Watching our dancers as they perform on stage, you will notice that they all have beautiful ballet feet with extremely high arches. While it might seem like our dancers were born with feet like this, they weren’t. Many of them had to work to increase their arch.
Wondering how they did it? Here is a look at some things our dancers did to improve their arches.
Build Up the Muscles in Your Foot
The stronger the muscles in your feet, the better your arch will look. The following are some simple, yet highly effective exercises that can help you strengthen the muscles in your feet:
Seated Arch Stretch – sit and hold the heel of your foot in your hand. Use your free hand and gently push down on the top of your foot.
Seated Toe Stretch – sit on the floor with your knees bent in front of you and place your hands behind you. Push your weight upwards so your bottom is in the air and your heels are off the floor. Push your weight slightly over your feet.
Toe Presses/Reverse Toe Presses – while standing up take your foot and press the toes into the ground. Push your foot over the toes and stretch them. When finished, lift your foot and then place the top of the toes on the floor. Push your weight over the foot. Make sure you work both feet out.
Using a resistance band can help improve the flexibility of your feet while strengthening the muscles. Regular use of a resistance band will help you improve your arches.
To use a resistance band do the following:
Pick a resistance band that has a resistance level you feel comfortable with – if you are just starting out, use one that doesn’t offer a lot of resistance. The stronger you get the more resistance you will want.
Loop the band around the ball of your foot
Pull back on the ends of the band and flex your foot
Slowly point your foot, pushing into the band.
Flex your foot.
Repeat this several times.
Repeat on the other foot
Resistance bands are great for helping you improve your arches, but it can take a while. If you want to speed up the timeline and get a higher arch faster, consider using a wooden ballet foot stretcher. This small device can help you shape your feet so they have those perfect high arches.
If you want to see results, you must be consistent. This means working out and exercising your feet on a daily basis. Regular exercises will help you build muscle strength and increase flexibility in your feet.
In addition to making sure you are consistent with your exercises, you must also be consistent with your dance classes. Make sure you attend all your dance classes. If you happen to miss one, consider attending one of our open classes so you don’t fall behind.
We know it is difficult to wait, but when it comes to improving your arches you are going to have to be patient. Perfect, highly arched feet don’t just appear overnight. It takes time. If you follow the strengthening exercises we outlined above, you will see improvements.
Want additional help to improve your arches? Attend a class at our School of Ballet Arizona. Our teachers may be able to provide you with tips or even create an individual process that can help you improve your arches. Visit our website to see our schedule of open classes.