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Author Topic: Can you touch your toes?  (Read 9478 times)

Offline dentstudent

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Can you touch your toes?
« on: 10/11/2008 08:50:49 »
So, when you are standing with straight legs, can you bend and reach your pinkies? I've always been able to do this, and can get my hands flat on the floor - I can almost smell my knees!

And yet some people who are more athletic than myself, or let's face it, thinner, simply cannot do this. Why is it then that I can do this without special training? What makes me more flexible than someone else? Indeed, am I more flexible, or does it help that my great grandfather was in actual fact an orang-utan? He could tie his shoe-laces without bending down!

All thoughts welcome!


 

Offline Karen W.

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Can you touch your toes?
« Reply #1 on: 10/11/2008 09:05:57 »
I am a big Girl... I can touch my toes as well as do flat hand even with my big belly! LOL I think it may have to do with the length of our arms according to the measurements of our bodies.. My inseem is only 31 inches long.. so maybe toro and leg length are shorter in comparison to arm span..
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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Can you touch your toes?
« Reply #2 on: 10/11/2008 11:37:43 »
Is it height? I'm short and I can't do it, even when I was a kid with heaps of flexibility training from Rhee Tae Kwon Do, the furthest I could get was my ankles.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Can you touch your toes?
« Reply #3 on: 10/11/2008 11:40:06 »
I've always been able to do it. Like Madidus, I did martial arts and that made me even more flexible. I can't do the splits though.
 

Offline Don_1

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Can you touch your toes?
« Reply #4 on: 10/11/2008 17:15:56 »
Touch my toes!!! I can't even see the bloody things!!!
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Can you touch your toes?
« Reply #5 on: 10/11/2008 17:28:32 »
Touch my toes!!! I can't even see the bloody things!!!

 ;D
 

Offline Karen W.

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Can you touch your toes?
« Reply #6 on: 10/11/2008 19:53:30 »
I have always been able to touch them as well as flat hands to the floor.I can also do te splits although lately with my hip problem it really really is painfull so I have stopped doing them ....Last time was at the preschool with the children.....Year and a half ago, although I did a round here just to see if I could get down flat on the floor with the old pelvis and yep I can, but oh my gawwwwwwd the pain...more over Thealmost impossibillity getting out of the position to get back up!!!!!! 48 years old Stinks!!!! LOL!!!

My hip physical therapist says that even with all my joint problems my leg are very Flexible... that was her term... not mine.. althoug she said wit the hip problem... no splits etc......LOL... Did'nt take but the one time to convince me she was right.. lots of aftepain to go with the chronic pain...
 

Offline wannabe

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Can you touch your toes?
« Reply #7 on: 11/11/2008 11:16:36 »
Soft tissue length is the result of functional input into that tissue's behaviour. If subjected to physical forces such as stretch, it remodels itself gradually. As a matter of fact, not only soft tissue but all tissues follow this essential law of physiology. Bone density is determined by loading forces and frequency thereof; elongated earlobes and expanded lower lips in certain cultures are caused by external forces applied; elongated necks through the use of neck rings added over time are the same type phenomenon.
Conclusion: those who expose themselves>>through play, sports, habit of movement or wherever the motivational source may lie<<to the necessary inputs will acquire that tissue length necessary to execute the behaviour demanded of those tissues. Therefore those who can touch their toes have been working on doing that, knowingly or not and those that cannot have not!
« Last Edit: 11/11/2008 11:19:04 by wannabe »
 

Offline dentstudent

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Can you touch your toes?
« Reply #8 on: 11/11/2008 11:56:40 »
Hmmmn, I don't think that that captures the whole subgroup of people who can touch their toes. It implies that you can only touch your toes if you've made effort towards that end (ahaha). i would say that there are people who have an ability to do this irrespective of stretching exercises. Your arguement would also suggest that if you do do exercise towards that end, then you should be able to touch your toes. M_S noted that he did lots of training but still cannot reach those elusive little piggies. You also talk about skin and bones, but I think that joint flexibility and extension of the joints is more to do with the topic. Perhaps I can extend my joints further or my ligaments are stretchier?
 

