Trying to figure out how to touch your toes? Okay listen up!
If touching your toes is like trying to bend a 2×4… we’ve got work to do!
Well… Not me. I can touch my toes. YOU have work to do lol…
But don’t worry!
Because I’m going to make it extra simple for you today.
Check out this video:
When you want to learn how to touch your toes, remember…
Most of us try to touch our toes by tucking the tailbone and reaching from the thoracic spine (upper back). This can actually lift our spine further away from the ground! And as a result, the hamstrings tighten up. We lose anterior pelvic tilt.
Instead, you can focus on creating anterior pelvic tilt. Keeping your spine long. And folding forward.
That’ll open those hamstrings and fix your flexibility right up!
How to Touch Your Toes Step-by-Step
When it comes to learning how to touch your toes, you want to focus on hip hinge dynamics. Notice in the photo on the left, my upper back is rounded. I am reaching for my toes from the thoracic spine.
Ironically, I am moving my hands farther away from my feet! That’s because my pelvis is not tilting forward. The following exercise is going to be most important if you want to touch your toes.
Touch Your Toes Exercise #1
First, stand in front of a chair, stool, or use your couch.
Lengthen your spine. Lifting your chest and maintaining level shoulders. HINGE at the hips. Placing your hands on the surface in front of you. Keep the chest lifted and maintain that flat back:
You should feel a deep stretch into your hamstrings.
Hold this position for at least 1-minute per day.
Start with a higher surface and focus on hinging the hips.
As your hamstrings open up, you will be able to go further. Bringing your hands on to a set of yoga blocks or a stool.
Eventually, you will be able to bring your hands all the way to the ground and touch your toes!
Remember to hold the stretch for at least one minute. Then, you can move on to exercise 2.
Touch Your Toes Exercise #2
Next up, you can work on straightening your legs while being in that hinged position.
The key is to bend your legs a lot. So you can rest your chest on your thighs:
You can also set your hands on the couch or yoga blocks.
Next, straighten the legs as much as you can:
Repeat the movements. Alternating between bending and straightening your legs. Count 10 repetitions of this. And hold it on your last one for one-minute.
How To Touch Your Toes: Do These Exercises Daily!
Seriously! Now you know what you need to do. These two exercises will improve your flexibility and allow you to touch your toes.
But only if you do the work!
In fact, go try them now if you haven’t already done so.
Go ahead. I’ll wait…
Did you do them?
Okay great! Here’s a bonus exercise to follow up all of that forward folding with.
Bonus Exercise For Spinal & Total Body Flexibility
Follow Up How To Touch Your Toes Exercises With Bridge OR Full Wheel Variation
If you are going to be doing all of that forward folding…
(you are going to be doing it right? Erryday right?)
Then it’s nice to balance it out. Especially as most of us are constantly in a forward rounded position!
Desk workers… sitting for long periods of time… rounding your noggin forward to read this on your phone lol…
Point is – we’re always rounding forward. So why not open the chest and bring that thoracic spine the other way?
Do this after you do the above exercises:
Step 1: Start with a bridge pose. Bringing your heels towards your glutes, plant your feet on the ground just so you can barely touch the heels with your finger tips:
Next, engage the core. Press your lower back into the ground. Then, press into your feet and lift your hips upwards.
Hold this position for at least 20-seconds. If you want to interlace your fingers and roll onto your shoulders, go ahead:
This next step may be to advanced. If that is the case, stick with Step 1 until you are comfortable moving on.
Step 2: Bring your feet onto a couch or surface. This is going to help you elevate the body and allow you to target more of the thoracic spine. Plant your hands next to your ears to prepare for take off…:
Lift your hips and come up onto the top of your head. Press yourself all the way up to a full wheel. Focus on straightening the arms first. Then, work on straightening the legs:
Just a nice addition to really open up your body’s movement capabilities! If you are working on all of that forward folding to touch your toes, you should also work up to this.
It’ll do wonders for your posture and give you a solid foundation for total body flexibility!
How to Touch Your Toes Summary
So that’s it. Work on those two exercises to improve your hamstring flexibility and hip hinge range.
Then, feel free to follow it up with bridging. Working towards that full wheel variation with your feet elevated.
Decide that you are going to do these exercises every. single. day.
You’ll be touching your toes no problem!
The Fastest Way to Touch Your Toes and Fix Your Flexibility?
Get into yoga! Or some form of dynamic movement practice. Even if you include just 10-minutes of stretching as a cool-down.
If flexibility is the problem, you need to lengthen out the muscles in your body. Yoga and movement practices are great in that they explore highly 3-dimensional ranges of motion. These expand your mobility and create a flexible body as a whole.
So you can improve hips, shoulders, thoracic spine, core, chest, quads, and more!
Pro tip: If you wanna really level up your flexibility do this:
Find a yoga studio in your area.
See if they have a 30-day unlimited trial offer (a lot of them do).
Sign up. Then, go to as many classes and with as many different teachers as you can.
It’s a great way to open up a tight body. It did wonders for me and it’s why yoga is still a large part of my routine.
I also publish lotsa helpful stuff here at WithinMVMNT, so stick around 😉
Hope you found this article helpful! Leave any questions or requests in the comments below.
Until next time,