Toe Touch Dance move is a very elegant looking move that is also called a Straddle Jump. It is done by jumping in the air, with both legs abducted to the maximum and the arms extended over the toes.
This move is popular in Dance Cheerleading and Gymnastics. Dancers often find this move difficult to execute as it requires a great range of flexibility in the adductors of the leg.
To execute it to perfection, you first need to perfect the side split or the straddle position. Also, you need to develop strength in the legs to help you jump high enough.
There are many muscles you have to work on, before you can execute a perfect Toe Touch. You have to work on the flexibility and strength of the muscles of the leg and core in a correct sequence. So, let’s start with the anatomy of Toe Touch Dance.
Biceps Femoris is a flexor of the knee. But as you can see, the knee has to be extended straight for a perfect Toe Touch. Hence, it is getting lengthened.
Semitendinosus is one of the medial Hamstring muscles whose action is to extend the thigh but here it will be stretched to achieve the position shown in the picture.
Semimembranosus is another Hamstring muscle that also works to extend the leg.
The prime adductor of the leg will definitely get lengthened as the legs are being abducted to the maximum and this is the opposite of what Adductor Magnus does.
It is also an adductor of the legs at the hip joint. So, as expected it also gets lengthened.
Another muscle of adductor compartment that will also get stretched during the abduction of thighs.
Gracilis is a strong adductor of legs. It is a strap like muscle and during Toe Touch, it will be lengthened.
Muscles Lengthening while Contracting
To reach the toes, the trunk has to stretch, that’s why Spinal Extensors will be stretched a little but they will compensate by contraction against the stretch to limit further stretching.
Quadratus Lumborum stabilizes the pelvis as well as extends the spine working bilaterally. It will also get lengthened while contracting just like Spinal Extensors.
Muscles Shortening while Contracting
Rectus Abdominis flexes the trunk anteriorly. During Toe Touch Dance move, forward bending is important to reach the toes. So, it will be shortening.
Obliques also assist during the flexion of the trunk that’s why they also are shortening during Toe Touch.
Psoas Minor and Major not only flex the leg but also help in the flexion of the trunk, so they play a major role during Toe Touch Dance move’s execution.
Iliacus works along with Psoas muscles to flex the leg at the hip joint.
Rectus Femoris is also a part of anterior compartment and a flexor of the thigh. It will also be contracting to assist the execution of Toe Touch.
Quadriceps Vast iToe Touch Dance:
Vasti muscles act mainly on the knee joint to extend it. This movement is important for the perfect Toe Touch Dance move.
Sartorius Toe Touch Dance:
Sartorius will be acting as a thigh flexors making it easier to lift the legs up and touch the hands with the toes.
Tensor Fascia Lata:
It not only acts as a hip joint flexor but also a thigh abductor thus is getting flexed.
Gluteus Minimus is also an abductor of the thigh. Its contraction will also be helpful in achieving the wider straddle during the Toe Touch.