How To Do Standing Toe Touches Properly

The standing toe touches are a dynamic movement that can help you prevent injury and increase your range of motion. They demonstrate how flexible your muscles are from the lower back to your calves.

These standing toe touches are considered a measure of hamstring flexibility. This is because they show how flexible your glutes, ankles, lower back, and hamstrings are.

Tight hip flexors, quads, hamstrings and lower back muscles can be brought about by too much sitting. This tightness can be painful and even prevent you from doing exercises correctly.

The standing toe touches can also help in releasing these tight muscles. This way, with the proper exercises, you will be able to work on these dysfunctions.

There are several variations of the movement. Different body parts benefit differently from the variations.

You can try incorporating the standing toe touches before jumping into burpees or squat jumps.

HOW TO DO STANDING TOE TOUCHES

Here are the steps to performing the exercise.

  • Start by standing upright with your feet slightly less than shoulder width apart. Your toes should point forward and your knees aligned over them.
  • Straighten your legs but ensure you don’t lock them.
  • Now, bend from the hips and try to reach down for your toes. Inhale and exhale slowly as you do this.
  • Round your back slightly to prevent straining your lower back.
  • Inhale and raise back to the initial stance. Ensure your belly button is pulled in toward your spine.
  • Repeat the movement for the desired number of sets and reps.

STANDING TOE TOUCHES MUSCLES ENGAGED

The standing toe touches engages your abdominal muscles, calves, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors and your shoulders. Your can use certain variations to target your obliques too.

STANDING TOE TOUCHES BENEFITS

GREAT FOR WARM-UP

The exercise can be incorporated as a warm-up to help you ease your body into the hard work ahead. It warms up your muscles before you challenge them with tougher exercises.

It also works to improve mobility, reduce your injury risk, and increase your heart rate.

STRETCHING THE BACK AND HAMSTRING

Also, the exercise not only stretches your hamstrings but also the muscles at the back of your thighs. Essentially, the erector spinal muscles found on your lower back are also worked.

TARGETS ABS

The movement also includes some subtle abs work. The best way of engaging the abs is by combining the move with toe touch crunches or vertical toe touches.

Therefore, it is a great way to advance from warm-up to the real work.

DYNAMIC STRETCHES

Not only is the move performed as static stretches but also as dynamic stretches. As dynamic stretches, you are able to warm up your body.

You can use the walking toe touches to work your hamstrings and hips. Here you’ll need to stand and step forward with your right foot while trying to reach down to touch your toes at the same time.

STANDING TOE TOUCHES ALTERNATIVES

TOE TOUCH CRUNCHES

Toe touch crunches need you to get into the standard crunch position. Extend your legs towards the ceiling such that your thighs are perpendicular to the ground.

Now, lift your head and shoulders and fully extend your arms towards your toes. Hold at this position for some seconds or for as long as you are comfortable while using the correct form.

TWIST TOE TOUCHES

The twist toe touches are a type of variation that works your obliques. Obliques muscles are located at the sides of your waist but slightly behind.

BURPEES

Burpees are a dynamic movement that works main body muscle groups in quick successions. Consequently, this combines both strength and cardio by involving squats, push-ups and jumps.

During performance of the exercise your heart rate will increase significantly.

WINDMILL

Windmill is a great simple bodyweight movement that engages your abs, hamstrings, deltoids, wrist flexors, front deltoids and side deltoids. Additionally, with the proper form it can target your arms, core, legs, lower body, shoulders, upper body, upper legs and waist as well.

Moreover, as a calisthenic exercise, it does not require any equipment.

PLANKS

Planks are a type of isometric exercises that strengthen the core. Despite being simple and essential for any fitness regimen, it is essential that the proper alignment and positioning is maintained for optimal results.

STANDING TOE TOUCHES MISTAKES TO AVOID

Do not bend your back as this may cause lower body strain. You can first try to test how far you can reach before attempting the actual exercise.

You can do this by tapping your fingers against your body as you go down towards your toes. Make sure you do not try to force your back or your body.

We can generally say that the inability to touch your toes is a sign that your body is not flexible enough. The importance of flexibility is it allows for proper blood circulation, and muscle elasticity. Inflexibility can increase your chances of getting injured during sports or in general daily activities.

Not using the correct form can most likely result in a hyperextended knee. This condition happens when the knee is bent backward thus, damaging some knee structures like the cartilage, and ligaments.

Don’t bounce as it activates the stretch reflex mechanism. Consequently, it can lead to more muscle contraction, and not less.

Do not let your butt go behind your feet as this will make the stretch far less effective. Ensure your hips are directly over your feet.

Do not attempt the exercise if you have weak core muscles to prevent injury. At least support yourself using a surface as you raise yourself back to the starting position.

CONCLUSION
The standing toe touches are a hamstring stretch exercise. You can challenge yourself farther by trying to work towards getting your hands to touch the floor or by the sides of your feet.

However, the exercise is rather ineffective considering it can place unnecessary strain on the spine and lower back muscles. Even when you are employing the correct posture, the chance is still there.

Generally, it is recommended that you avoid positions that make you bend forward while in a standing position.