Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Ball of the Foot

Posted by terrepruitt on June 29, 2010

We often step on the ball of our foot.  We often call it the toe.  The Ball of the foot is one of the 52 Moves of Nia.  Ballerinas are actually on their toes and they do it in special shoes that have a support in them where their toes are.  We usually are stepping onto the BALL of our foot when we step on the “toe”.  It is the ball portion of the foot that supports the weight when we are “on our toes”.

This is plantar flexion and assists with keeping the ankle joint flexible.  If you are standing on the foot you are flexing it can also assist with strength.

In a Nia workout class we do all types of movement and sometimes we are using the ball of our foot.  We could be stepping or standing.  The moment might call for us stepping ONTO the ball either forward, back, or even laterally.  Or it could be that we are standing and just rising up. This could be a position where we stay either in a display of balance or it could be a display of agility, a temporary place where we quickly move onto another move.  Either way it is all part of how the body was designed to be moved.

It might be a nice idea to keep in mind that moving and working the foot in different ways than it is used to being worked might cause some muscle soreness or tenderness through the entire leg.  If you are never on your the ball of your feet and suddenly your dancing a few moments on them, your calves might remind you of it later that day or even the next day.  Same goes for the whole foot, if you are not in the habit of moving on the whole foot your ENTIRE leg could end up letting you know you worked some leg muscles.

As with the whole foot, the ball of the foot can be used in the stances of Nia.

Just as I have done with the heel lead and the whole foot, I am going to suggest that you take note of this foot position.  As you walk notice when your stride gets to the point of the ball of your foot.  As you reach for something on the top shelf and you balance on your toes, notice the flex of your foot and the muscles in your calves.  As you walk through your day notice the ball of your foot.

10 Responses to “Ball of the Foot”

  1. I used to put on my sister’s ballerina toes shoes when I was little. It was fun. I definitely have to go up on the balls of my feet to kiss Jason because he is so tall. I love your foot pic and anklet. It’s amazing what our feet can do. I think I would really like Nia. I had a lot of trouble with Plantar Factitis from running and I bet it would help. 🙂


    • That is cute you have to stand on tip toe to kiss your tall honey. You’ll have strong flexible ankles.

      Our feet are amazing. You can tell they were designed and not just thrown together.

      I bet you and SuziCate would love Nia.

      I have heard that Nia helps some people with that condition. Everyone has different things that help different situations.

      Thank you so much for taking time to stop by and comment. I know you are super busy. I really appreciate it.


  2. niachick said

    I love the ball of the foot. I remember in 2001 when I first became a White Belt Teacher my toes were not limber at all. Through the years, my feet have become quite a bit more flexible. One thing Debbie mentioned to me with performing the “stepping back on to the ball of the foot” is to work toward having my heel completely vertical. It’s taken me years to master that but I’m there!!!

    My own plantar fasciatiis is unpleasant to deal with from time to time; however, I do find that Nia does not bother it, particular when I’m conscious of my Base movements.

    Thanks again Terre. Another fab blog!!!




    • Good to hear that you worked — in natural time, towards self healing (see how I was able to throw those Nia catch phrases out there?).

      I am working my way through posting about the 52 moves. It will help if I don’t double up (like I did with the bow stance). Oh, reminds me I could link to that somehow.

      Anyway . . . . thank you so much for reading and commenting. I love having you as my distant Nia Teacher/Sister. HUGS and LOVE to you, Jillicious!


  3. bsain said

    This is great Terre. I actually think about the way I walk and plant my foot quite often. I always think I want to get the most out of every step and work the right muscles all the time — I know, I’ve gone a little overboard in my quest for a healthy body!
    Thank you for always having helpful advice and tips on here for me!


    • You are so kind, Becky. Thank you for stopping by and sharing that you are aware of the way you walk.

      It is nice to bring awareness into our everyday lives.

      Hugs—-big squishy (like Dani always says) sparkly ones!


  4. judy said

    I was reading recently about walking meditation, and in one of the “how to” articles, they spent such a long time talking about noticing your feet. Eventually you try to notice your whole body, but I realized as I was reading how little attention I pay to my feet – despite the fact that they are the point of connection… me to the earth. Today, when I walk Lexi, I’ll concentrate on the ball of my foot, what it feels like to roll through it and use my whole foot in the act of walking. Thank you for the reminder!


    • Most of us don’t pay attention to our feet unless they hurt. So in Nia we often call attention — at least I do in my class — to our feet. They need attention and exercise.

      You know, I have mentioned, Nia calls our feet the Hands that touch the Earth.

      Ohhh, you reminded me of walking the Labyrinth, have you ever done that? It is a type of walking meditation. There is one in Oakland I think. (found it: http://home.earthlink.net/~friendsofthelabyrinth/id1.html ) We should do that. It would be fun. If we go we would have to call Foodie McBody —- oh you two would love each other — she is a writer too! There is a little (tiny, tiny) Labyrinth down here at the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment. If you are ever in San Jose and want to pop over there they let you!

      Thank you so much for stopping by. I have missed you, but I do know you are busy. And I also know that sometimes one does not feel compelled to comment. HUGS to you, Our Beautiful Red!


  5. […] hold back much because of my foot.  I don’t put my weight on my right foot when I am in ball of foot position or bow stance, but I was DOING ball of foot (a GREAT step forward in my healing process).  During […]


  6. […] stationary ends up with the heel raised (completely vertical if you can get there), weight on the ball of the foot and toes.  Since this is a long lunge, the stationary leg could end up with the knee almost on the […]


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