Should you point your toes or flex your foot? Pointing your toe in a Pilates class came from it being taught a lot in the beginning to ballet dancers and no one (or not many) questioned it, so it has been passed on through the decades.
My answer – it depends.
When doing Pilates pointing your toes lengthens and engages the front of your leg from the front of your hip, down the thigh, shin and front of your ankle while engaging your calves and hamstrings.
Flexing your foot lengthens and engages the back of your leg from the top of your glutes, down your hamstrings, calves to the heel while engaging your shin and quads (front of your thigh).
There is a bit of push and pull going on through the legs with the angle of the foot and ankle.
I encourage you to try both and see how it feels – it could be different each day you do a session.
If you are particularly weak in one area it might feel exceptionally challenging, making you fatigue quickly so mixing it up and alternating the foot position could be useful.
If you are particularly tight in one area, doing several repetitions to help get some length could be more useful.
This, like everything, may change from session to session.
I will always encourage you to check in every single time, so you don’t drop into autopilot and lose the concentration and connection with the movement.
The Pilates fundamentals course goes in to this in detail check it out www.iamjenwilson.com/pilates