Theraband Foot Exercises for Pointe
I always worry about recommending ballet exercises to do at home, because there's always a risk you'll get out of alignment, and do more harm than good. That's why most of the pointwork exercises recommended on this site aren't standard ballet ones!
Theraband foot exercises are a good example of safe home ballet exercises. Resistance bands are a great addition to your pre-pointe repertoire for other reasons too:
- You don't need a barre or a clear space to do them;
- Your foot is working against resistance, so it's very strengthening;
BUT there is a problem: because you're working against resistance, if you do the exercise wrongly, you can do damage very quickly.
I'm sure you've seen theraband exercises like the video below, which involve flexing and stretching your toe against the resistance of the band. DON'T DO THEM!!
The problem is that it encourages you to curl your toes over when you point. That can cause injury and pain - and it's also a terrible habit to get into, which will make pointe work harder.
It's vital for pointe work that if you're going to practice pointing your toes, your toes are absolutely straight - curl your toes en pointe, and you're setting yourself up for injury.
More useful for pointe work is the exercise below, which strengthens the ankles:
Therabands on eBay