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  • Ashley Brown

Foot Series, Part 1

Are your dogs barking? My Teacher in college use to ask us halfway through a rehearsal if our dogs were barking. I hadn't heard that phrase used in the ballet world, so at first I was surprised, but now I hear them (the feet dogs) barking. Those dogs take a lot of beating from our walking, standing, dancing (in pointe shoes maybe), and the fact as humans we are upright on our feet. The function of the feet are "an elastic arch structure which must be resilient to absorb jars and shocks that occur as the foot strikes the ground". Just imagine how many strikes and jars your feet go through the whole day. Because of this I have created a quick little series to help educate, heal and support those who might need some more foot care in their routine.

Exercise 1: The Flex/Point

Step 1: Start with flexed feet and slowly articulating your flex (dorsiflex) into a point (plantar flex).

Step 2: half point or 3/4 point

Step 3, Point!

Step 4, 5, and 6: reverse

Exercise 1: The Flex/Point with Resistance band

Here is a more advanced version with the Theraband or a resistance band. This is for those who might already have a strong range of movement and/or the exercises above become less challenging.

With the resistance band in one or both hands start in a flexed position. You may feel a stretch in the foot, calf or back of the knee depending on your body.

Step 2: 3/4 point. Watching the toes for alignment with the knee up to the ceiling.

Step 3: Full Point. Again watching for alignment of the ankle and the knee.

Why should we practice flex/point? In our modern day lifestyle we are not getting the full range of motion in our whole foot. As we age we begin to loose strength in those little tiny muscles and ligaments in between those little tiny bones (26 to be precise). Thus leaving our modern feet with more risk of injury and discomfort. I will balance from week to week with strengthening and stretching the muscles of the feet, ankles and calves. I hope you enjoy!

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