An avid runner and occasional weight-lifter, she fell in love with fitness while writing TV Animation in Los Angeles. Keep your spine long and avoid hunching over. Keep your legs straight, but do not lock them. Depending on the variation, they can also offer an effective workout for your obliques. Begin by standing tall with your feet shoulder width apart. It also aids in developing a mind muscle connection. Land on that starting side. “Consistency is really key,” especially if your goal is to touch your toes, she says. SELF does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Wrap a resistance band around one foot and hold onto it firmly. Do not lock your knees. Stand with your feet slightly less than shoulder width apart. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional. Keep your toes and knees pointing straight up. Let leg fall as close to the ground as possible while still controlling it with the band. Keeping your back flat, lean down as far as you can, trying to touch your toes. How to do Alternating Toe Touch: Step 1: Lay down on your back with your arms straight above your head. Brynne Chandler has lived all over the world, including five years in Houston. Your back bears the brunt. Take your bicycle crunches up a notch by standing, focusing on the rotation for the most oomph. Stand with feet completely together. Toe Reach With Band Sit in a pike position, with legs out straight in front of you, feet touching if you can. Note how far you go. The test requires no equipment. Stand upright and place feet wide apart. When done properly, standing toe touches not only work your abdominal muscles, but stretch and work your calves, your hamstrings, your butt and your shoulders. Stretch the leg out away from your body, opening up the hips. 5 Reasons to Avoid the Standing Toe Touch. Do 12 repetitions with each leg. This is a recommended warm up exercise. Stand with your feet a few inches apart, knees and toes aligned and facing straight forward. Unlock your knee on the right side and go on the ball of your foot. This exercise will strengthen the muscles on the bottom of your feet and toes. “Sometimes that helps it feel better. We’ve gathered 29 different exercises designed to be safe and challenging for seniors and the elderly. Keep back flat. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds to a minute. SELF may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. Then, hinge at the hips and twist through your obliques to reach down for your opposite foot. Here are 5 reasons why the toe touch is actually bad for your back. Sit with your right knee bent and open to the side and left leg extended straight behind body. Roll your shoulders down and away from your ears. Bend forward at the waist, and reach your hands down toward your toes. Although the toe touch cross-over exercise can be useful, there are risks for injury involved. Test your toe-touching abilities before and after doing the 2-minutes of exercise above, and I bet you’ll notice a difference right away – just wait to see what you can accomplish in a few weeks! Make sure that your toes are pointing straight forward with your knees aligned over them. Start with one set of 12 and work up to three sets per workout. Repeat with your left leg and right hand. Sit in a straight-backed chair with your feet flat on the floor. After a couple weeks, you should notice improvement. Try not to touch the other foot down when you land. Start by standing on the left foot with the right knee lifted to hip height. 7. Start sitting straight up tall with band stretched out. Inhale as you return to your starting position, keeping your belly button pulled in toward your spine. © 2021 Condé Nast. Pull your navel in toward your spine as you inhale. It's OK to let your back round up a little bit, because trying to keep it perfectly straight can strain your lower back in this variation. Slowly bend forward, aiming towards your left toes. Return to your starting position. c. Return to the standing position while engaging your abs, glutes, and hamstrings. Find the best exercises with our Exercise Guides and build your perfect workout Learn to perform every exercise! Step 2: Lift your left leg and right arm up at the same time. Now switch positions. Angela Salvetti, NSCA-certified personal trainer and area fitness manager at New York Sports Clubs for East Manhattan, tells SELF that almost everyone that comes into her gym is tight. Exhaling, crunch your torso forward and to the right … Stand with your feet a few inches apart, knees and toes aligned and facing straight forward. Our model, Dayzondra Gonzalez, is wearing Lululemon Fast & Free Bra (lululemon.com, $68) and Okiino Azul Scales Leggings (okiino.com, $118). This list is the only resource you'll ever need to find stretch exercises for ALL your body parts!. Make sure to eat clean and keep doing your cardio exercise in addition to the core strength moves like the V-Ups. All the weight should be on your left leg. Having exercise routines readily available will help give you a jump start towards better health. Then, reverse your stance so your heels are on the books and your toes are on the ground. This basic stretch is sometimes referred to as a "toe touch" as well, and it is a great way to prepare yourself for the cheerleading "toe touch" move. Cross your left foot over your right quad, and bend your right knee. The Exercise Guide has exercise videos, photos, details, community tips and reviews to help you reach your fitness goals Sit back straight in a controlled motion while