Chicago Dance Supply | November 18th, 2010 | Posted in How To, Wellness


Theraband, or elastic latex bands, help to work on strengthening and coordinating muscle groups within their range of motion.  It is typically seen in a physical rehabilitation setting, however, dancers in the know also use this handy tool in their daily training routines.

Theraband:  To the Pointe

Here are a few exercises that you can do to strengthen your feet with Theraband. You will need a length of Theraband about 1 yard long.  Remember to do the movement slowly and with control.

Other general guidelines:

* Do each exercise on both legs. Increase repetitions and frequency as you gain strength.
* Be aware of your ankle alignment. Your goal is to prevent “sickling” your ankle throughout each movement.
* Remember that if you feel undue pain during the exercise, stop immediately. You may be overdoing it or aggravating an old injury. Take a break and try again later. Consult with a rehab specialist if your problem continues.

Exercise 1:  Flex and Pointe

Works the ankle stabilizers, strengthens the arch and toes, stretches the achilles tendon.

Flex

1. Sit with your leg stretched in front of you in parallel with your knee straight. Position the center of the Theraband beneath the ball of your foot and under the toes.
2. Start with your foot flexed. Take up the slack and keep the band parallel to your legs. Keep the tension constant by keeping your arms in a fixed position.
3. Slowly stretch the foot into a pointed position. Hold for 3 counts then return to the starting position. Repeat.

Pointe

Exercise 2: Toe Crawl

Works the arch and toe flexors; helps to prevent plantar fascitis.

1. Can be done sitting or standing. Lay out the Theraband flat. Position the foot lengthwise on the Theraband.

Stretch

2. Start with your foot relaxed. Then extend your toes while keeping the rest of your foot on the band.
3. Curl your toes as you try to gather up the band underneath your foot. Hold for 3 counts then return to the starting position. Try to gather up more of the band with each repetition.

Contract!

Share your favorite Theraband exercise with us!

References
Get Stronger by Stretching with Thera-Band by Noa Spector-Floc
Therapeutic Exercises by Caroline Corning Creager

Model
Hannah Leben