This won't be painful, I promise!

It’s time to learn to contact your toes!

What makes me so assured you’ll be capable to attain your little piggy wiggies?

As a result of we educate even essentially the most “rigid” of oldsters how one can contact their toes in our 1-on-1 On-line Teaching Program, and we’ll share with you all our secrets and techniques beneath.

Right here’s what we’ll cowl in our information, The way to Contact Your Toes:

It’s time to develop into flexible like Gumby! 

Don't worry, we're just getting started with appearances from Gumby.


Let’s do that.

The Advantages of Being Capable of Contact Your Toes

I told you Gumby would be back.

If you wish to enhance your flexibility, you’re gonna must stretch.[1] It’s the way you make your muscle tissues elastic and robust.

Why trouble although? What’s the large deal about having the ability to contact your toes?

The advantages of stretching embrace:

  • Enhance vary of movement. If you happen to can transfer a joint by way of its full vary of movement, you’re gonna have extra freedom of motion. Confidently navigating the bodily world is an indication of a wholesome nerd, which is why flexibility shouldn’t be missed. The most effective methods to develop into extra versatile is to stretch.[2] 
  • Enhance posture. If you wish to cease slouching a lot, recurrently stretching might assist.[3] Stretching works to enhance muscle imbalances, which in flip may assist your posture.
  • Alleviate again ache. If you happen to endure from again ache, it may be price beginning a stretching routine .[4] The muscle tissues in your again may be tight, proscribing your vary of movement, which causes ache. Stretching can assist loosen up the world, plus strengthen the muscle. This may assist forestall future harm. 

Stretching, and the flexibility that comes with it, shouldn’t be missed when constructing a exercise routine

Whereas there are lots of indicators of fine flexibility, one of the widespread is undoubtedly having the ability to contact your toes.

Don't worry buddy, we'll teach you exactly how to reach your feet!

In any case, it was so necessary the President had all American schoolchildren carry out the “Sit and Attain” take a look at to see if they may seize their toes.[5]

Touching your toes may need been a battle for you then. It’d nonetheless be a battle for you now.

What’s occurring?

Why Can’t I Contact My Toes?

Do otters have toes? Claws?

If you’re unable to the touch your toes, it’s most definitely due to one among these 4 main causes:

#1) Shortened/tight posterior chain muscle tissues. Though most individuals assume not having the ability to contact our toes simply means your hamstring muscle tissues are rigid, in actuality our complete system (together with the decrease again) can play an enormous function as properly! As Mark Rippetoe explains on this video concerning the Romanian deadlift, what it’s possible you’ll assume is a decrease again problem can be a hamstring problem (and vice versa):

You see, the posterior chain is an interconnected collection of muscle tissues that features our again muscle tissues, erector spinae (muscle tissues alongside our backbone), decrease again muscle tissues, butts, and hamstrings.

The posterior chain is proven right here:

As you can see, much of our body is dependent on the posterior chain muscles.

Weak mobility factors in a single place within the system can develop into debilitating (and infrequently straightforward to identify) after we do compound actions just like the deadlift.

If you happen to’re someone who sits at a desk all day and struggles to the touch your toes, you in all probability aren’t strengthening or lengthening these muscle tissues as a result of the chair is doing all the give you the results you want.

#2) You may have comparatively lengthy legs in comparison with your torso and arms. Folks with lengthy legs and quick torsos could have a larger problem than individuals who have quick legs and lengthy torsos and arms.

Yeah, having long legs might make reaching your toes more difficult.

However concern not, you can also stage up and get these toes touched.

#3) You may have an excessive amount of physique fats. If you’re obese and occur to have a giant abdomen, it will possibly definitely make touching one’s toes tougher. Since you already know that weight-reduction plan is 90% of the battle in relation to weight reduction, concentrate on vitamin to start shedding weight (listed below are the 5 guidelines of weight reduction that can assist you start). This can be a think about making it simpler to the touch your toes.

