Updated: Feb 16
If you go to any Irish dance class, you’ll probably hear the teacher say “stay up on your toes,” “toe height,” or “heels dropping” at least 100 times. Let’s give our teachers a break from talking about our toe height and correct it once and for all!
Have you tried to improve your toe height by mindlessly performing calf raises? This is a start but there is so much more involved in improving your toe height.
Improve the strength & control of your entire posterior chain
posterior chain - primary muscles on the backside of your body starting with the muscles in your low back, glutes, hamstrings, and calves.
Pushing up higher on your toes does not only take strength in your calves, but strength in your entire posterior chain. Start with mindfully using your posterior chain when doing basic movements, like a calf raise. This should feel far different than a regular calf raise and be incredibly challenging when performed correctly.
improve the mobility of your ankle & toes
Just like improving your turnout by increasing the mobility in your hips, you must increase the mobility in your ankles and toes to see improvement in your toe height. If your toes and ankles can’t physically get in the correct positioning, you will be limited in how high you can stand on your toes.
Follow along with the video below to learn two exercises to perform daily to improve the strength of your posterior chain and mobility of your ankle and toes. Remember to listen closely to the small details of the exercises so you are engaging all the necessary muscles to see improvements.
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TWO EXERCISES TO IMPROVE TOE HEIGHT FOR IRISH DANCE