How to improve foot and ankle strength? : 5, 6, 7, 8, Dance!
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How to improve foot and ankle strength?

by Amy Greaves on 03/22/21

No matter what style of dance, fitness or gymnastics that you do, your feet and ankles will be subject to pressure and strain. It is not unlikely for a dancer at some point in his/her life to suffer from an ankle or foot injury. To help strengthen your ankles and feet below are my top three exercises.

Remember, if you have any specific concerns about your foot and ankle strength please see your doctor.


1# Rises

Sounds very basic! But rising is a great exercise, especially for those doing pointe work. Why not try this:

-          Start facing the barre in parallel.

-          Rise slowly onto demi pointe.

-          When you reach demi pointe hold the position for a count of 5.

-          Then lower again slowly through demi to flat.

-          Repeat this exercise 10 times. Then repeat the rises with your feet turned out in first position. When you feel you have mastered this exercise do it without holding onto the barre.


2# Controlled lunges

A little harder than rising, but here we go!

-          Place one foot in front of another, some distance apart in a parallel position.

-          Place your hands on your hips.

-          Keeping your back straight and your core engaged, slowly bend both knees into a deep lunge.

-          Hold the deep lung for a count of 5.

-          Slowly return to straight legs.

-          Repeat the exercise 10 times on each leg.


3# Fondu and Rise in low passe

A great exercise for balance as well as your ankles and feet!

-          Start facing the barre with your feet in parallel.

-          One foot pointed in a low passe position.

-          Keep your back straight and look ahead.

-          Fondu the supporting leg slowly and then hold the bend for 5 counts.

-          Return to your start position.

-          Then rise onto your supporting leg, keeping the other leg in passe position.

-          Repeat the exercise 5 times on each leg.


Top Tips: Do the exercises slowly to increase control. Rise onto your first three toes, don’t put your weight onto your little toes. Keep your heel on the floor when you fondu. Try to maintain stability as you lower into the deep lunge.


The above exercises can be performed as part of a warm up or as part of an ankle conditioning session. Always make sure you are in a safe space to exercise. Please consult your teacher or doctor if you have any concerns.


So tell me, what’s your favourite conditioning exercises? 

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