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How to Increase Flexibility to Touch Your Toes

by
author image Kendra Crawford
Kendra Crawford has been publishing articles since 2010. She is the manager of a health club as well as a personal trainer and instructor. She has a Bachelor of Science in sports management from Florida State University and is pursuing a doctoral degree in physical therapy at the University of Florida.
How to Increase Flexibility to Touch Your Toes
A woman is stretching and touching her toes. Photo Credit amanaimagesRF/amana images/Getty Images

Aside from major injuries, not being able to touch your toes is usually a result of poor flexibility in either your hamstrings or lower back, or a combination of the two. The best way to increase your flexibility to the extent of enabling you to touch your toes is to stretch your hamstrings regularly. Hamstring stretches are not only simple and easy, they also require no equipment and can be performed anywhere.

Seated Hamstring Stretch

Step 1

Sit on the floor with your legs extended with your toes pointing to the ceiling. Engage your core to stabilize you spine and rest your hands on your thighs.

Step 2

Flex forward at your hips as you slide your hands down your legs toward your feet. Try to keep your back flat and avoid bending your knees. Pause when you feel tension in your calves and hamstrings. Hold for 20 seconds.

Step 3

Slowly release the stretch and return to the starting position. Repeat two to three times.

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Standing Single-Leg Hamstring Stretch

Step 1

Find a chair, bench or railing that is waist height. Position your body about 3 feet away and stand facing it with your feet hip-width apart and point your toes straight ahead.

Step 2

Balance on your left leg as you lift your right leg to rest it on the object in front of you. Point the toes of your right foot toward the ceiling and avoid letting your hips rotate to the left. Ensure your left leg is directly below your hips and rest both hands on your right thigh.

Step 3

Keep both legs completely straight as you begin to flex at your hips to reach for your right ankle. Hold this position for 20 seconds.

Step 4

Slowly return to the standing position. Perform the stretch on your left leg while balancing on your right. Repeat for two more reps on both legs.

Seated Bent-Leg Hamstring Stretch

Step 1

Sit on the floor with your right leg extended and your left leg bent with the sole of your foot resting on the inside of your right thigh. Engage your core to stabilize your spine and rest your hands on your right thigh.

Step 2

Flex forward at your hips as you slide your hands down your leg toward your feet. Avoid letting your knee bend. Hold for 20 seconds when you feel tension in your hamstring.

Step 3

Slowly return to the starting position. Perform the stretch on your left leg. Repeat for two more reps on both legs.

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References

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