#4) You’re not warmed up but. If you happen to JUST awoke or spent all day in a automotive, you’re conversant in the rigidity that makes you really feel like a metal girder. Your muscle tissues act like rubber bands; the extra they’re used, the extra they’re warmed-up, and the additional they will stretch. This is the reason we encourage folks to undergo a mobility warm-up earlier than train!

Arm circles like so are a great way to get your heart rate up before doing HIIT.

Let’s put a plan in place to lastly contact our toes!

Figuring out Your Preliminary Flexibility (We All Begin Someplace)

While we are going to go over many stretches, feel free to make your own!

Earlier than we are able to implement a method to develop extra flexibility that lets you contact your toes, we have to know your place to begin.

As Peter Drucker stated, “That which will get measured will get managed.” Or on this case, that which will get measured will get extra versatile! 

The next comes from our free 5-Day Flexibility Collection, which you’ll be able to join in the present day!


  1. Stand straight together with your legs about hip-width aside. You need your legs to be straight, however don’t aggressively lock out your knees both (this looks like a “microbend” to lots of people).
  2. Start by bending and leaning ahead in direction of the bottom together with your quads (entrance of your legs).
  3. Let your physique relaxation naturally, as should you have been a ragdoll. Conserving your palms comparatively shut collectively, straighten your fingers and start to stretch down slowly to the bottom.
  4. Do that 2-3 instances to get warmed up. Attempt to hold your legs straight by flexing or activating your quads; hold your legs straight, with out locking your knees.
  5. Apart from the microbend, don’t bend your knees that can assist you get nearer to the bottom! I’m watching you. If you happen to’re videotaping your self on these to observe your progress, observe that relying in your physique (and your hamstrings) your legs might not look 100% straight.

If you end up prepared, attain in direction of the bottom and maintain it for a number of seconds. Measure the gap in one of many following methods:

  • If you happen to aren’t touching the bottom, have a pal measure the gap from the tip of your fingers to the bottom. If you happen to don’t have a pal with you, place your palms in your legs and observe the place the information of your fingers find yourself.
  • If you happen to can contact the bottom, you’ll need to flatten your palms as a lot as potential, and report the gap from the highest of your head to the bottom. As you’ll be able to stretch additional, the highest of your head will really get nearer and nearer to the bottom.
  • If this appears straightforward, attempt hugging your calves and pulling your head in in direction of your physique.

Report your measurement in a doc or on a bit of paper (should you’re a part of the pliability problem, we’ve got a doc you’ll be able to print out), and/or save the picture/video to point out how far down you’re reaching.

The 4 Greatest Stretches to Contact Your Toes (Enhance Your flexibility)

Of course we were going to include this photo.

There are two key components that may decide whether or not or not you’re profitable in gaining the flexibility to the touch your toes as you observe over the subsequent few weeks:

  1. Actively stretching your muscle tissues JUST previous the purpose of consolation. Like energy coaching by including 1 rep or a number of kilos to an train, we need to stretch simply past the purpose the place we stretched final time so our muscle tissues should elongate.
  2. Constant observe and energy! You’ll be able to’t enhance your flexibility by stretching for five minutes as soon as a month. You’d be higher off stretching for 30 seconds unfold out 10 instances all through the month.

That’s proper. Research confirmed that actively specializing in touching your toes for 30 seconds, 3 instances per week was sufficient to elongate hamstring muscle tissues in 4 weeks. [6]

I‘m positive there’s an inappropriate joke to be made right here about 30 seconds of effort, however I’m higher than that (I believe).

In much less time than it takes to replace your Fb standing, you possibly can be touching your toes and make Gumby proud.

Is there anything Gumby can't do?

And I do know you’ve gotten time.


All I’m asking for is 2 minutes. 2 minutes! You’ll be able to even unfold these actions out all through your day – I love to do them after I work out. After an extended day at a desk, after driving, or upon waking up are all good instances to work on flexibility!

By every of the actions beneath, be sure you are respiration slowly and steadily.

You’ll be able to comply with together with all the actions beneath that come from our actually enjoyable on-line course, Nerd Health Yoga (a part of NF Prime). It’s primarily yoga for those that don’t do yoga.


