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Toe Flexibility

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Original Message Post # 1
Fri 27th Nov 2009 03:59
Evan Jarrett

AUS-2-1126
Joined: 29/06/2009
Topics: 1 Replies: 25
Good afternoon

First things first, as this is my first post (Slightly odd first post come to think about it but ahh well), I thought it polite to introduce myself. My name is Evan Jarrett, I am a 1st degree in my mid 20's from Adelaide, South Australia. I returned to training earlier this year after an 8 year hiatus. Returning to Taekwon Do is the best thing I have done, I just wish I had the opportunity to train all that time. Obviously coming back after that length of time as a 1st Dan has not been easy and there are many area's I need to work on. However the good thing is is that as far as the core ability in Taekwon Do is concerned, its like riding a bike. You may not be able to do it as fast or for as long, you may struggle up hills but you never forget how to ride it ;)

A big problem for me has been a lack of flexibility in my toes, flexibility in general in fact ;) Since I have stopped training my toes seem to have almost seized up and I cannot bend them back very far at all. This posed a major problem for me just weeks after my return when I broke my left big toe performing a turning kick break on a practice board. The fracture occurred in the main joint of the toe and was caused by the toe being pushed back sharply according to the doctor. The toe still gives me pain and I now have almost no movement in that toe, it even makes it difficult for me to kick a pad. The problem is it seems almost impossible for me to perform a turning kick with either foot without first impacting on the toes to some extent and the toes do not much like being pushed back; especially the big toes.

With all that said, I am just wondering if others here have any advice or words of wisdom in regards to getting better movement back in those toes? My attempts so far do not seem to be working, any advice will be greatly appreciated :)

Taekwon

Mr. Jarrett
Post # 2
Top Fri 27th Nov 2009 08:30
Bob Borja

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Hello Mr. Jarrett,

Yes, there is an exercise, called "calf raises", that works for my students. Stand with feet about shoulder width apart. Then raise your body on the balls of your feet. It is meant to strengthen the calf muscles. But, as a side effect this exercise does bend the toes back towards the ankle. A set of 12 repetitions a day with slow but regular increase in repetitions and sets over time should help your toe flexibility.

Film and review your turning kick. It also may be that your foot is not bent enough in relation to your shin (90 degrees). Film and review others also to see how they do that kick against a target.

Good luck.

                                                           Vincit qui se vincit.                                                                  
                                             He conquers who conquers himself.                                                     

Post # 3
Top Sat 28th Nov 2009 09:06
Evan Jarrett

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Joined: 29/06/2009
Topics: 1 Replies: 25
Thank you Mr. Borja, I will try that exercise. I'd really like to film myself doing many things in training actually, we do not have mirrors where we train and I remember training at a Dojang with mirrored walls from time to time years ago and found it very good for critiquing myself.

Taekwon
Post # 4
Top Sat 28th Nov 2009 18:37
Midnight Star

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funnily enough,my toes are not very flexible either. I have problems breaking with a turning kick and i have to stand almost square on to the 'horse'! I.m always getting told to stand further round to the side, but if i did, i know i'd break my toes too! I too will try the calf raises Mr Borja suggested i think.
Post # 5
Top Tue 1st Dec 2009 04:49
Evan Jarrett

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Joined: 29/06/2009
Topics: 1 Replies: 25
Quote from Midnight Star - 28th Nov 2009 18:37 View
funnily enough,my toes are not very flexible either. I have problems breaking with a turning kick and i have to stand almost square on to the 'horse'! I.m always getting told to stand further round to the side, but if i did, i know i'd break my toes too! I too will try the calf raises Mr Borja suggested i think.



Yeah, I find turning kick breaks easier the more square on I am to the board. I find about 45 degree angle from the board is best. Its amazing just how much you use your toes in TKD. Even just stepping in and out of stances uses them in ways that normal every day life does not, especially when your toes are cramped inside a shoe all day. I have noticed a strengthening in my entire foot as well as my ankles since getting back into training. TKD truly utilizes your entire body.
Post # 6
Top Tue 1st Dec 2009 08:21
Midnight Star

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yes i stand around 45 degrees off centre too. People ask how the heck i can break from that angle! lol
You soon learn to once you've stubbed your toes a few times!
Admittedly, i prob cant get as much power into my turning kick as maybe i could,but that may be down to confidence. I'm fine with other kicks.

Have you ever tried breaking with a twisting kick???Did it against the horse once on an old, white breaker board. Scary!
Post # 7
Top Tue 1st Dec 2009 08:35
Bob Borja

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Star,

Be nice to old horses!

