Touch Your Toes in Ten

By Daniel Stott (Registered Osteopath)

When did you last touch your toes? It may have been a while, most can’t ever recall a time where they could bend forward and reach their feet comfortably. But why is that? You may want to blame your desk-based job or sedentary lifestyle for making you rigid. You should know that flexibility is important; being supple will substantially reduce your risk of injuring the crucial structures in your lower back such as the discs and muscles.

The collection of muscles and fascia that support the lower back, pelvis and legs is called the posterior chain. When bending over these muscles dictate how far down you can reach before feeling the pull. Yoga and Pilates are popular practices that concentrate on conditioning the posterior chain. If you visit an osteopath or a chiropractor for your back pain they are likely to work on these muscles to improve your range of movement.

A worrying number of people have accepted that they cannot touch their toes. Almost every human being is capable of full flexion so don’t succumb to stiffness when you don’t have to. By remaining stiff you are restricting the flow of vital fluids such as blood and nutrients therefore starving your muscles.

To improve your flexibility all you will need is a hard ball (golf/ cricket/ lacrosse etc.), a small towel or band and around 10 minutes per day. Each exercise should cause moderate discomfort but never sharp or severe pain.

Day 1 & 2
Knee hugs (2 mins)

– Trunk rotations (1 min)

Standing hamstring stretch (4 mins)

Standing calf stretch (4 mins)

Day 3 & 4
Knee hugs (2 mins)
Trunk rotations (1 min)
Standing hamstring stretch (4 mins)
Sole rolls with ball (4 mins)

Day 5 & 6
Banana stretch (4 mins)

Standing hamstring stretch with band (4 mins)

Prone calf stretch (4 mins)

Day 7 & 8
Banana stretch (4 mins)
Prone calf stretch (4 mins)
Piriformis stretch (4 mins)

Day 9 & 10
Flexion onto platform (2 mins)

Pigeon stretch (4 mins)

Seated hamstring stretch with band (4 mins)

Prevention is the best cure for back pain, so start stretching today to avoid that slipped disc or trapped nerve. All it takes is roughly 10 minutes a day for 10 days! For further advice Call Freedom Care Clinics today on 0161 828 6604 and receive a free consultation with an osteopath, chiropractor, physio or personal trainer.