Pole dancing can be one of the most rewarding sports you can practice. From nailing new tricks to the amazing pole community, there is so much to enjoy! That joy can sometimes turn to horror when you look at a video of your training and see your feet looking like some kind of monster claw. We've all been there. So here is your ultimate guide on how to get a perfect toe point without having to even think about it!
These are the 3 keys to getting a perfect, automatic toe point every single time.
You need some foot flexibility
If you want the perfect toe point, you will need some flexibility in your feet. The best time to stretch your feet is during training, when your feet are warmed up properly. The exercise is easy: you simply bend your foot for a few seconds, and then bend it back to release the tension. You can repeat this multiple times. I like to do this exercise during pole class, when I'm taking a little break between tricks.
Keep in mind that the point (ha ha) of this exercise is to stretch the arch of your foot - not the toes themselves. This will give you that nice curved foot shape. If it's painful to do this stretch on the floor, you can use a towel or a mat.
You should redefine what a toe point means
A common mistake is to just squeeze the muscles in your foot. This can lead to some very unsightly shapes (e.g. the previously mentioned monster claw). In reality, pointing your feet involves a lot more than just your foot. For the perfect toe point, you want to flex the muscles in your toes, ankle, knee, hip, and glutes.
Think of a ballet dancer, stretching her leg forward and lifting it up. Every single muscle in the leg should be put to work to create that beautiful, controlled shape. So stand up, stretch your leg forward with your toe touching the ground, and flex each muscle group one by one until your entire leg is pointed. Start with your toes, then ankle, knee, hip, and glutes. You will probably notice that as you flex all these muscles, your toes will come off the ground. Repeat this exercise as much as you need for it to feel natural.
Your toe point should be completely automatic
Since you have enough to think about during a choreo or combination, it won't work if you have to think about pointing your feet the whole entire time. As soon as you're doing a difficult trick, you will forget about your feet. This is why you want to train your toe point to be fully automatic. The best way to train this is to point your feet every single time you lift your leg. I'm not talking in pole class, I'm talking about sitting on the couch, working at your desk, doing the dishes; whenever you lift your leg, you point your toe.
It will take some time to get into the habit of doing this, but if you spend a few weeks on this, you will definitely start seeing results. The idea of this exercise is to make a pointed toe the default position for your leg. Once your muscles are used to the feeling of a pointed toe, you will start to notice your toes will be pointed during your pole training, without having to think about it at all.
So there it is: follow these tips, train them, and start seeing yourself with beautiful pointed toes every single time!