Being able to touch your toes has a lot of advantages.
You’ll need to stretch if you want to improve your flexibility.
It’s the process of making your muscles more supple and powerful.
But what’s the point? What exactly is the significance of being able to touch your toes?
STRETCHING HAS MANY BENEFITS, INCLUDING:
- Extend your range of motion. You’ll have more freedom of movement if you can move a joint over its full range of motion. Flexibility is a sign of a healthy geek since it allows them to navigate the physical environment confidently. Stretching is one of the most effective strategies to improve flexibility.
- Enhance your posture. Stretching regularly may help you stop slouching so much. Stretching helps to correct muscle imbalances, which may improve posture.
- Back discomfort can be relieved. If you have back pain, you should consider starting a stretching practice. Your back muscles may be tight, limiting your range of motion and causing pain. Stretching can help loosen up the area and strengthen the muscle simultaneously. This may aid in the prevention of future injuries.
When creating a fitness regimen, stretching and the flexibility that comes with it should not be disregarded.
While there are several markers of solid flexibility, being able to touch your toes is probably one of the most prominent.
You could have found it difficult to touch your toes back then. It could be a struggle for you right now.
Why am I unable to touch my toes?
If you can’t touch your toes, it’s most likely due to one of the following four factors:
- #1) Muscles of the posterior chain are too short or too tight. Although most people assume that being unable to touch your toes is due to inflexibility in your hamstring muscles, our entire system (including the lower back) can play a significant impact! What you may assume is a lower back issue is a hamstring issue (and vice versa), as Mark Rippetoe discusses in this video about the Romanian deadlift:
The posterior chain, which includes our back muscles, erector spinae (muscles that run down our spine), lower back muscles, buttocks, and hamstrings, is an integrated group of muscles.
The following is the posterior chain:
When we undertake compound actions like the deadlift, weak mobility points in one part of the system can become debilitating (and often simple to identify).
Spending all day at a desk and because the chair is doing all of the work for you, you’re probably not strengthening or extending these muscles.
- #2) Your legs are long compared to your torso and limbs. People with long legs and short torsos and arms will find it more difficult than short legs and long torsos and arms.
But don’t worry, you can also level up and have your toes touched.
- #3) You have an excessive amount of body fat. It can be difficult to touch your toes if you are overweight and have a large stomach. Focus on nutrition to start losing weight because you already know that diet is 90% of the battle for weight loss (here are the five rules of weight loss to help you begin). This could be easy for you to touch your toes.
- #4) You haven’t yet warmed up. You’re probably familiar with the rigidity that makes you feel like a steel girder if you’ve just gotten out of bed or spent the entire day in a car. Your muscles work like rubber bands; the more you use them, the more warmed up they become and the further you can stretch them. This is why we recommend that folks do a mobility warm-up before exercising!
“ARE YOU ABLE TO TOUCH YOUR TOES?” TEST:
Stand with your legs with hip-width apart and your back straight. Straighten your legs, but don’t lock out your knees too much (many people mistake this for a “microbend”).
Begin by bending and leaning forward with your quads towards the ground (front of your legs).
As though you were a ragdoll, let your body rest naturally. Straighten your fingers and slowly stretch down to the ground, keeping your hands close together.
To warm up, repeat this process 2-3 times. Flex or activate your quads to maintain your legs straight; keep your legs straight without locking your knees.
Don’t flex your knees to help you get closer to the ground except for the microbend! If you’re using them to track your progress, keep in mind that your legs may not appear completely straight depending on your body (especially your hamstrings).
Reach for the ground and hold it for seconds when you’re ready. One of the following methods can be used to determine the distance:
- Have someone record the distance between the tip of your fingers and the ground if you aren’t touching it. Place your hands on your legs and observe where the tips of your fingers end up if you don’t have a companion.
- If you can touch the ground, flatten your hands as much as possible and measure the space between the head and the floor. The top of your head will get closer and closer to the ground as you stretch deeper.
- If hugging your calves and drawing your head towards your body looks simple, try it.
Save the photo/video to illustrate how far down you’re reaching, and record your measurement in a document or on paper.
The 4 Most Effective Stretches for Touching Your Toes (Improve Your flexibility)
As you exercise over the next few weeks, two crucial elements will decide whether or not you are successful in attaining the capacity to touch your toes:
- Stretching your muscles EXACTLY to the point of discomfort. We want to stretch just beyond where we extended last time, so our muscles have to elongate, similar to strength training by adding one rep or a few pounds to an exercise.
- Practice and effort regularly! Stretching for 5 minutes once a month will not enhance your flexibility. You should stretch for 30 seconds 10 times during the month.
That’s correct. According to studies, focusing on touching your toes for 30 seconds three times a week for four weeks was enough to lengthen hamstring muscles.
I’m sure there’s an inappropriate joke about 30 seconds of effort to be made here.
CONSISTENT FLEXIBILITY PRACTICE: HOW TO TOUCH YOUR TOES:
All I ask is for two minutes of your time. Only 2 minutes! Do these movements throughout the day if you want to – I like to do them after working out. Working on flexibility is an excellent idea after a long day at a desk while driving or when you first get up!
Make sure you’re breathing gently and steadily throughout each exercise below.
TOUCH YOUR TOES WITH THESE FOUR BEST STRETCHES:
- 30 seconds of standing toe touch stretch
- 30 seconds – Cat/Camel (switch positions every 5 seconds)
- 30 seconds of star stretch (as many slow reps as you can)
- 30 seconds of the moon in the sky (as many slow reps possible)
1) Standing toe touch stretch: Flex the front of your legs while keeping them straight, then bend over at the waist just past the point of discomfort for 30 seconds. Every other day, repeat the method and sustain it for 30 seconds.
2) Loosen up a tight lower back by doing a “cat” and then a “cow” for 30 seconds, moving back and forth every few seconds:
3) You can also do a “star stretch” to assist stretch out those legs! Let your legs spread wide and arms extended (thus the name!) and reach down with one hand to your opposite leg; hold for five seconds, return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg.
4) The “Moon the Sky” stretch is another one of my favorite stretches for improving flexibility and mobility.
To get your legs, buttocks, and back ready for work, incorporate this stretch into your pre-workout warmup:
- Squat and place your hands beneath your feet.
- Slowly raise your buttocks while keeping your hands under your feet.
- Raise your buttocks and straighten your legs as much as possible.
- Each time, go a TINY bit higher until you can fully straighten your legs!
How to Improve Your Flexibility (Next Steps)
Test your toe-touching abilities before and after practicing the 2-minute exercise above, and I’m sure you’ll notice a difference right away — wait till you see what you can do in a few weeks!
The great thing about flexibility is that any combination of the stretches listed above can help you develop it as long as you practice it a little bit every day. I work in the field of mobility:
- When I first wake up,
- After I finish my workout,
- Throughout my working day (when working at my desk)
- Before taking a nap, at the end of the day, for a minute or two
When you sum it all up, it’s less than 5 minutes, but it’s more than enough to show me some results!
You’ll be good at expanding your flexibility and touching your toes woes if you follow our instructions above.
All you have to do now is get started!