Foot Flexers

Moderator: busybusybusy

Post Reply
misshoneysuckle
Nominee
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:46 pm

Foot Flexers

Post by misshoneysuckle » Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:08 pm

Hi everyone.

Looking for opinions on this sort of thing: https://justballet.co.uk/collections/ex ... 0641911047

I know NOTHING about them but my 9 year old has seen them and would like one for Christmas. There seems to be alternatives floating around eBay and amazon etc all at a varying price.

I just wondered if:
a) Anyone has used them and what are their experiences of them? Especially interested in teachers and dancers views.
b) Do you get what you pay for? The video clip on the most expensive one warns against imitations that may risk strain elsewhere.
c) Though I wouldn't let my daughter exercise with these by herself (most likely to take it to her flex classes) still, I'm worried these may be unsafe for her age?

Thank you everyone!
Mx

lyndahill
BAFTA Award
Posts: 546
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:09 pm

Re: Foot Flexers

Post by lyndahill » Fri Oct 14, 2016 5:59 pm

I don't think I would have bought these for my daughter when she was 9, sorry, a little too young in my opinion. My DD's ballet teacher gets them doing these stretches in class with each other and the class ranges from age 13-15, so more for when they are nearing or on pointe maybe.

woody
BRIT Award
Posts: 91
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:54 pm

Re: Foot Flexers

Post by woody » Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:10 pm

Why does your dd want one?

It might be worth checking with her dance teacher - she's a bit too young to be using anything like this unsupervised and it could do more harm than good.

Maybe think about getting a balance board or a turnboard instead.

misshoneysuckle
Nominee
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:46 pm

Re: Foot Flexers

Post by misshoneysuckle » Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:09 pm

She's seen them in use, plus her dance teacher has 'recommended' them to her and 'suggested' her arch could be better... I'm not in any way a 'dance pro' and I certainly couldn't be described as a 'Dance Mom!' To me, uneducated in these things, they look a little brutal on developing limbs...

I think the comment about being suitable for nearing pointe work is pretty much spot on. I certainly don't want her to use anything that is going to risk her natural flex and arch developing further.

She loves her turnboard she got last Christmas - spot on suggestion with that although my wooden floor doesn't...!

Thanks
Mx

2dancersmum
GRAMMY Award
Posts: 465
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:23 am

Re: Foot Flexers

Post by 2dancersmum » Sat Oct 15, 2016 12:09 pm

If you read the information on the foot flexer you refer to, it answers your own question as it says it is not recommended for under age 11.

I have 2 daughters who dance, one professionally and none of them have ever had a teacher who has recommended anything like that to them. If your daughters arches could improve the teacher should be able to advise of simple exercises she can do at home to help. I find it a little concerning that a teacher would be suggesting something like that to a 9 year old.

Alternatively I would post your query on balletcoforum as there are a lot of ballet teachers who use that forum who could advise both on products - and exercises to help you and your daughter.

misshoneysuckle
Nominee
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:46 pm

Re: Foot Flexers

Post by misshoneysuckle » Sat Oct 15, 2016 5:19 pm

2dancersmum wrote:If you read the information on the foot flexer you refer to, it answers your own question as it says it is not recommended for under age 11.

I have 2 daughters who dance, one professionally and none of them have ever had a teacher who has recommended anything like that to them. If your daughters arches could improve the teacher should be able to advise of simple exercises she can do at home to help. I find it a little concerning that a teacher would be suggesting something like that to a 9 year old.

Alternatively I would post your query on balletcoforum as there are a lot of ballet teachers who use that forum who could advise both on products - and exercises to help you and your daughter.

Thank you 2dancersmum. I had indeed read the "not recommended for use under age 11" however the word "unsupervised" was added in this which gives it ambiguity somewhat. It's a commercial product and I'm naturally skeptical about the need for such pieces of 'equipment!' I didn't know about balletcoforum - that's great to know, thank you. I'll pop over and take a look!

woody
BRIT Award
Posts: 91
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:54 pm

Re: Foot Flexers

Post by woody » Sat Oct 15, 2016 11:46 pm

Those hyper-flexible 'banana' feet that everyone seems to want are actually not a strong foot construction. They are a result of natural bone structure in the ankle joint and the shape of the bones in the feet. There isn't a whole lot you can do to change that other than to stretch the ligaments that hold the joints together; and that's probably not advisable while you are still growing.

Agree with others - I don't understand why any teacher would recommend one of these for a 9 year old. They're not really designed for people under a certain age, as their feet won't yet have physically developed enough to withstand this kind of treatment or benefit from it. I've only known one person with one, and she was about 17/18 and in full-time dance training.

Why don't you telephone the Just Ballet shop and ask for advice? They are very knowledgeable and will be able to help you decide whether or not your dd should have one yet.

misshoneysuckle
Nominee
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:46 pm

Re: Foot Flexers

Post by misshoneysuckle » Tue Oct 18, 2016 5:03 pm

Thank you so much everyone. You've confirmed my fears and helped protect my little girls feet!

Mx

woody
BRIT Award
Posts: 91
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:54 pm

Re: Foot Flexers

Post by woody » Tue Oct 18, 2016 8:05 pm

If your dd would really like to improve her arch then the best thing would be a theraband, and do exercises with that. The other thing that is recommended is strengthening exercises - tendus, and lots of them! Make sure she 'pushes away from the floor' and make sure she isn't clenching her toes as well, but keeps them long. Slow steady rises at the barre are good too, and when on the flat she needs to make sure she isn't rolling in or out.

Post Reply