Seriously; after reaching your maximum angle with the simple "toe raises" you can go yet further. By the way, professional traditional Thai dancers can bend their fingers backwards to almost touching the back of their hands. They use the general concept, as in the "calf raises", of putting weight on the fingers at the increasing maximum angle to the inside wrist.

Stand at full arm's length away from a wall. Then, with both palms pressed against that wall (with your upright body leaning slightly towards the wall), do the "calf raises". Go slow with increasing the distance from the wall but do the exercise regularly. Then your toes-to-shin angle will reduce more and more. And no worries, the results will not interfere with wearing those lovely Stileto high heels in modelling.

                                                           Vincit qui se vincit.                                                                  
                                             He conquers who conquers himself.                                                     

Post # 8
Top Tue 1st Dec 2009 08:50
Midnight Star

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lol!

At 5' 10", i rarely where high heels! Well, no more than 3" ones as that put me at 6'1"!!!!!!!!!

Will try what you suggest, although the Thai fingers thing kinda scares me! I wont be trying THAT!

Sould i hold the stretch and if so, for how long? or are short rep's best?

Post # 9
Top Tue 1st Dec 2009 08:56
Bob Borja

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Star,
Yes, holding the stretch is good.  Hold only until it starts getting uncomfortable. It should be success without torture as in diets.

                                                           Vincit qui se vincit.                                                                  
                                             He conquers who conquers himself.                                                     

Post # 10
Top Tue 1st Dec 2009 10:26
Bob Borja

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"... we do not have mirrors where we train and I remember training at a Dojang with mirrored walls from time to time years ago and found it very good for critiquing myself."

Mr. Jarrett,

Talk with your trainer and fellow students on possible solutions toward getting wall mirror(s). Mirrors are great for self-critique. They are also good for focusing students attention on the finer points, at least in Tuls and single techniques. They also help in photographing both sides of a person with one click. To remove the excuse of not having a large enough mirror at home, I encourage students to even collect them from street-side. Here in Germany, some 8 - 10 times a year, people get the opportunity to put their unwanted "old" furniture, appliances ,etc. on the streets to be removed by the community services. About half of the things dumped are hardly old, but simply out of trend. We bought the mirrors for the sports hall in which we train. However, the perfectly good condition three large mirrors I use in my basement for my own TKD training walked in from the streets. Another solution is to scan the newspapers for tear-down of old businesses such as fitness centers. At such, you can get truly wall-size mirrors for free.

                                                           Vincit qui se vincit.                                                                  
                                             He conquers who conquers himself.                                                     

Post # 11
Top Tue 1st Dec 2009 10:28
Bob Borja

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Mr, Skyrme, Sir,

Help. It seems every time I edit an existing entry, I double it. That is why my signature shows without any entry (the entry I deleted). Thank you in advance.

                                                           Vincit qui se vincit.                                                                  
                                             He conquers who conquers himself.                                                     

Post # 12
Top Tue 1st Dec 2009 11:06
Mark Skyrme

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Hi Sir,

Bit of a daft question but are you double clicking the "Add response Button"?

facile est inventis addere.
it is easy to add to things already invented.
www.tkd.co.uk

Post # 13
Top Tue 1st Dec 2009 11:31
Bob Borja

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Hi Sir,
I may have double clicked when the first click did nothing. I will be more mindful next time. Thank you.

                                                           Vincit qui se vincit.                                                                  
                                             He conquers who conquers himself.                                                     

Post # 14
Top Tue 1st Dec 2009 12:43
Mark Skyrme

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Rather than use the quick response area at the bottom of the page, try the "Reply", "Quote" or "Respond" button. That should pop-up an HTML editor which gives you more features.

facile est inventis addere.
it is easy to add to things already invented.
www.tkd.co.uk

Post # 15
Top Sat 26th Dec 2009 11:27
Alasdair Walkinshaw

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I broke a big toe doing a warm up in October this year, I got it caught in my dobok pants and as I was jogging it snapped the damn thing accross the joint. Very sore indeed, still not right now!!!
Post # 16
Top Mon 7th Jul 2014 10:01
Douglas Dickmann
Joined: 24/06/2014
Topics: 0 Replies: 1

Hi Evan Jarrad

I also live in Adelaide SouthAustralia. I am a chiropractor and acupuncturist and I suggest you see some one to adjst your toe and do some

acupuncture, as well as the stretching reccommended in some of the other posts.I had a similar injury to yours nearly 40 years ago and my big

toe is still pretty mobile today. It woud not be if I did not have proper treatment

 

I m not very flexible so I adjust the technique for my body. 

 

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