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Another foot flexibility question


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My foot is not very flexible. Although I have a high arch and when i get down into the spider pose i can almost get a straight line from the ankle to the toes, as soon as i straighten that line is gone. When I have one leg on the bar and my teacher comes by to stretch my foot further, it does stretch a lot more. Does this mean that I can eventually build the ability to stretch my foot that far on my own without my teacher holding it? For example, I can lift my leg very high when I have a bar to support my leg, but I cannot lift this high on my own. Does that mean that I have the flexibility but not the strength in my leg? Could the same be true for my foot? I have the flexibility to stretch my foot a lot more when I'm holding it, but not the strength to hold the foot in that stretched position as soon as I take my hand off of my foot? I hope this makes sense.

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This looks like a strength issue to me.


This used to happen to me too. Lots of tendus and releves should help! Come to think of it I think just think of using the foot through the floor with every exercise at the barre and in the centre will strengthen your feet. Now my feet looks quite decent (when I actively think about pointing my feet! lol)


I still don't have the strength to hold my legs up. I reckon that's a core muscle strength issue though.




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I was just thinking of a question along the same lines yesterday... :thumbsup:


Im also in the high arched but not very flexible foot category. Ive been doing all the regular exercises (tendu, pas de cheval etc) and Ive also been stretching my feet under my couch (while supporting my Achilles with both hands of course). I noticed that the weight of the couch can push my foot down (arch it) waaay further than my hands alone (which cant move it much). Actually, with my feet under the couch they look very archy and pretty indeed :lol:


So I guess I have the same question, if with pressure (although alot more for me than TH28754 it sounds like) you can achieve a certain bendiness, does this mean the potential for the fleixbility is there, the joints are willing to move this far and eventually its achievable under ones own power? (I need a praying icon here :D )

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If there is flexibility there, but it's not working yet, it may well be that it will get better.....over time.....a LONG time! As adult students, you must remember that you have not been doing this since childhood, and you are asking the muscles to do something they are not trained to do. There is stiffness there, and it will take a long time and a lot of patience. How much better is unknown, as it will depend on the amount of innate flexibility and how well they are worked consistently, over a long period of time.


That said, we do not really like the idea of putting the feet under heavy objects to stretch them. Manual manipulation and work with a theraband, in addition to all of the tendus, pas de chevals, etc., are more effective and much safer. :thumbsup:

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As per usual Victoria’s advice is spot on. I can attest to the fact that substantial improvement can occur with both time and lots of practice. When I started dance, my feet were pretty much what you’d expect from a non dancing old man. Now, though certainly not great, they aren’t that bad. In fact, I was just saying that to myself while pointing one foot wearing a pair of jazz shoes the other day.


They got that way by doing lots and lots of classes and lots of home practice over many years. Modern class also helped as the class I’ve gone to for years emphasizes strengthening the feet. Improvement was so slow that I never noticed it until years after I noticed my feet were quite unballetic.


Another thing I think is good for the adult dancer is to not worry about what you do looks like, but rather the action itself and the feeling of the action. All of the routine ballet exercises we do in class have specific muscle actions, actions which can be enhanced by imagery and feeling the movement. The “look” comes from doing those things habitually over time. And it may never come, which is also just fine. We adults will never be nor will we ever look like professionals.

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