I'm a yoga expert – this is how to touch your toes again with eight easy stretches | The Sun

STILL dream of being as lithe and flexible as you were when you were a kid?

The ability to touch your toes might seem as fanciful as doing the trapeze, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

In addition to being able to smugly say: “I can touch my toes,” being a bit bendier can do wonders for the rest of you – and no, we don’t just mean in the bedroom (though, that is another win).

“Flexibility is important for everyday life,” says Evren Celik, certified yoga and breathwork practitioner and co-founder of URWell.

“Bending down to tie your shoelaces, picking things up off the ground, walking upstairs and standing up from the sofa are all easier the more flexible you are.”

Flexibility can also boost your posture and help ward off injuries. So if you’re starting to creak, here’s what you can do about it. 


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As we rack up years, we naturally lose some flexibility and become stiffer.

The problem is, we often don’t realise what we’ve lost until it affects our daily lives.

“You can tell if you’re inflexible if you’re facing pain and tension, especially in the joints,” says Evren.

“When we’re not flexible, movement is neither easy nor enjoyable.

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"And when movement is difficult, we’re less likely to exercise regularly, which is crucial for our wellbeing.” 

If you’re suffering stiffness when you exercise, you’re at increased risk of potential damage as well.

“You’ll be more susceptible to injuries to your tendons, muscles and ligaments,” says Evren. 

However, it’s normal to feel creaky and stiff in the mornings, and to get muscle tightness after long periods of sitting or standing.

“Most of the time, that tight feeling is a result of overnight changes in lubrication in the joints and the fascia,” explains Evren. 

Fascia is the strong connective tissue that surrounds muscle and bone. It forms multiple layers with a gel-like lubricant in between that allows the layers to slide and glide smoothly, helping you feel agile. 

“Because fascia envelops our muscles, when it is tight, it decreases the amount of space your muscles have to move and contract, which in turn decreases your flexibility,” says Evren. 


Luckily, getting your flex on needn’t be too tricky, and it’s never too late to limber up and boost your range of motion.

So we asked yoga coach and martial artist Chloe Bruce for her ultimate at-home stretches to help improve flexibility in your calves, hamstrings, glutes and hips, to have you reaching for your toes in no time.

“With appropriate training, flexibility can, and should, be developed at all ages,” she says.

It just takes a little practice.  Before the stretching commences, warm up.

Try five minutes of light jogging on the spot, squats, lunges or skipping – to get your heart rate and body temperature up a little.

Then do these eight moves every day for two weeks.

Aim to hold each stretch for 30 seconds on each side (for some, you may need a towel or strap), and in a fortnight, you could be able to touch your toes again. 

1. Passive Forward Fold (using a strap/towel)

Sit with outstretched legs.

If your hamstrings are tight, you can sit on a bolster or block to help your pelvis tilt forward.

Whether your knees are straight or bent, take a strap and place it around the balls of the feet.

Hold it with both hands and feel free to ease forwards. Use the strap to maintain a straight spine.

2. Passive Leg Raise (using a strap/towel)

Lie down on your back, legs extended, and draw one leg into your torso. 

Hug your knee tight to your chest or tummy.

Place the strap around the arch of the foot on the tucked leg.

Hold the strap with both hands and try to straighten the elevated leg.

Don’t force it! Repeat on the other side.

3. Forward Fold

Stand tall, feet hip-width apart.

Bend into the knees and slowly hinge at the hips towards the floor.

Aim to get your fingertips in line with your toes. Place a block under your hands if you  can’t touch the floor.

To come up, bend through the knees and rise slowly.

4. Wide-Legged Forward Fold

Start out standing tall, feet together, and take a large step out into a wide stance.

Place feet parallel to one another.

Put your hands on your hips, bend through the knees and slowly hinge at the hips to start leaning forward.

Keep a straight spine. You can place your hands on a block or on the ground. You can also try holding your ankles. Bend your knees to come out of the stretch the same way you went into it.

5. Single Leg Forward Fold

Start seated, with one foot on the inner thigh of the opposite leg.

Keep your foot engaged to protect the knee.

Inhale to lengthen your spine, and on an exhale, fold forward, keeping your hips square over your legs.

Place your hands wherever feels comfortable – on your thighs, on blocks, on your shins or clasping your bottom foot.

Repeat on the other side.

6. Moving Low Lunge

Start in a low lunge, with your left knee on the ground.

Keeping your back toes tucked, lean back, taking your sit bones (lower pelvis) towards the heel of the left foot while straightening through the right leg.

Reach your arms forward or hold a strap/towel to add extension to your arms.

Then transition back to the low lunge. Breathe deeply throughout. Repeat on the other side.

7. Seated Figure of Four

Start seated, with your legs outstretched.

Bend through your right leg and, with your left hand, take the right foot and rest it across your left leg.

Place both hands behind you and bend the left leg, bringing your left foot closer to your hips.

The closer your hips are to your front foot, the deeper the stretch.

8. Glute Stretch

Start out standing and take a deep bend into both legs.

Place one leg across the opposite and hold the foot of the elevated leg.

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Send your hips back and bend into the supporting leg while bringing your chest down towards your elevated leg.

You’ll feel this stretch deep in the glutes of the elevated leg. Repeat on the other side. 

  • For more information, visit Urwell.co.uk. Follow Chloe Bruce on Instagram @Chloedbruce.

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