How To Do Lying Big Toe Stretch Front

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

Chloe Freytag demonstrating lying big toe stretch front in a black tank top and yoga pants


Lying Big Toe Stretch is one of the best ways to open up tight hamstrings. This pose is an intense way to isolate the hamstring stretch without performing any forward bend, which adds not only an additional stretch but sometimes even strain on the back. If you have tight hamstrings you need to learn how to do Lying Big Toe Stretch Front.

While there are many yoga poses done from a standing or seated position that will stretch these areas, this pose is unique because you perform the position lying on your back. One of the advantages to this is that you are not using any forward flexion or movement in your spine. Often this can detract from the stretch that you are intending to do. By keeping your torso flat on the floor, the hamstring is able to stay at the center of attention and the stretch will be isolated to that specific spot.

If you have extremely tight hamstrings it might be beneficial for you to try using a strap, towel or other item that you can wrap around the bottom of your foot. There you can hold the ends of the strap or towel if you are unable to reach your big toe and still keep your leg straight. Using this will make it much easier to keep your back on the mat and still reach around the foot to achieve a nice long leg for your stretch,

Do your best to keep the entire back flat on the floor and chest and hips facing the sky. Don’t expect your pose to look like the photos you see (including ours), rather, pay attention to how you feel as you stretch. Continue to breath slowly in and out to help your tolerate any discomfort you feel in the areas you are trying to stretch. Discomfort is okay; pain is not. In addition, if the stretch is so uncomfortable that you can’t breathe in and out, release slightly or bend your knee a bit so that you are able to breathe again.

For more great ways to loosen tight leg muscles try our ideas in 6 Foam Roller Moves to Loosen Tight Muscles.

Here are the steps to learning Lying Big Toe Stretch Front:

1) Begin lying flat on your back with legs long and arms by side

2) Raise your right leg up, bending the knee enough to grab your big toe with middle and index fingers of the right hand.

3) Holding your toe, gently lengthen your right leg straight up in the air.

4) Breathe and hold 30 seconds. Switch sides.

(This will help us personalize your experience so that you can get the best advice possible from us!)
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