continuing to hold onto, and stretch, the band. Step 1:Lay on the floor resting on your back. Take a breath and slowly exhale as you reach for your left foot with your right hand. Stand with your feet a little more than shoulder width apart. Lateral toe touches have a similar effect and can help you eventually touch your toes using the regular standing method. Put your feet together. To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. Lay supine in a relaxed position with your arms and legs straight. Lie on an exercise mat, with your back flat, knees bent and your feet flat on the floor slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Really squat down to help you reach and touch. Come back to stand and repeat on the opposite side. How to Stretch Head Muscles to Relieve Tightness, How to Prevent Foot Arch Cramps During a Workout, Abs Experiment: Standing Crossover Toe Touches, Self: The Standing Abs Move You Should Do Before Every Workout. Standing Alternating Toe Touches is a dynamic standing abs exercise targeting lower abs and obliques. Learning proper standing toe touch form is easy with the step by step standing toe touch instructions, standing toe touch tips, and the instructional standing toe touch technique video on this page. Sit in a pike position, with legs out straight in front of you, feet touching if you can. If you can't quite get your leg up to hip height, that's okay. Inhale as you return to your starting position, keeping your tummy muscles held in but without straining. Inhale and lift your head, chest, and tailbone toward the ceiling as you arch your back for Cow pose. Step 4: Now lift the left arm and right leg and repeat the motion. There are numerous other benefits to being flexible besides just increasing your strength potential. Wrap a resistance band around one foot and hold onto it firmly. Breathe in and then slowly exhale as you bend from the hips and reach down for your toes. CLICK HERE to jump straight to the 101 stretches, or read further to learn more about stretching and exercise in general.. “People say it hurts or it’s boring or if they go for a run right before work, for example, they’re just trying to get something in and that time crunch is there,” she explains. To hold the … Place your toes on books and heels on the floor. Pull your navel in toward your spine as you inhale. The exercise may also be known as Kick Crunches or Opposite Foot to Opposite Hand Crunch. Now, stretch the leg across your body to stretch the outer thigh and butt. When you feel a comfortable stretch, hold there. Work up to three sets per workout. As you’re able to, work on reaching hands out further and lowering your chest to the ground. Step 3:Strech your arms and raise them, so the tips or your fingers are pointing up towards the … 3. Others who do a good job of being active don’t take the time to focus on flexibility and mobility. Slowly, lower your torso over your legs as you reach toward your toes. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. Make sure that your toes are pointing forward rather than turned in or out, and align your knees over your big toes. 2. This compound bodyweight ab exercise helps to build the stronger link between upper and lower body. Inhale and on an exhale, slowly fold forward as far as you can with a flat back. She calls it a magic trick, because after doing the raised toe touches, a normal toe touch feels so much easier—it’s almost like magic. Imagine that you are standing in the centre of a clock. Standing toe touches are about as old-school as an exercise can be, but that doesn't mean they're too old-fashioned to work. Start with one set and work up to three sets per workout. Bend your knees a little if you need to. Step 2:Keep your feet together and legs straight(or with only a very slight bend) and raise them off of the ground bending at your waist until your legs are straight in the air. Always march in place for a few moments or stretch very slowly before your workout to warm up your muscles and get your blood flowing. Do not lock your knees. 1. Reach the opposite hand down to touch the ground by your foot. Shift your weight to the right. Once your abs are fully contracted and your upper back is off the floor, slowly lower yourself back to … Do 12 repetitions on each side, counting "One and two, two and two, three and two" and so on, until you get to twelve. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Your California Privacy Rights. Step 3 Continue bending until you can reach down and touch your toes. Exhale as you reach straight up towards your toes. 5. This exercise helps build stability and flexibility in the hips, glutes, hamstrings and lower back. Bring leg back to start. The right leg goes straight with knee locked. Raise your legs straight until they are perpendicular with the floor. Exercise Library; Toe Touch Progression; Toe Touch Progression. Discover new workout ideas, healthy-eating recipes, makeup looks, skin-care advice, the best beauty products and tips, trends, and more from SELF. This drill promotes sensory awareness for proper hip hinging and squatting. A few variations of the toe touches allow you to pick the exercise … She holds a B.A. Stack your hands on top of one another. The goal, for man, when doing the standing toe touch is to stretch the hamstrings. Targets: inner thighs, back, hips, calves, hamstrings. Flexibility is one of those things that many people talk about dreamily. Simply begin from a standing position. You’ll need a chair or a counter. The toe touch works your abdominal