Can’t Touch Your Toes… “Try Harder!”

I am very adamant about this topic for several reasons.  Here I will present one, seemingly obvious example, that I find myself talking to patients about on a daily basis.

Here is the scenario… someone bending forward to touch their toes versus someone trying to perform a squat.  Let’s say, for example, the person is unable to reach their toes.  No one in their right mind would try to “coach” them into making it, but might rather assume that their posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes, low back) might simply be too tight to make it.  In fact, you might find it completely ridiculous if someone was yelling at that person telling them to try harder.

Now imagine someone squatting, and what the normal course of action is to help them perform this movement better.  Although the physical demands are much higher, most people (and many trainers) would try to help them by “coaching” them through the movement.  Not enough of us would acknowledge that there could be limitations in their ankle dorsiflexion, hip flexion, hip stability, and/or thoracic extension (just to rattle off a few) that might be keeping them from performing the squat just as tight hamstrings might keep someone from reaching their toes.

At our office, we screen our patients for any physical limitations (whether it be tightness or weakness) that can keep them from performing at their best.

If you are constantly being “coached” to move differently yet lack the ability to change the result, come get assessed and we’ll give you the necessary mobility drills and/or exercises to meet your needs.

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