While this is not a TKD exclusive matter I still post it here since I'm a Taekwondoin on the one hand and it's an important aspects of basic Taekwondo kicks on the other. Flexing the toes, pulling or bending back the toes, dorsiflexion of the toe joint. However you wanna call it, certain techniques like the Ap Chagi (front kick) or Dollyeo Chagi (roundhouse kick) require to be able to bend back the toes to a certain extent. Since I'm recovering from foot/bunion surgery and working on re-mobilizing my big toe joint I had a lot of time on my hands to research on all kind of matters. When doing Taekwondo I always had that annoying issue when kicking front and roundhouse kicks. I actually never did any board breaking with the ball of the foot except for show boards due to that. Plus my orthopedist warned me not to try board breaking with the ball of the foot since, due to may flat and splay feet, I would hit with the 'wrong' part of the ball of the foot and would put too much strain on the metatarsals II-IV instead of hitting with the metatarsals I and V. Anyway, that didn't bother me much, I was more concerned about injuring my big toe. Here's a picture of my toes in the Ap Chagi/front kick position. That's the maximum I can bend them back, and there's maybe 1° more I can move the toe passively: So, while it looks alright, there were a lot of times where I hurt the big toe joint when kicking target mitts with Ap Chagis. One way to compensate the limited range of the big toe joint, is sacrificing the full plantar flexion of the foot by not fully flexing it, but then there's less stability and it's not done the way it's supposed to be. Yet that's what I see a lot of belt tests where people kick Ap Chagis. In a lot of cases the board holders hold the boards at an angle where it's impossible to break it with full plantar flexion in the ankle joint anyway, but that's a different story. According to one of the few online sources I found, these are the motion ranges of the Big toe (toe I) joint: Small toes (toes II-V) joints: According to the doctor's report of my surgery my maximum range of the big toe was 40° upwards/dorsi extension (while up to 70° is possible/normal) and 20° downward/plantar-flexion (while up to 45° are possible). Anyway, as of now I don't know if I'll get back to my pre-surgery range of motion or if it will be worse or if it may even better. According to my orthopedist I will get back to my pre-surgery range. The passive mobilization shocked me first when the joint felt totally stiff first, but now gets better and better. But I was wondering if anyone here ever worked on making his toes more flexible. I remember that, when I was a kid, that we pushed the toes back when we were stretching. I kinda got to a point where I would accept just the genetic limits that are put upon some of us. Yet I wonder what the experience of the more seasons practitioners and teachers are. Was anyone able to extend the flexibly of their toe joints over time? Do those who teach actually put any focus on that? I remember, when I was working on board breaking with people I gave advice to change the angle of the board so many times. There are way too many people out there who're not aware at which angle they can still kick and hit the board with the ball of their foot and from which angle on they will hit it with their toes first and will potentially hurt their joints and not break the board.