It is a myth that you need to be able to do a perfect split to have a beautiful toe touch. If you actually look at one from the side, you will see that your body is in a "sitting" position and your legs come up to meet your hands. Also, you do not "touch" your toes - you should reach for your heels; this gives the illusion that your legs are "inverted or hyper-extended". Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Toe Touch Jump Execution Tips:
- Keep your head and chest up.
- Bring your legs up to you.
- Reach for your heels - not your toes.
- Land with your feet together.
- For the "inverted / hyper-extended" effect, keep your back completely straight and roll your hips under you as you reach for your heels at the top of your jump.
- Keep your body in the "sitting" position and do not lean forward to reach your toes.
Above is a side view of the toe touch. Notice, you should reach for your ankles and bring your legs up to you; do not reach down toward your legs.
Toe Touch Exercise Tips:
One great exercise for the toe touch is to sit on the ground with your legs in a tuck jump position. Lean back, into your "sitting" position, and do your toe touch jump on the ground. Yes, you should feel this in your quadricepts (the muscle on the front of your thigh). Repeat 3 to 5 times.
One main problem that people have with their Toe Touch is that they land with their feet apart. One way to help solve this problem is to do FAST leg raises:
- Hold your arms out in a "T" position.
- Kick each leg to the side as far as you can without moving.
- Bring your leg down as quickly as you can, using your hamstrings. This will not only help with your flexibilty but will also help bring your legs together on your landing.
For other exercises and a video example of fast kicks - CLICK HERE.
- Do multiple jumps in a row. Remember, stop when your form is not correct. Start with 2 then work your way up to 5; yes this will take awhile.
- Practice your jumps with a Spotter. Have them hold your waist while you execute your jump. Have them give you an extra little lift at the top of your jump so you can have an extra second to execute the jump.
- If one leg is higher than the other in your jump, that means that one leg is probably stronger than the other (this is also your lead leg in your Herkey too). To help his problem, do SLOW leg raises on the weaker leg to help build the muscles.