Can‘t touch your toes? You have weak hamstrings and tight hips

Here are three stretching exercises that can help improve your flexibility and enable you to finally touch your toes.

Let's do the sit-and-reach test to check how flexible you are. Sit with your legs stretch out forward and try to touch your toes with your hands. If you can reach past the toes, congratulation, you have a flexible body. However, there's nothing to worry about if you can't touch your toes. We have some stretches that can help improve your flexibility and enable you to finally touch your toes. Let's get started.

Aerobic exercise is good for your heart and strength training can help build your muscle mass, but you also need to add flexibility training to your workout routine for maintaining an overall healthy body. Regular stretching can help improve your posture, relieve muscle tension and may even reduce your risk of injury.

If you can't touch your toes, try these stretching exercises to improve your flexibility.

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Romanian Deadlift

Do you feel a tugging or tightness on the back of your legs as you try to reach for your toes? This is a sign that you have weak hamstrings. Romanian deadlift can help strengthen your hamstrings and decrease sensations of 'tightness.

How to do it

  • Stand with your legs at about hip-width apart and hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides. You can use a barbell, gripping the bar with your hands about shoulder-width apart.
  • Hinge forward, bend your knees slightly while keeping a flat back.
  • Lower the weight(s) toward the ground till your upper body is parallel to the ground. As you do so, you will feel a stretch down the back of your legs.
  • Bring your hips forward to return to the starting position.

Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

Having tight hips can also make it difficult for you to reach for your toes. Sitting for hours can cause tight hip flexors, which can create tension on your hamstrings when you try to reach for your toes. This simple kneeling hip flexor stretch may help in such a case.

How to do it

  • Bent your right leg at 90 degrees and place the left knee on the ground for support.
  • Tuck your hips slightly and lean towards your right knee. You will feel a stretch along the front of your left hip.
  • Hold on for about 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Active Hamstring Stretch

Tension in your nervous system due to poor nerve mobility is another potential hindrance to touching your toes. This is the reason why you feel a pinch in your lower back that shoots down your legs during the sit-and-reach test? An active hamstring stretch can help alleviate this tension.

How to do it

  • Lie on your back with your legs straight out
  • Raise your right leg up straight toward the sky, grabbing the back of your thigh with both hands.
  • Pull the right leg towards you until you feel a stretch on the back of your leg.
  • Lower and raise the leg several times to loosen the hamstring, then switch legs.

After your workout, spend 60 to 90 seconds foam roll your hamstrings. This can help promote blood flow to these muscles, which in turn helps promote relaxation and flexibility.

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