How to Touch Your Toes

If you have no injury but still cannot touch your toes, this usually indicates poor flexibility in your lower back, hamstrings or both. In order to learn how to touch your toes, you first need to understand certain ways to make your body more flexible. The best ways is to stretch your muscles regularly. There are exercises that help increase your flexibility, help you touch your toes and make you less susceptible to injuries. Keep reading to learn them all.

Why Can‘t You Touch Your Toes?

So many things other than an injury can make it difficult for you to touch your toes. Here are some of the main reasons to give you a better understanding:

Body shape: Your upper body has to travel more when your torso is short and your legs are relatively longer. In other words, you are going to find it difficult to touch your toes if you are tall due to long legs.

Tight muscles: One obvious reason of why you cannot touch your toes is having tight muscles. If your hip joint is not flexible enough, you will never be able to touch your toes because it tries to keep your lower and upper body straight when you are bending down. Your hip flexors tighten up when you sit all day or do not stretch them often. Tighter hip flexors slightly tilt your pelvis forward and make it even more difficult to bend and touch your toes.

How to Touch Your Toes

Now that you understand why you cannot touch your toes, it will be easier to understand how to touch your toe with ease. Here are some simple steps to take.

1. Stretch Your Back

Your back muscles run from the top of your spine and go all the way down to your tailbone. Any stiffness in this muscle group will make it difficult for you to bend your torso and spine. You can try the Camel-Cat exercise to improve lower and upper back flexibility.

What to do: Start by getting down on all fours with your hands below your shoulders and knees below your hips. Push your back upward to make it round and then hold this for one count. Then, make an arch by pushing your lower back down toward the floor. That is one rep. Perform 10 before you try touching your toes.

2. Stretch Your Hips

You need to have flexible hip muscles when removing tension from your calves. The hip hinge exercise with elevated heels will help improve flexibility in the hamstrings and glutes to make it easier for you to touch your toes.

What to do: Get on a weight plate (25 pounds) with your heels firmly placed. Bend forward at your hips without losing the curve in your lower back. Slowly reach for your toes, pause, and return to the starting position. Perform 10 reps and try to touch your toes. If you fail, try the next exercise.

3. Stretch Your Calves

You will find it difficult to learn how to touch your toes if you do not know how to loosen your calves. You can try hip hinge with elevated toes to stretch your Achilles tendons or calf muscles.

What to do: You need to keep the balls of your feet on weight plate of about 25 pounds and bend forward at your hips. Reach for your toes and stop for a few seconds before returning to the starting position. Here is a picture of how to do standard hip hinge.

4. Stretch Your Hamstrings

When you try to bend and touch your toes, you will notice the stretch in your hamstrings. It means that if you do something to stretch your hamstrings, it will become easier for you to touch your toes.

What to do: Lie on the floor next to a doorframe or wall corner and place the heel of your foot up on the wall. Slowly straighten the knee and you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. This does not have to be painful though. Hold your position for 30 seconds and return to the starting point. Do the same with your other leg.

5. Stretch Your Soles

Most people have little knowledge about the fact that there are muscles on the bottom of their feet. Called toe flexors, they play a big role in determining how flexible your lower body is. Try this tennis-ball foot roll to become more flexible.

What to do: Stand in an upright position. Place your bare foot on a tennis ball and roll it lightly. Keep rolling the ball for at least a minute and then repeat with your other foot. Try to touch your toes once again.

 

If you still fail to touch your toes after some reps, you should keep doing these exercises for a few days to improve your overall flexibility and make it possible to touch your toes.

6. Soften Your Whole Body with Yoga

How to touch your toes? Make your whole body more flexible! The above targeted exercises will definitely help, but doing the following yoga poses at the same time will definitely produce better results.

  • Functional squat: Stand in an upright position. Keep your knees and feet aligned under your hips with your arms reaching out. Slowly sit back into the pose without lifting your heels. Exhale as you do it. Hold the position for three long, deep breaths and then return to the starting position. Repeat thrice.

  • Kneeling lunge: Get into a basic lunge position while keeping your back knee bent. Keep your hands on your front thigh and let your pelvis go down toward the floor. Exhale as you do it. Engage your buttocks while going down and keep them squared forward. Hold the pose for five long, deep breaths and return to the starting position. Do the same with your other side.
  • Pyramid: Keep your right leg back 18-24 inches with your toes angled slightly out. Hinge form your hips while keeping your both legs as straight as possible. Slowly bend forward while keeping your hands on your forward leg. Continue to go low without rounding your back. Be sure to engage your quadriceps and stretch your hamstrings nicely. Hold the pose for five long, deep breaths on each side.
  • Extended Child's Pose: Get in a kneeling position and reach your arms forward. Exhale as you do so. Slowly press your buttocks back toward your heels and place your forehead on the ground. Hold this posse for five long, deep breaths.
 
 
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