Pointe preparation

I am 15 years old and I have read all of your newsletters dealing with the feet and ankles and they have helped so much. Although, I’m starting to have some new problems with my feet. I have noticed after performances and warm-ups my ankles and a muscle between my calf and the heel of my foot becomes very sore the next day. I do not know if it has to do with wrong use of extrinsic muscles or using too much pressure on my feet. I am about to start pointe soon and want to correct this problem before i dangerously injure my ankles even more. Please help me recover and prevent this issue.

Thank you, Sara

It sounds like you are talking about the Achilles tendon, Sara. The fact that you are feeling fatigue the next day is giving you information that either that muscle is too weak – or – too tight for what you are asking it to do. There are 2 muscles that make up the Achille’s tendon. They are the gastrocnemius muscle and the soleus muscle.

Gastroc-soleus copy

From the information you have given me it is challenging to know what exactly is going on with your calf muscles. Do you tire after jumping on one leg? How deep is your demi plié? Are you in a growth spurt? All of these things will influence your feet and calves.

What I would strongly suggest is that you ask your parents for Lisa Howell’s Perfect Pointe Book. Click here to read about it ….


Lisa is an incredible dance physiotherapist from Sydney, Australia who put together an course for dancers preparing to go onto pointe. This book will guide you through a series of exercises that are essential to master if you want to go on pointe. She has done such a good job with this book (you can easily download it from the internet) that I don’t need to create any products for pointe preparation – because Lisa has done such a good job with this one! Lisa definitely understands the science of dance training and I highly recommend this book.

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