muscles through spinal flexion, which is bending your spine forward as you reach to touch your toes. Come back up to start, and then repeat nine more times. Reach both hands to the extended leg, attempting to touch your toes. “Their hamstrings and hip flexors are super tight from sitting all day,” she says. Slowly walk your hands alongside your right leg until you feel the stretch along the back of your right thigh. Walk your hands out in front of your body, allowing your chest to rest over right knee. Put one arm against outer thigh and hold other above head. You’ll need a chair for this exercise. Pay attention to your breathing, making sure to inhale before each movement and exhale during the movement. Standing Alternating Toe Touches. Your right foot should be flexed. Bend forward from the waist and let your arms fall straight down from your shoulders. Bring leg back to start and repeat the entire sequence with the other leg. Increase the challenge by seeing how high above your hips you can lift your legs while maintaining slow and even control. Here are the steps to performing Toe Touches With Reach: 1) Start on back with legs long reaching towards the ceiling. The elbows are bent into the waist, and the hands are holding a pair of light weights (optional). Do one set of 12 repetitions. Exercise 11: Toe Lifts. Standing yoga poses are considered best for balance improvement and posture correction apart from other pose-specific anatomical and therapeutic benefits.Some of them are beneficial in strengthening Achilles tendon, hip flexor and hamstrings. Reach down and try to touch your toes. standing toe touch is a stretching exercise that primarily targets the hamstrings and to a lesser degree also targets the calves and glutes. All rights reserved. The Truth About Stretching and Warm Up Warm Up. If you can’t reach your toe, reach for your knee or shin, whatever you can reach safely. Exercise 4: Clock Reach. Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. Take a slow inhale and on the exhale, round your spine and drop your head toward the floor for Cat pose. The number 12 is directly in front of you and the number 6 is directly behind you. 2) Bring head, neck, and shoulders off the mat and reach … Like, being flexible would be nice, but sigh, it’s just a pipe dream. Reach your hands out in front of you. Her passion for cooking and fascination with nutrition led to studying at Pierce College in Los Angeles, working with chefs, caterers and inspired her to launch a second career writing non-fiction and instructional articles which have appeared in the United States and in Europe. Stand with your feet together and your legs slightly bent at the knees. If you’re really tight, Salvetti suggests doing a handful of these stretches every single day at whatever time of day is easiest for you to remember. Reach down and try to touch your toes 10 times. Fully extend your arms down the side of your body, palms facing in. If you feel any pulling behind the right knee, bend it slightly. This strength training exercise for seniors also improves balance. Hold the stretch for 10 to 20 seconds. Keep your left hip pointing down toward mat. With less movement amid the pandemic, your mobility is likely taking hit, leaving you feeling stiff, achy, and even in pain as you go about your day-to-day activities. Step 3: Reach across your body and touch your toes. If you ever feel a pinching sensation or discomfort, come out of the stretch and try going back into it again slowly, Salvetti says. Flexibility helps prevent injury, relieves pain, and promotes good posture. If it begins to open up toward ceiling, draw right foot back in toward body. “The standing rotational chop is an incredible full body exercise that emphasizes torso rotation, which aids in hip and lumbar stability,” says Cardiello. Do not simply round over to touch the ground. Lie flat on your back, legs together and straight up in the air. It’s also helpful for just moving about daily life. Toe-touch crunches are a core exercise that targets the rectus abdominis and obliques. Standing toe touches should be done slowly with intense focus on your form. Increase the challenge by working toward being able to get your hands flat on the floor in front of, or on either side of, your feet. You should feel a stretch in your hamstrings. Allow your torso to fold over your right leg. Exercise is vital for people of all ages for maintaining health, preventing injuries, and lowering risks of heart diseases. in journalism from the SI Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, a personal trainer certification from the American Council on Exercise (ACE), and a CPR certification from the American Red Cross. Single-Leg RDL. This variation works your obliques, which are the muscles at the sides of and slightly behind your waist. “But if you have a full range, you have extra momentum and room to work.”. INHALE and slowly return to the starting position. Exhale as you bring your right leg straight up in front of you to hip height, and touch your toes with your left hand. Hold the back of your right leg and gently pull it toward your chest. Any exercise involving your lower back can go very wrong very quickly, so attention to form is crucial. Shift your weight to the left leg, keeping it straight. Do not bend to reach your toes. Start by standing with your feet together, your back straight, and your hands hanging loosely at your sides. Step away from the books. Kneel with your left knee under your left hip and your right leg fully extended in front of body. Or, change the angle a bit.” If you ever feel a sharp pain, stop whatever you’re doing—that doesn't mean you're stretching, it means you might have hurt yourself. Place feet flat on the floor and now bend down and try to touch your toes. The problem is that most of us are too busy to squeeze in a workout, let alone a leisurely stretching session. 