- button and enter "theraband"; you will find a lot of information on this matter.

 

Svenia :)

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest distantdancer

I was having troubles with foot and ankle strength myself and was told to do eleves. I started off by doing 10 with my feet together in parallel (to keep anything from sickling). Then I added five on each foot by themselves. I just slowly kept increasing the reps. I try to do this every day that I don't have class, it only takes a few minutes. I also point and flex ten times on each foot making sure to really articulate. I usually end up doing this while I'm talking on the phone. I've noticed that my feet and calves are getting much stronger. Also, when you're walking around the house, up stairs, at work really *push* the ground away using your feet and calves. I bought the Therabands a couple of months ago but I found them really annoying. I still like them for stretching my hamstrings but the bands either roll up and get really tight or don't provide enough resistance. This of course, could be the result of 'user error';). Anyway, the most important thing for me, no matter what the method, was actually getting myself to do the exercises religiously. Stick with it!

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