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Foot Muscles Strength Training And Pointe Shoes

Strength training for getting into pointe shoes.

Every foot movement you do at the ballet barre in class, will build strong enough foot muscles for pointe work, if you learn to push down into the floor, creating resistance in the motion. At the same time, you pull up away from the leg movement with your core muscles – your very low abdominal muscles. At the end of a battement tendu, you are pulling outward away from the body, and pulling up into the center of the body. This two-way pull results in the long lean leg look that ballet dancers strive for.

If you think about how many times you brush your foot along the floor in a ballet class – each and every tendu, every degage, every time you leave first or third or fifth position to do anything – you push into the floor, until the foot leaves it – you can get the picture of how your foot muscles are getting stronger this way. If you do not learn to use the floor like this, every chance you get, you lose the benefit of all those many movements.

Another important factor for strength and muscle tone is relaxing muscles between the barre exercises. Stretching out the back of the calves should be done frequently. During exercises, every time you do a demi plie, make sure you relax right into it, as far as you can go, keeping the heels firmly on the floor.

You can add to your foot strength by learning several special pointe shoe exercises that target the sole of the foot muscles. These are not ballet class exercises, but will make a huge difference in your ballet foot control. These exercises will increase your balance and the hold you have on your ballet positions, for every rise, releve, and jump that you do.


I recommend this superb and expertly written dancers guide about preparing  foot muscles for pointe shoes.

The Ballet Bible Complete Package

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  1. This is a great post on ballet beginner pointe shoes. Thank you for sharing! I will stumble, digg and share on twitter. Great job!

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