Toe touch progressions

Ryan Todd Lloyd, DCBack, San Francisco Bay Area, San Francisco Chiropractor

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In Gray Cook’s Lectures, of which I listen on Audible, I learned this morning of the importance of toe touching progressions. Apparently, when Gray Cook use to lecture on stage for Reebok and for Perform Better, he would pull people on stage and demonstrate that most adults cannot do a toe-touch. For many of us, when we go through our teenage growth spurts, we start to lose our sense of balance and movement, and our bodies lose that neurological ability to allow the hamstrings and gastrocnemius muscles to allow for extra movement.

Most people do not rock backward in order to properly reach downward. When you do a toe-touch, you need to keep your center of mass over your feet. But if you reach forward without rocking backward, you will fall forward on to your face. If you try, your hamstrings will not allow the length required to reach down, and they will be “tight.” But, this tightness is a neurological effect. They are guarding against you falling.

Here’s a video by a physical therapist going over toe touching progressions:

And here is a video presented by a fellow chiropractor that goes over the same drills:

And another perspective:

Give these a try. Could you touch your toes before doing the drills? Did doing the drill help you progress?

Ryan Todd Lloyd, DC

I'm a chiropractor who specializes in correcting and relieving back and neck disorders. I have found that when you increase the mobility of your spine and joints with chiropractic care and follow up with this with improving muscle coordination with targeted exercises,then improving your function will also improve your pain.