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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Is this stretching method safe?


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anouther, advanced student showed me a stretch for the ankles. She told me she uses this every day and has good results.

I wrap the theraband around my foot and cross the band under my achilles tendon. I sit on the floor and hold the theraband in both hand and stretch the leg out in a perhaps 60 degree angle from the floor. When I do it, I feel a stretch on the top of my foot and on my shinbone. I did this exercise after strengthening my ankles with the theraband (flex, demi point, point, demipoint, flex)


It´s hard to describe, so I took two pics of it:




What do you think about this stretching method? Is it recommendable to stretch the ankle? Does ist work?



Which other exercises with theraband are working to stretch and strengthen the ankle?


Thank you so much for your help! :thumbsup:

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Maidei, I don't like this one at all! I don't like anything that puts excess pressure on the Achilles tendon. While it might be safe for most people, I really don't think I would do it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ms Leigh, I apologize for not answering - but I dind´t see my own thread because you have moved it :) ( and I´m a little older than 22, so I haven´t searched here...). So I didn´t mean to be rude or something like that.


I thank you for your answer! Well, I never thought about the achilles tendon in this exercise but you are so right. Thank you for that.

I really liked the stretch feeling at this method but I donßt want to ruin my achilles tendon.....

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Maidei, there should have been a link where the post had been to show you where it was. I don't even remember where it was now. Probably on health forum? Anyway, now I need to move it to Adult Ballet Students.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I agree with Ms. Leigh's thoughts on this method potentially putting undue pressure on the Achilles. I've only ever heard of simply passing the band under the ball of the foot and holding the ends, and I find that to be sufficient. In this position, you can point and flex, and also wing and sickle the foot to work the lateral muscles of the lower leg. Of course, this should be done with attention to the alignment of the foot as it passes from one extreme to the other. The movement should happen in one plane, as though your foot is pressed between two panes of glass. From point to flex, it should move as though you were rising en eleve and not veer to either side. From wing to sickle, it should take a straight path from one direction to the other, and not an arc. Performing the movements slowly and deliberately is much more beneficial than doing them quickly, as it engages the muscles in eccentric contraction, which builds muscle mass more efficiently.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I know that using a Theraband strengthens the ankle and foot muscles...but is there an ankle stretch that can be done with (or without) a Theraband...like the OP showed in the photos (but isn't possibly damaging to the Achilles)? I only know of one stretch, without a band, where you sit on your knees, and also on your heels, and slightly lift each knee until you feel a stretch in the top of your foot. I find this uncomfortable, as I have had knee surgery.


Any other good foot stretches that don't involve a partner??

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Tendus. :) Slowly, carefully, working through the floor. Also other basic barre exercises, like pas de cheval, dégagé, frappé, and elevés and relevés.


That exercise on the knees sounds like one of the worst I have heard of. :o Please don't do that one!!!

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Yes, that one on the knees tends to lead to sickling - its so easy to sit with your toes tucked in together, and as they are under you, you cant see what they're doing (and even if you start with the feet straight, they easily rotate in). We do this one often in my yoga class, and it really annoys me!



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I just was able to look at those two pictures now. We do something very similar to this, but it doesn't wrap around the achilles tendon, we kind of "X" the band under our heels. It's a little tricky at first to do, but when it's properly crossed under the heel, and the heel is placed on the ground, it doesn't snap off as the heel pins the band onto the floor. In this theraband wrap method, we flex our toes into demi repeatedly. I never really considered it an ankle stretch as much as a way to provide resistance for flexing toes into demi.

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