Offline wannabe

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Can you touch your toes?
« Reply #9 on: 11/11/2008 12:20:18 »
I refer to behaviour and not exercise! This means physical situation into which the body gets to function. For example the child who habitually reads and does homework lying on the belly, supporting him/herself on elbows vs the one sitting on a couch or curled up in a comfy chair will, over time, exhibit significantly different extensibility profiles of their spines.
Skin and bones are just other examples of tissues subject to the same laws.
Joint flexibility is determined by ligament laxity. Example: genu recurvatum. Many an individual with such a condition having shortened hamstring group cannot touch their toes.
Exercise, done right and consistently, will lengthen tissue. Limiting factors often being the age at which it is begun. Good place to look into this whole matter is the training regimen of ballet schools. Any individual signing up for training of that sort and seriously sticking with the program ends up seriously flexible.
 

Offline dentstudent

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Can you touch your toes?
« Reply #10 on: 11/11/2008 12:32:09 »
Even so, it still remains that there are people who do not exhibit behavioural tendencies or exercise towards this who can still touch their toes. Does this mean that some people's ligaments are more naturally "lax" and can therefore reach further?

I completely agree that exercise and or behaviour can alter the body's physical state.
 

Offline wannabe

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Can you touch your toes?
« Reply #11 on: 11/11/2008 12:58:18 »
Yes, there is a great range of natural laxity. It is genetically determined and relates to the instructional programs (from the genetic database) which determine the collagen structure. In simple terms: is the fabric woven into an 'open' or 'more closed' cofiguration.
External input into the structure, i.e influences upon collagen after it has been formed can and do modify it. Plasticity in the same sense as "neural plasticity".
 

Offline dentstudent

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Can you touch your toes?
« Reply #12 on: 11/11/2008 13:16:39 »
So it's a differences in individuals' collagen structure of the ligaments that causes the variability in the capacity to reach your toes!

Thankyou, Wannabe.

Karen - it seems then that you have an open-weave collagen matrix ligament structure! I bet you never knew!
 

Offline wannabe

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« Reply #13 on: 11/11/2008 14:36:31 »
goes along with an open-weave matrix type of mind structure.
Just kidding!
 

Offline Karen W.

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Can you touch your toes?
« Reply #14 on: 11/11/2008 14:42:00 »
Your right I didn't!!!

 just a note.... I did do Ballet as a child 7 to 10 years old .. and was very actively doing floor routines stretching and trying the uneven bars
 in gym.... as a high school student...used to do lots of stretches on the wall rails... also did a lot of weight lifting ams and legs.. pushed weights with my legs on the leg press in the weight room..... for a year or two after High School, until my daughter was born.
« Last Edit: 11/11/2008 14:49:41 by Karen W. »
 

Offline wannabe

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Can you touch your toes?
« Reply #15 on: 11/11/2008 14:43:54 »
Ha!
 

Offline Karen W.

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Can you touch your toes?
« Reply #16 on: 11/11/2008 14:50:30 »
My sister is double jointed in her hands fingers elbows and legs!
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Can you touch your toes?
« Reply #17 on: 20/11/2008 06:29:53 »
Perhaps your arms are naturally longer, or your legs are naturally shorter. Perhaps your ligaments are softer than normal allowing you to bend down more.
 

Offline wannabe

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Can you touch your toes?
« Reply #18 on: 20/11/2008 12:04:29 »
Yes, there is a great range of natural laxity. It is genetically determined and relates to the instructional programs (from the genetic database) which determine the collagen structure. In simple terms: is the fabric woven into an 'open' or 'more closed' cofiguration.
External input into the structure, i.e influences upon collagen after it has been formed can and do modify it. Plasticity in the same sense as "neural plasticity".
There is your "softer ligament" thing
                The "simian" thing hasn't borne out by comparative anthropometry.
 

Offline Lynda

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Can you touch your toes?
« Reply #19 on: 28/11/2008 17:25:48 »
I am 58 years old and can touch the floor in front of my toes with my fingers flat - but not the palms - that requires a slight kneed bend! I used to be able to put my hands flat on the floor with my legs straight but I have gained approximately three stones since then!  My leg length is 29 inches.
 

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Can you touch your toes?
« Reply #19 on: 28/11/2008 17:25:48 »

 

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