Learning how to touch your toes may not be as glamorous as being able to do a handstand or chin up, but it’s just as important (actually, more important) to your overall functional mobility.
If you want to touch your toes all you need is practice. You don’t have to be a yoga master to reach your goals. As little as a few minutes a day spent idly stretching on your yoga mat enhances flexibility, easily—if you like the sounds of that, get started with our Yoga Starter Kit.
Why do I need to touch my toes?, you may ask. Well the short answer is it’s a good indicator of two very important things:
- Your overall fitness level, and
- Your flexibility.
It may surprise you to know that many people who would consider themselves as “in shape” may also be among the folks who can’t do a yoga forward fold without discomfort. Just because you’re strong or have solid endurance doesn’t mean you’re flexible—nope, you’re going to have to eke out a couple minutes a day doing stretches if you want flexibility.
An easy way to make stretching part of your regular routine is to join us on BR+. You can get a free month trial when you sign up now, and you score access to thousands of incredible workouts—including our Stretch & Mobility Series, BR Yoga series and new Yoga with YogiPogie. These routines take as little time as a few minutes (and up to 40 minutes for those of you looking for a longer session) and will significantly improve your flexibility, mobility and overall fitness.
The Perks of Toe Touching
There are some very convincing reasons why you should want to touch your toes.
Why You Can’t Touch Your Toes
There are a few culprits hindering your ability to touch your feet and if you’re on a mission to increase your flexibility then figure out which of these reasons is holding you back so you can remedy it.
Weakened Posterior Chain
Since we are the sum of many parts, it makes sense that if your hamstrings, lower back or hips are weak then it’ll unbalance the whole system thus, preventing you from touching your toes. When you try to touch your toes where in your body do you feel resistance or pain — hamstrings, back or hips? You’ve now found the source of your problem.
Every body is made a little differently, some of us have blue eyes, one bigger foot or T-Rex arms — it’s just the way of it. There’s no shame in having mile-long legs, apart from the fact that that extra length, when paired with a shorter torso or T-Rex arms, will make it physically improbable for you to reach your toes.
If you’re carrying a little extra weight it’s going to jeopardize your ability to touch your toes. To really tap into your flexibility you’re going to want to focus on weight loss (read our blog: A Proven Strategy for Weight Loss for tips) first by committing yourself to regular workouts and of course implementing a healthy diet. If you’ve got questions as to what constitutes a healthy diet, we’ve got the answers in our BodyRock Meal Plan and Nutrition Bundle.
Stretching: The Path to Touching Your Toes!
Now, before you drop to the floor after reading this article, the best time to do these stretches is after you’ve completed a workout or are already warmed up. You’ll see greater improvements and you’ll be less likely to injure yourself. Also, if you’re expecting overnight results, it won’t happen, in the same way, you don’t develop abs after one core session; it takes time for your body to adapt.
Without further preamble, here are the best stretches for touching your toes:
- First, get on your hands and knees and on the inhale arch your back as you tilt your chest, tailbone and head to the ceiling for cow pose.
- On the exhale, curl your head as you round your spine and look to the floor for cat pose.
- Take a seat then loop a BodyRock Core Bands, Pink Thing or tea towel around the arch of one foot and keep hold of both ends of the band.
- Sit tall and stretch your leg out in front of you.
- With a flat back, still holding onto the band, reach for your toes.
Hold for 30 seconds then pull up to a sit and repeat on the other side.
- Standing, swing your left leg forward, bending at the knee so your leg makes a 90-degree angle; then stretch your right leg out behind you.
- Keep your right hip angled down and then walk your hands forward until your chest is over your bent knee.
- Hold for at least a 30 count then release and repeat with your right side.
- Start in a kneeling position then slowly walk your hands out in front of you until your arms are fully extended in front of you and your bottom is resting on your heels.
- You can either keep your arms in front of you or put them to your side, just keep your palms up.
- Focus on taking deep, calming breaths to ease the tension from your body and hold for a minimum of 30 seconds.
- To further open your hips, gently rock your hips from side-to-side as you’re kneeling.
- Lie on your back, legs and arms stretched out, making sure your hips touch the floor.
- Draw your left leg up to your chest and clasp behind your knee for a count of 30 seconds, then release back to the ground.
- Repeat on the right side.
- Grab some kind of stable platform, like a sturdy book.
- With your feet together and your heels on the floor, set your toes on the book and then bend at the hip and try to touch your toes — if you’re having difficulty, try bending your knees.
- Repeat 5-10x before standing up and stepping off the book.
- Next, walk your heels onto the book while keeping your toes secured to the floor and try to touch your toes the same as you did prior — bending your knees if necessary.
- Repeat 5-10x then you’ll find your floor reach will drastically improve with just one stretch!
Touching Your Toes Made Easy
Touching your toes is not mission impossible unless genetics are against you. All it takes is a little gumption to add in a few extra stretches after you complete your BodyRock+ workout and in no time you’re flexibility will improve for even greater gains!
Touch Your Toes Playlist
We’re making learning how to touch your toes easier with this awesome playlist that will help you move toward your goal. These workouts contain moves that will improve hamstring and low back flexibility and joint mobility so that you can grab your piggies sooner and safer.
Get access for only $1.99 for 1 month! Try out our whole platform, including this Playlist, for less than a cup of coffee.
After that, regular price is $19.99, but you are under no obligation to stay: most do though, and discover daily inspiration to be healthy.
Use code STARTNEW at checkout!