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Can’t bend down and touch your toes? Here is what’s wrong with your health

Published on:28 November 2020, 11:00am IST
Toe touches are not just about flexibility, but it has a lot to do with your overall health. So if you can’t do this exercise, then read on.
Nikita Bhardwaj
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Get into the habit of touching your toe and receive a whole lot of benefits. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Has anyone ever challenged you to bend your toes? Has anyone said that if you can do it properly, it says a lot about how healthy you are? Have you ever tired? 

If you have and can pull it off just like that, then kudos to you but even after giving your best, you didn’t manage to, then it shows how sedentary your lifestyle is.

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Generally speaking, if you can’t touch your toes, it’s a sign that your body is not flexible enough. Flexibility is needed for proper blood circulation, and muscle elasticity. If we are not flexible enough, certain kinds of injuries while playing sports or in our daily lives can occur. We may also experience cramps in various parts of our body. 

You might be thinking what’s the big deal, if you can’t touch your own toes right? Well, it is! And we have yoga and pilates expert, and founder of Laxmana Yoga & Pilates, Bhavani Pinisetti who will tell us why.

If you can’t touch your toes, here are five things it says about you and your body: 

1. It shows that your hamstrings are tight because of fascia.

2. It tells that your hip muscle is not at all flexible, and you can have aches in the lower part of your body, especially if you have a sedentary job.

3. It also means tight lumbar extensors.

4. Sadly, it also means your belly is becoming an obstruction, because there is too much fat.

5. It shows that you are hardly active in your daily routine.

toe touch
Half padahastasana. Image courtesy: Bhavani Pinisetti

“Do you know that even studies have indicated that actively focusing on touching the toes for 30 seconds or 1 minute a day is enough to lengthen hamstring muscles in 4 weeks? And it is not like you do it for a day and that’s it. Consistent practice and effort is needed for this practice to increase flexibility,” reveals yoga expert Ms Pinisetti. 

Build flexibility with these two yoga poses

According to Ms Pinisetti, there are two asanas that help in building flexibility, thereby making it easier to touch your toes. They are uttanasana and padahastasana. 

She suggests:

When one does these asanas, the body feels better with pleasurable pain caused by stretching and lengthening of muscles.  

She adds, “uttanasana is an intense stretch. The word ut means “intense” in Sanskrit, while tana is “stretch”. In this pose, the head hangs below the heart, allowing fresh oxygen-rich blood to flow into the brain. It’s important to practice this asana with the right technique, otherwise one can injure the hamstrings or back.” 

toe touch
Kapotasana. Image courtesy: Bhavani Pinisetti
Learn the right way of bending forward to reach the toes with Ms Pinisetti

Just like any other yoga pose or exercise,  you need to do a toe touch properly to avoid cramps and muscle spasms. So, learn it carefully.

In the simple forward bend padahastasana, the line of tensional resistance in the back of the body is lined up through the feet, and muscles of the spine. Almost anyone can experience restriction in the hamstrings. But there is something more subtle going on. When we stand, our legs have to engage in some degree or another to keep us upright. This means, the hamstrings and calf muscles ( both stretched in forward bends) are also slightly engaged for balance. This is a delicate balancing act.

toe touch
Padahastasana. Image courtesy: Bhavani Pinisetti
Four benefits of doing toe touch regularly

1. This pose stretches the hamstrings, and increases flexibility in the hip joints.

2. It massages the entire abdominal and pelvic region, including the liver pancreas, spleen, kidney and adrenal glands.

3. It helps to remove the excess weight in this area, and stimulates circulation to the nerves and muscles of the spine.

4. Forward bends are soothing and calming for the mind.

So ladies, take this challenge and master the art of touching your toes, because it is totally worth it.

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Nikita Bhardwaj Nikita Bhardwaj

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content.