Touching your toes has been something we all had to do as kids in school during that fitness test, I think it was called the Presidential Fitness Test. ( I don’t think kids do that anymore) Sigh….
Anyhow, what does touching your toes have to to do with life and fitness?
Well, ones ability to touch their toes has a great deal of influence on strength, mobility, and flexibility and a huge carry over into life. If you are not able to touch your toes, everyday actions like bending down to tie your shoe, or picking up your kid from the floor or a heavy box can be quite troublesome and often lead to injuries.
But, being able to touch your toes is not just simply a matter of stretching the hamstrings and you are good to go. In my most recent post on The Personal Trainer Development Center, I talk about The Importance of Toe Touches, and How You Can Safely Get Yourself to Touch Your Toes again.
Can you touch your toes?
It’s a serious question. Your ability to touch your toes is a simple assessment that is commonly associated with hamstring flexibility, and if you can’t, it can impede his ability to deadlift and generally move well.
At the same time, something as simple as reaching down to touch your toes is actually a lot more complex than you think. According to the Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA), the toe touch exercise is a multi-segmental flexion pattern which includes the ability to touch the toes without bending at the knees and demonstrate a ‘clean’ movement through the hips and spine.
Basically, it looks like this:
Okay, big deal! Why does this matter to us as trainers whether clients can touch their toes?
Because if they cannot, something is preventing them from touching their toes and loading their hips appropriately. We would need to investigate further to see if the root cause is a mobility or stability problem.