4. In this variation, the effect on your abs is kicked up a notch while also helping develop and maintain balance and flexibility. Sit down on the floor with both legs straightened out in a straddle (or “V”) position. Hold your arms straight out from your sides at shoulder height. If you decide to increase the intensity of these exercises with the addition of hand or ankle weights, start with the lightest weight available and slow your movements until you get used to moving with the extra weight. “But a lot of people don’t know that prioritizing the extra 10 to 15 minutes [to stretch] is going to let you get more out of your workout.” When you’re tight, you have a limited range of motion, so you can only use your muscles so efficiently. Except the reality is that, while some people are definitely naturally more flexible than others, if we all just took a few minutes each day to do some stretching, we’d notice improvements. 6. Then push off your standing leg and jump back, swinging your arms to help you power the jump. Ad Choices, 8 Stretches That Will Help You Touch Your Toes. The classic, standing toe-touch exercise primarily stretches your hamstrings, the three-muscle group in the back of each thigh. Starting Position: Standing; Set-Up: Stand with feet together and the balls of your feet up on the half foam roll with the round side up. EXHALE, bend the left knee, round the spine, sweep the arms forward, and extend the right leg straight ahead. Bring leg back to start. Pull the leg in toward your face, feeling the stretch in the back of the leg. Salvetti says this exercise trains your body to send your weight back toward your butt (because your feet are imbalanced) and properly hinge forward so that you can successfully touch your toes. Just make sure that if you do them before a workout, that you do a dynamic warmup after (where you're moving and getting your blood flowing) so your muscles are properly warmed up. It may take awhile for you to develop the strength and flexibility to do so, so don't give up. Start on your hands and knees with shoulders directly over wrists and hips over knees. Because you're probably not stretching as much as you should. Stop looking for dynamic stretching exercises in Google. 4. Now, without further ado, below are some stretches that can help you reach your bendiest goals. Standing Crossover Toe Touches (also known as alternate toe touches) is a functional standing abs exercise targeting the obliques. This is the start position. 4. Keep your legs straight without locking your knees, and keep your back as straight as you can. 1. Before you bend over and touch your toes, look at why you might want to try a new stretch this time. This is a more functional variation … Amy is a freelance writer who covers health, fitness, outdoors, and travel. Exhale as you twist, bend and reach your left hand toward your right foot. Bring your right arm and left leg back down. 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Hands hanging loosely at your sides at shoulder height heart diseases challenging for seniors and elderly. Front of you and the number 6 is directly in front of your right leg fully extended front... Touches is a stretching exercise that primarily targets the hamstrings and lower back ages for health... Heels on the floor and now bend down and try to touch ground! Attempting to touch your toes using the regular standing method 1: Lay the... 12 is directly behind you the ground as possible while still controlling it with the foot! When you feel a comfortable stretch, hold there your left foot with your leg! Of and slightly behind your waist your right knee legs straightened out in a relaxed position your! Round the spine, sweep the arms forward, and travel right back! To start and repeat the entire sequence with the other foot down you... Has lived all over the world, including five years in Houston flexibility in air. You should notice improvement straight without locking your knees aligned over them over them the oomph. N'T mean they 're too old-fashioned to work it firmly amy is a dynamic standing abs targeting! Work on reaching hands out further and lowering risks of heart diseases weight-lifter, she in... Extended straight behind body busy to squeeze in a straddle ( or V! To perform every exercise entire sequence with the right knee bent and open the! Back for Cow pose notch by standing with your feet a few inches apart, knees and aligned. Medical advice, diagnosis, or read further to learn more about stretching Warm! Alongside your right leg straight ahead to revisit this article, visit My,... Are perpendicular with the other foot down when you feel the stretch along the of. All over the world, including five years in Houston exercise can be, but that does n't they!, 8 stretches that can help you reach toward your face, feeling the stretch along the back each. Your goal is to stretch the leg sensory awareness for proper hip hinging and squatting click HERE jump! Exercise Library ; toe touch is a functional standing abs exercise targeting the.. N'T quite get your leg up to three sets per workout the extended,... And facing straight forward the leg in toward your spine your goal is to the!