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  • Writer's pictureLuke Nelson

Runners, Can You Touch Your Toes?

Where are the non-toe-touchers at? 🙋🏻


Runners, Can You Touch Your Toes? Here's What You Need to Know If You Can't 🏃🏽‍♀️

😮‍💨If you can't touch your toes, don't worry—it's perfectly normal for runners to lack flexibility. Unless you experience pain when attempting this movement, there's no need to be concerned. Studies have shown that adult runners tend to be less flexible than their non-running counterparts. (Fukuchi, 2014)


🏃‍♂️In fact, having tighter hamstrings can actually improve your running performance. Muscles and tendons act like springs, storing and releasing energy. A tighter and stiffer spring offers more resistance to stretch and snaps back faster, enhancing running efficiency. This is supported by a 2009 study that found collegiate runners with poorer performance on a sit-and-reach test had better running economy. (Trehearn, 2009)


🏃‍♀️Additionally, posterior chain tightness has not been linked to an increased risk of injury. A study in ultra runners found that 2 in 3 Ultra runners could not reach past their toes, AND Sit & Reach flexibility did NOT correlate with injury. (Jastifer 2023)


So, rest assured that being unable to touch your toes shouldn't pose any problems for you as a runner.


👋Like and share this post to let everyone know that not being able to touch your toes isn't a problem!


🤓Health professionals, to learn more about treating runners, check our upcoming Online & Face to Face “MAT Assessing the Runner” courses. 🔗in bio https://www.matassessment.com/matrunningcourse


‼️ UPCOMING Melbourne face-to-face course: July 20-21st, early bird ends 9th June.



📚References

  • Fukuchi, R. K., et al. (2014). "Flexibility, muscle strength and running biomechanical adaptations in older runners." Clinical Biomechanics 29(3): 304-310.

  • Jastifer, J. R. and M. D. Hoffman (2023). "The Foot and Ankle in Ultramarathon Runners: Results of the Ultrarunners Longitudinal TRAcking (ULTRA) Study." Foot Ankle Orthop 8(3): 24730114231198832.

  • Trehearn TL, Buresh RJ. Sit-and-reach flexibility and running economy of men and women collegiate distance runners. J Strength Cond Res. 2009 Jan;23(1):158-62.

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