  1. Standing toe contact stretch – 30 seconds
  2. Cat/Camel – 30 seconds (swap positions each 5 seconds)
  3. Star stretch – 30 seconds (as many sluggish reps as you’ll be able to)
  4. Moon the sky – 30 seconds (as many sluggish reps as you’ll be able to)

1) Standing toe contact stretch: Flex/activate the entrance of your legs, hold them straight, and bend over on the waist juuuust previous the purpose of discomfort; maintain that place for 30 seconds. Repeat this course of each different day and maintain it for 30 seconds.

Don't push it, but let yourself ragdoll down.

2) We will loosen up a decent decrease again by doing 30 seconds of shifting backwards and forwards each few seconds by doing a “cat” after which a “cow”:

These yoga poses are a great way to help exercise your back.

3) You may as well do what we name a star stretch to assist stretch these legs out! Stand together with your legs unfold vast, and arms prolonged (therefore the time period Star!), after which attain down with one hand to your reverse leg; maintain for 5 seconds, again to begin, and repeat with the opposite leg.

The Star Stretch is a great practice to touch your toes.

4) Right here’s one other favourite motion of mine that helps enhance my flexibility and mobility: the “Moon the Sky” stretch!

This stretch is a great way to increase flexibility so you can touch your toes!

This can be a nice stretch to combine into your pre-workout warmup to get your legs, butt, and again ready for work:

  • Squat down and put your palms underneath your toes
  • Slowly transfer your butt up together with your palms remaining underneath your toes.
  • Increase your butt and attempt to straighten your legs
  • Go a TEENY bit increased every time till you’ll be able to totally straighten your legs!

For any of the above strikes, a great way to examine your kind could be to report a video of your self and match it in opposition to the movies and gifs right here. If they appear shut, you’re doing nice!

If you wish to have an professional assessment your stretches, our coaches can just do that in our snazzy app!

The way to Develop into Extra Versatile (Subsequent Steps)

This would be an advanced way to touch your toes.

It’s now time to coach to the touch your toes!

Check your toe-touching skills earlier than and after doing the 2-minutes of train above, and I guess you’ll discover a distinction instantly – simply wait to see what you’ll be able to accomplish in a number of weeks!

The cool factor about flexibility is that any mixture of the stretches above will allow you to enhance your flexibility so long as you persistently work on it a tiny bit each day.

I do mobility work: 

  • Once I get up
  • After I work out
  • All through my day (when working at my desk)
  • On the finish of my day for a minute or two earlier than mattress

All added up, it’s lower than 5 minutes of time, but it surely’s sufficient to point out me some outcomes!

I feel like this is cheating.

If you happen to comply with our information above, you’ll be properly in your method to growing your flexibility and touching your toesie wosies.

You simply want to begin!

Need some assist getting going? Somewhat further push out the door? 

We constructed three excellent subsequent steps for growing your flexibility!

#1) Work with an expert Yoda! In order for you confidence that you simply’re following a program that’s tailored to your busy life, state of affairs, and targets, take a look at our widespread 1-on-1 Teaching Program.

Lots of our purchasers have “elevated flexibility” as one among their health targets, and so they take consolation figuring out a licensed NF teacher is guiding them there. 

#2) Exercising at residence and want a plan to comply with? Try Nerd Health Journey!

Our enjoyable habit-building app helps you train extra ceaselessly, eat more healthy, and stage up your life (actually).

Strive your free trial proper right here:

#3) Be part of our superb free group, the Nerd Health Rebel! Not solely is it free to affix, however we’ll give you a great deal of free goodies while you sign-up:

That ought to nearly do it for our information on The way to Contact Your Toes.

Now, your flip:

Are you able to contact your toes?

Does making an attempt to “sit and attain” deliver again horrors from grade faculty?

Another ideas or methods for mobility coaching?

Tell us within the feedback!


PS: Be sure you take a look at the remainder of our Mobility Coaching collection:


GIF credit score: banana, Danny Devito, gumby, patrick.

Photograph credit score: toe contact, posterior chain, roar, yoga sundown, the adventures of Gumby and R2D2, Stormtroopers and Gumby

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