5 Ways to Get Stronger Ankles for Dancers

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The ankle is that one unique body part which balances us carries our whole-body weight and makes our movement flexible and easy.

Our ankles for the best support of our body hence needs to be taken care of all the time.

Obviously, with a damaged ankle, you will not be able to perform any kind of sport, dance or any other physical activity which involves the movement of legs.

ankle strengthening for dancers

Especially when you dance you jump a lot and for this reason, your ankles are at high risk of getting injuries like Achilles tendinitis, ankle sprains, shin splints, and heel spurs.

Also, the ligaments attached to the ankles can get ruptured or stretched too much due to the extreme pressure put on them which creates tension and ultimately leads to your inflexibility and extreme pain.

5 Ways for Dancers to Make Their Ankles Stronger

If you are a dancer (whether beginner or a professional), you need not worry about your ankles anymore.

We have listed down the best five ways through which you can make sure you have better and stronger ankles for better future prospects in your dancing career…

1- Warm-up before dancing

Warming up is an essential part of any activity. You cannot just get out of bed and start your Ballet, Salsa or Tango.

Your body needs some advance notice that it is about to go through some rigorous workout. Warming up helps in preparing your body for a dance activity that you want to take.

You can warm up your ankles and the muscles in the lower leg part by trying to draw each letter of the English alphabet series with your foot.

This can be done anywhere you want. This helps to increase the blood flow to the muscles of the lower leg area.

2- Learn the art of balancing

The above-mentioned methods were basically for enhancing the health and preventing your ankles from getting any injury.

This method, on the other hand, is for making your ankles stronger.

Try to practice the art of balancing by standing on one foot for one minute.

When it is done, then try it with another leg. By doing this you will be able to know how much you can balance your posture.

Balancing exercises provide better strength to your ankles as it maintains the balance of the body while performing the dance styles like Tap dance, Kathak, Bharatnatyam, etc.

Also, this is a great way to get stronger feet for dance like Ballet.

3- Do the scarf exercise

Scarf exercise is a very unique and healthy way to increase the strength of your ankles.

What you need to do is, scatter a scarf on the floor and then place your foot in it.

Then try to grab the scarf through your toes and pull it inward towards your heel, until you reach the end of the scarf.

You can repeat this exercise for fifteen-twenty times with both legs. You can also reverse the direction, by starting inward and then taking the scarf outwards.

By performing it in both the directions by both feet, you can strengthen your ankles in a faster way.

Alternatively, you can also try adding ankle weights to your ankle while dancing which will help in strengthening them better.

Ankle weights for dancers are easily available online and are bought at a very low price.

4- Wear ankle straps or braces

Ankle straps, ankle supports or braces are a kind of bands that are worn around the ankles.

They reduce the pressure that is directly transferred to ankles due to heavy movements in sports or dance.

As these ankle brace for dancers provide a larger surface area for the pressure to be scattered into, these help in providing better stability and support to the foot arch along with your ankles.

Wearing ankle supports while you are dancing is very important, as it takes care of your ankle by relieving off the pressure.

Especially if you have already incurred an injury on the ankles before, it is strictly recommended that you wear them whenever you dance.

It will help you save your ankles from any further injuries.

5- Keep a check on your weight

The more the weight of your body, the higher will be the pressure on your ankles, which will make it more fragile and weaker.

In fact, if there is too much weight put on your ankles the ligaments can get damaged and can cause inflexibility with pain.

In this condition, you will not be able to play or dance for long without experiencing any pain in your ankles.

As a dancer, it is therefore essential for you to keep a check on what you eat and how you eat.

Of course, it is not a hard and fast rule to do that, but if you want stronger ankles without any injuries on them, make sure that your body weight is in check.

As a dancing student is you think you are a bit obese it is good to also indulge yourself in some basic exercises like running, yoga, etc.

Can Too Much Of Dancing Cause Ankle Injuries in Dancers?

Yes, it can, especially your ankle is at risk if you are involved in too much of dancing without proper protection and support.

In a dancing class, dancers are involved in immediate twisting motions and some powerful direction changes.

Both of these can be dangerous for your feet and can cause strain, heel pain or an injury. In the worst case, it can also cause a foot fracture for dancers.

Ballet dancers who wear pointe shoes sometimes also suffer from toe pain and fracture.

The only solution to keep your ankle, feet, and toe protected is by wearing a proper ankle brace, compression socks and shoes that are meant for dancers.

These will not only help you keep safe but also help in giving a better dance performance which your audience love to watch.

What are Some Other Common Dance Injuries?

Dance is an activity that demands many physical moves along with intense jumping.

For many dancers – their training can even extend for several hours in a day.

According to studies, dancers who spend more than 5 hours in a day dancing are at increased risk of getting injuries such as fractures due to muscle overuse and stress.

While majority of these injuries involve injury to leg, ankle and foot, there are few other body areas that can get injured. These are:

  • Hip
  • Knees
  • Lower back

Many times, dancers by profession are also at greater risk to develop arthritis in their ankle, foot, knee, hip, and back.

The conclusion

Dancers are always at risk of getting injuries to their ankle and foot. However, the rate of injury is found to be lower than as compared to athletes.

While completely preventing the injury may not be possible, proper nutrition and usage of protective gears for dancers can help a lot no matter what age they are.

Hopefully by following the above tips also help you a lot to prevent the injuries often.

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