Pre Pointe maintenance: why it’s important to keep up with your exercise program even after you have been given approval

InspiredPhysioJadeIt can be a very exciting time in a young dancer’s life when they finally get approval to begin pointe. Usually after having put in a lot of hard work for months the opportunity to begin pointe arrives and too often we see dancers forget all about their exercises! This can not only lead to injury but also to ‘regression’ whereby the dancer can lose a lot of what they have worked so hard for. The term ‘use it or lose it’ really fits here. As dancers, your body is your tool. Just like a car or house, if you don’t maintain it and look after it, it wont look after you!

What should you be maintaining regularly? Key areas include rises for strength and technique (single and double rises), stretches and strength exercises for turn out and pointe range, foot and toe exercises (toe swapping/doming/piano keys) general flexibility for the legs/hips and ankles as well as core exercises to maintain posture and hip positioning. What were the key areas that you had to work on during your preparation? Usually that gives you a clue as to the areas that you were weakest in and are the things that you should focus on maintaining.

How often should I do my maintenance exercises? I usually recommend that dancers spend at least 3x nights/week fitting some form of maintenance work into their schedule. This does not need to take long and in most cases can be done in 15-20mins. Some girls like to fit it in between dance classes or before they dance which also acts as a good warm up/conditioning.

If you are unsure as to what specifically you should be doing to maintain your pointe work then make an appointment to see us and we can devise a specific program for you based on your needs. Remember that every dancer is different and what one dancer may need to work on is different to the next.