*Extremely* inflexible in Legs, looking for tips...




I am just starting MA, and I am very inflexible on the bottom of my legs, (I think), I am assuming that's hamstrings.

For example. If I sit on my rear, legs forward, couple inches apart, I have trouble reaching much beyond my knee.

If I stand and lift my leg as far as it will go unassisted, my right I can get barely perpendicular, and my left I am not sure I could get perpendicular. Assited, aint much better. (edit, I looked in a mirror, and I was overestimating myself, I am not getting even my right all the way to perpendicular, except maybe assited)

If I try to stand and "touch my toes", I can't quite make the 1/2 point to my shins =(

I am 6 ft 2, large build, I used to play sports as teen (I am 30). I never was THAT flexible in these ranges, but I believe I was better than now. I used to have muscular legs, and even now, after a long lay off, I can flex my legs and you can see definition in some ways, so I am not like wimpy-leg man. I have a spare tire I am trying to get rid of but I am not super fat in the belly.

I am curious what I can do to rectify this. This is totally unacceptable range for even basic kicks.

Should I just get on my *** and do the stretch several times a day? If so, what stretch? Is there a technique I can repeat and fix this inflexibility over time in particular?

I just wanna touch my toes lol (ok and be able to kick and not feel/look/be like a moron)



Senior Master
MTS Alumni
Apr 24, 2002
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first off, get your back checked. I can't touch my toes either, because I have scoliosis in my back which makes it not bend as easily. Mild cases can affect your flexibility and you might not know you have it.

second, perpendicular to your body is totally acceptable for a kick, especially for someone of your height. a kick to someone's stomach or knee is very effective. Not sure what your martial arts training is, but reconsider your training if your instructor wants you to do something that you're not physically capable of doing. You need to mold the style to the individual, not the individual to the style.

Stretching always helps. If you want to touch your toes, stretch by touching your toes. don't bounce, and do something for at least five minutes like running or jumping jacks or something to get your muscles warm before you stretch. Stretch a few times a day, and things can improve.

best of luck,.


if you wana touch your toes get on your *** and gently lean twards your toes after your calves and hamstrings are warmed up..

also your flexability doesn't nessisaraly have to do with your un assisted range of motion. most people can't bring their legs up past a 90 degree angle when their leg is outstretched and hold the position because it takes an incredable amount of strength of your hip adductors.

one thing is you may have been stretching incorrectly or at leaste not quite optimaly, I would suggest getting a good book on stretching and reading through it, there is alot of information on stretching that could help you out, I'm not sure how much knowledge you have about the subject..


forgot, if you want to stretch out your hamstrings/calves without stretching your lower back to much you can take a towel, fold it over a few times, grab each end and swing it over your feet and than pull back, your body can be at a 90 degree angle to your legs but you can still get a realy good calf/hamstring stretch.

also that second statement didn't make much sence. what I meant is just because you can't activly stretch your leg and hold it above 90 degrees doesn't mean you have a poor range of mothion.

Also as nightinggale said, it sounds like you have a fair range of motion to kick. Even though I can get my heal over my haid in a front kick I still rarely kick much above the belt, 90% of my kicks are directed at the legs and about 75% of those are directed at the lower legs.

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