Students need strong feet for pointe work, but few concentrate on their toes specifically. "Fatigue sets in and they start knuckling," says Atlanta Ballet podiatrist Dr. Frank Sinkoe. This puts excess pressure on the nails, causing bruising. The exercises below strengthen the arch and intrinsic muscles, which flex the toes and support the feet.
On one foot, relevé to demi-pointe on count one. Hold count two, rolling down on three. Complete three sets of 10 in both parallel and turned-out positions.