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What Touching Your Toes Really Says

toe touch

Can you see the difference in these photos? The toe touch is a simple test that is often performed in injury rehabilitation and sports physical therapy settings.

However, important parts of this test are commonly missed. Simply touching your toes doesn’t tell the whole story. If you can touch your toes, great, however there are different ways that you can get there.

Have you stretched your hamstrings to such a degree that they allow you to nearly palm the floor? 

If you are a gymnast that may be a great thing. However field sport athletes (ex. Lacrosse, football, basketball, baseball) and weight lifters need a level of hamstring stiffness for explosive movement. 

Is your lower back straight or does it flex into more of a C curve to allow you to more easily touch your toes? Is your lower back bending in certain areas but not in others?

Your lower back consists of multiple bones (vertebrae) that are stacked on top of each other. Our backs are built this way to allow for movement of one segment on the next. However many times these small movements do not occur and the lower back moves as one unit. The result is a lower back that looks straight in places despite being bent over. Over time, a lack of lower back  movement can increase the risk for injury.

The toe touch is a great test and can be made even better when directed by a professional with a trained eye.

Contact us for more information about how a customized movement assessment may help you optimize your training and avoid injury!

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