Does your toes get cramp every time you try to point your toes?
Want to have a nicer pointe technique?
Want to point your toes without curling?
Toe cramping or toe curling while pointing are all due to poor technique while pointing your toes.
If you are experiencing cramping while dancing it means that you are being overly tense and using the wrong muscles group to actually do the pointing motion same as if your toes are curling it means that you are not using your foot muscles (aka intrinsic muscles) to achieved those beautiful pointe but instead using your long extrinsic muscles to do the movement.
So what is intrinsic muscles and what is extrinsic muscles?
The muscles acting on the foot can be divided into two distinct groups; extrinsic and intrinsic muscles.
The intrinsic muscles are located within the foot and are responsible for the fine motor actions of the foot mainly balance and arch control.
Intrinsic muscles are foot muscles that start and finish in your foot and those muscles are vital for anyone who does any kind of performing arts. It will give you stability but also help you achieve a perfect arch on your pointe without injuring your ankle and foot.
If your intrinsic muscles are weak, you will end up using your extrinsic muscles.
Using extrinsic muscles to do your pointe will lead to many foot and ankle injuries in the future.
Our feet have exactly almost identical muscles as our hands so technically whatever your hands can do, if we train it well our feet should be able to do as well hence that is why you see people who lose their upper limb are able to do intricate movement with their feet. If you have always worn very supportive shoes most of the time, at home or when you run, you most likely have been neglecting your foot control muscles which are important for balance and manoeuvring the terrain when we run. Hence you rely on your extrinsic muscles to do both the actual dance movement and also the balancing, pointing, arch control. Therefore it is inevitable that they will eventually get overused and get injured. Following this video I’ll show you some exercises that you can do to start engaging your foot control muscles and in turn reduce the load of your extrinsic muscles which will then help improve your overall efficiency of your dancing and reduce your discomfort while pointing.
Keeping in mind these tips/advice are of general nature and do not take your injuries/history into considerations. If you are experiencing any pain or would like an individualised tailored program to help improve your performing arts sports, I highly recommend you speak to any one of your physiotherapists to guide you through your dance journey.
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