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Toe Touches

What Are Toe Touches?

How to do Toe Touches

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Toe touches are a challenging core exercise that trains the core through spinal flexion. The performer has to use the abdominals to lift the upper body off the floor and touch the toes while lying down with legs in the air.

Toe touches are similar to the ab crunch but are more challenging as the lower body is off the floor. This reduces support and means the core must work harder to stabilise the body throughout the exercise.   

When performed correctly, toe touches work the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, and obliques. They should be performed slowly and with control to ensure it is ab contraction, not momentum, that drives the movement.

Most Commonly Asked Questions About Toe Touches

  • Toe touches are a bodyweight exercise that trains the core through spinal flexion. This exercise challenges the performer to lie on their back with legs extended towards the ceiling, and then lift the upper body using the abdominals in order to touch their toes.

  • Toe touches work the core, mainly targeting the transverse abdominis, rectus abdominis, and obliques. This exercise also stretches the hamstrings.

  • Toe touches help to improve core strength and build ab definition. Strengthening the core can help with posture, lower back pain, and stability. Toe touches also stretch the hamstrings and can improve hamstring flexibility.

Tips for Toe Touches

Having a strong core is important to ensure the spine is protected in toe touches. Think about pulling the bellybutton in towards the spine to keep the lower back flat on the floor. Starting with ab crunches is a good way to ensure you have the strength needed to engage your core properly.

If you struggle with keeping your legs straight at a 90-degree angle, try performing hamstring stretches like half splits, forward folds, and lying hamstring stretches, first. If you’re still unable to get or maintain the correct position, try other core exercises and work on your flexibility for a few weeks before trying again.

Once you’ve mastered toe touches and can perform 12-20 reps with good form, try adding load to make this more challenging. Holding a dumbbell or kettlebell will make raising the upper body more challenging for the abdominals.

How To Do Toe Touches

  1. Lie on your back on the floor with your legs extended straight out, then raise the legs until they’re at a 90-degree angle with your torso. Extend your arms out above you.

  2. Engage your core by pushing the bellybutton down towards the spine, then begin to curl your shoulders and upper back off the floor.

  3. As your upper body comes up, reach your hands up to touch your toes.

  4. Pause then slowly lower to the starting position.


If you’re not sure if any of the above exercises are suitable for you, please consult your doctor before you start it. Need guidance on how to perform the exercise? Ask a personal trainer at your gym.