By Carlos Terron, CPT
With some improved range of motion, you too can touch your toes by dedicating some time to stretching. Take on this challenge and start touching your toes in a few weeks. Let’s cover some of the essentials.
In order to achieve the ability to touch your toes, you need to dedicate a minimum of 5-10 minutes per day stretching and promoting longer muscles. You’ll need to be flexible in the hamstrings, calves, hip abductors/adductors, lower back and glutes. It is recommended that you are active and/or currently exercise a few times per week.
Notorious for being a tight muscle, the calf muscle needs to be regularly maintained to achieved continuous flexibility and proper mobility. Foam roll the calf muscle to break up adhesion and loosen the overactive calves.
Highly under-active, the glutes are a necessary component to overall leg health and body position. Foam roll the glutes along with the hamstrings which are consistently shortened by us sitting for prolonged periods.
Put a band around your foot and lay back bringing your leg up. Keep the leg as straight as possible as you get a good stretch of the hamstring and glutes.
Sit down and extend the legs in front of you, feet touching together. Place the band over the middle of both feet and pull back on the band gradually, slowly increasing tension. Maintain legs as straight as possible.
While on your knees, slowly start bringing the knees wider until you achieve a good stretch in the inner side of your legs. This stretch requires a higher degree of pain tolerance. Maintain this hold for a minimum of 30 seconds. Increase the stretch as you perform this stretch from time to time.
Widen your stance and fold down and touch the ground. Keep your legs as straight as possible.
Stand with a wide stance and lean into one leg will the other leg remains extended. As your performing this stretch, ensure your bent knee is tracking over the foot. Common mistakes include having the knee cave in or excessive track outside the foot.
Walk up to a wall or post (as shown here), lean back and down, pike your foot up to the wall or post and lean in.
Lunge forward and stretch the hip flexor by leaning forward. Hold for 15-20 seconds and bring your elbow as close to your foot as possible. Once the elbow is near the foot, hold for 30-40 seconds.
Continuing from the previous stretch, this more advanced move stretches regions in your back, hips and legs. Accomplish this stretch with patience and persistence.
Getting yourself used to shifting your weight back to your heals will be important to achieving the toe touch. Practice increasing your ability to straighten your legs as much as possible during this rag doll stretch.
You’ve worked really hard. It’s time to give it a shot and touch your toes! Take a deep breath and exhale on your way down. Reach down and get as low as you can without straining yourself. Congratulations!! You did it!!
If you’re close but not there just yet, it’s time to celebrate on how much closer you are than ever before. Don’t get discouraged and keep hammering away at the stretches and mobility improvements. You will get it in no time!!
If needed, repeat the 7 Day program until you are able to touch your toes. Have fun and let us know how you do by tagging us on Facebook or Instagram #hiitcorefitness
Please remember these are only recommendations based on our experience. Not everyone is successful at touching their toes as there are many other factors to consider including your health, body composition and movement restrictions. Please consult your medical provider before commencing any exercise or stretch.