5 Safe Foot Stretches To Renew and Rejuvenate Your Toes + Dancer Friendly Spa Treatments

12:53 PM

After a weekend of dancing (and running backstage around nonstop), I needed some tender loving care for my feet! So I figured I'd share some of my dancer-friendly foot spa tips.

Here are some stretches,  exercises, and pain relief tips to help get your feet feeling better!

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5 Safe Stretches for your Feet

1. Praying Feet. 

This stretch is subtle but important! It helps your feet not cramp up too much, and can also loosen up the muscles around your arch enough to help your arch improve and stretch out without forcing it!

Sitting on the ground, place your fingers in between each of your toes, so it looks like your hand and your feet are clasped in prayer.

Gently work your hands and feet in a circle to increase your range of motion.

2. Snakes

I use these on pointe, and flat. They're a great stretch for your arch!

In any position (I prefer parallel or 1st) demi plié
Stay in plié and press the arches into a forced arch position
Stretch the legs straight
lower the heels

You can reverse it as follows:
Elevé straight into your position
Staying in relevé, demi plie and press the arches over
Staying in plie, lower the heels, controlling the ankles
Stretch the legs straight.

3. Sitting on your Toes

This is a yoga stretch for your toes!

Sitting on your knees, tuck your toes under you. Gently ease your body weight onto your toes until your toes feel like they're fully stretched out (If you stay there too long, it may feel like your toes are going to tear off). Gently ease your body weight back off again, and do some tendus.

4. Foot massage + Toe Pulls

This is amazing to rejuvenate tired feet! Check out the video on how to massage your feet below. (Or send this video to your  friend so they know how to rub your feet when they hurt!)

5. Tennis ball, massage ball, or Peanut ball.

Roll and press your feet into your massager, working under the arch, the heel, and the outside of the foot.

Use a firm tennis ball, a massage ball, or the roller I have in this gif. Avoid using anything completely hard with no give.

Dancer Friendly Spa Treatments

Don't get me wrong, going to get a pedicure is great, but they have a habit of making your feet all soft and pretty again, and I need those callouses. 

1. Foot Salt Soak - for exfoliation and muscle cramps

  • 1/2 cup carrier oil
  • 3 cups epsom salt
  • 1/3 cup pink salt (cause it's pretty, and also exfoliation is great)
  • 10-20 drops of essential oil of choice (I like rosemary, peppermint, and frankincense, which are all great for muscle cramps). 10 for younger dancers, 15-20 for older dancers.
  • Large glass bowl
  • silicon spatula or spoon, to mix

Mix 1/2 cup carrier oil (I like apricot and rosehip) and 10-20 drops essential oil of your choice.

Add the oil to the salt, mixing it well until thoroughly combined.

It should look like damp sand, and hold its shape when cut

Spoon into glass jars and use a tablespoon per foot bath!
You can also put 3-4 tablespoons into your bath if you have sore, tired, crampy muscles. Don't use too much, especially if you use peppermint oil! that stuff is strong!!

2. Ice bath

One of the best ways to relieve muscle pain in your feet is ice! Get a large bowl, fill with cold water, and put your feet in. Add ice a little at a time until it's cold enough. This keeps it from being so cold that it shocks you ;)

Photo via on Visual hunt

3. A pain cream + socks

I've talked about Pain-A-Trate before, but I can't stop harping about it! It's way better than Icy Hot or Tiger Balm (I've used both.) The key difference is, it has tea tree oil in it, so the other oils and chemicals that are used to relax the muscles are absorbed faster and deeper (because of the tea tree). Contact me if you'd like to learn how you can get some.

Another of my favorites is to mix these oils into a roller bottle and top with a carrier of choice, roll on the bottom of the feet, and put on socks!

3 drops Peppermint
3 drops Blue Heat
2 drops Rosemary
2 drops Frankincense

 Do not use this essential oil blend on children under the age of 6.

Take good care of those feet! Read more:

Padding, Protection, and Pain Prevention for Pointe
4 Stretches for backstage
Safe stretching techniques - article written by me for Zarely.com

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