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.
Tendus for the Toes
Sitting on the floor with the legs in parallel, wrap a Thera-Band around the ball and toes of the foot, holding the ends of the band, and tendu side, turned in. Keeping the toes straight and long, flex and extend only from the metatarsals, 10 times.