Monday, May 9, 2011

Toe Taps

This is a two exercise series. I recommend that you not do one exercise without the other. Some people will feel foot cramping if they attempt exercise two without first doing exercise 1.

These exercises came from a postural restructuring course I took along with some adjustments to include exercises I used to teach my baby ballerinas in order to strengthen their feet for pointe work.

If you think about it your posture and balance are grounded in your feet. Strong subtle feet give you a better postural base of support.


Toe Taps
Seated Form
Sit forward in a sturdy chair. You want to have between 6 and 8” between your back and the back of the chair. Your knees should be together - touching. Your feet should also be together – heels and balls of the feet touching. If you cannot hold your knees and feet together, make certain that they are as close to touching as is possible and work toward bringing them together over time.
You will place your hands on your knees, your thighs or on your hips. If you place them on your hips you should bring your elbows forward slightly and keep your shoulders relaxed. You’ll naturally tend to slump over time, try to sit tall instead, keeping your shoulders over your hips.
Exercise one
1. Seated as above you want your feet slightly in front of your knees. If you look over your knees you should see the front part of your feet.
2. Beginning with your right foot, lift your toes (heels stays on floor) toward your shin and then slap your foot and toes back down onto the floor. Repeat this action for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Your goal is to lift your toes as high as possible and slap your foot and toes down as hard as possible. The heel remains on the floor and acts like a hinge. This is more important rather than moving quickly. Your knees and heels remain in contact at all times.
3. After 30 seconds to 1 minute has passed lift your toes up as above then pivot the foot out to the side and slap them down to as far to the right as possible keeping your knees together. Then lift them again and pivot in to slap them down next to, and touching the left foot. You are moving in a half “V” pattern again lifting as high as possible and slapping down as hard as possible Be sure that all of your toes hit the ground with each slap. Again the heel remains on the floor acting like a hinge. Your knees and heels remain in contact at all times.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with the left foot.
5. Repeat patterns both patterns using both feet together.
6. Remember to stay seated tall with your chin level and knees and heels together to the degree possible for your body for the entire time you are tapping.

Exercise Two
  1. Sit as above but with heels right under your knees. If you look over your knees you shouldn’t see more than the tips of your toes.
  2. Beginning with your right foot lift the heel of your foot off of the floor until you are in “high heel” position on the ball of the foot. Lower the heel next to the heel of your left foot. (Knees stay very close to each other throughout.) Repeat this movement 8 times.
Next lift the right heel off the floor until only your tip toes are on the floor. Lower it next to the heel of your left foot and again repeat this movement 8 times.
  1. Repeat the entire sequence on the left foot.
  2. Repeat the entire sequence using both feet together.
5. Remember to stay seated tall for the entire time you are tapping. Keep your chin level, knees and heels together to the degree possible for your body.

*This exercise should not be considered medical advice. If you develop pain as a result of this exercise or existing pain becomes worse please discontinue using it immediately.



Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is. - Isaac Asimov

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