Beginner Ballet Tips: Strengthening Ankles

Français : Pied sur la pointe

Ankle strength plays a huge role in ballet, especially pointe. I’ve struggled a lot with my ankles so far, having to take some time off because of bad cases of tendonitis. However, I’ve been working to improve them through various exercises. Regardless of whether you’ve had ankle injuries in the past, these ankle strengthening exercises are useful to get ready for pointe work as well as ballet in general.

Prehab: Strengthen Your Ankles: While I was told to stay off my ankles in ballet, several of the different doctors that I saw recommended the last exercise in this article, writing with your feet. I find it’s super easy to fit this one into your routine because you can do it while watching TV or while lying in bed.

12 Ways to Build Ankle Strength:  This article, from Active.com lists a wide variety of ways to strengthen ankles, including Theraband exercises which are my favorite. Again, some of these, such as the balancing ones can be done pretty much at anytime.

What other exercises have you come across to strengthen your ankles?

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  • I’m also a fan of the theraband exercises for ankle strengthening & flexibility training. Another good one is to stand on the edge of the stairs (preferably the bottom stair while holding on to the hand rail) with only your toes & the front/ball of your feet on the stair and the majority of your foot in mid air. Sink your heels down as low as you can, then go up on demi pointe as high as you can an repeat. This can be with both feet or balanced on one at a time, and it’s simultaneously great your your calves.

  • Great post! This is so important. As a lifelong ballerina I
    can tell you if you don’t strengthen your ankles you’ll pay for it
    eventually.

  • The strength and flexibility of the feet and legs is very important for any form of dancing and specially for ballet dancing.
    I would suggest carrying light dumbbells in hands and moving your body up and down. You should be on your toes while moving up and on your feet while coming down.
    This will help strengthening of the calf muscles and the muscles in the feet.