How Do I Achieve En Pointe Strength?
Using the correct technique in the ballet class is a fantastic way to strengthen your feet, legs and core. If you are looking for some more specific ways to strengthen certain muscle groups that will help you when dancing en pointe, try these out:
Single leg parallel rises to strengthen your calf muscles. Make sure your knee is straight and you are rising to full height. You should be able to do 25 rises on one leg to be ready to dance en pointe.
Bridging to strengthen your gluteals. Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet on the floor. Roll your pelvis back so that you flatten your spine on the floor and continue to roll up through the spine so your pelvis is in the air. Reverse the motion to come back down.
Doming to strengthen the intrinsic muscles of the feet. Maintain floor contact with your heel and ball of the foot. Ensure your toes are relaxed (toes straight, not clawed) and gently squeeze together the metatarsal heads (knuckles of the toes). You will feel a swell in the muscles lying between the long bones of the foot.
These exercises are not an alternative for medical advice and should only be completed if pain free. If you have persistent pain, recurring injuries, or that something just doesn’t feel right, consult with your physiotherapist.
A pre-pointe assessment is a great way identify any areas that need special attention in your preparation for pointe work. Your local dance physiotherapist can complete these assessments.
Good luck in your pointe shoes!