When Gray Cook says he doesn’t let people deadlift if they can’t touch their toes, what’s the reason? Is it that big of a deal? Here we get to listen to him tell the story of the toe touch — why he cares, what he’s looking at and how he fixes it.
“When people encounter people who can’t touch their toes, they assume they know why they can’t do it. It must be those tight hamstrings, because that’s exactly what they complain of on a toe touch. Whether your hamstrings are the problem or not, you’re always going to feel your hamstrings on a toe touch. They’ll feel tight, but isn’t a muscle that’s contracting at the same time it’s stretching always going to feel tight?
What if your weight shift is inappropriate? What if you lean too far forward and don’t have a posterior weight shift backward? Wouldn’t it be the job of your hamstrings to say, ‘If we let you go all the way down, you’re going to wind up busting your nose on the floor. We’re going to contract even though you would prefer we didn’t because we’re going to save you from a mild concussion’?” ~Gray Cook
Duration: 34 minutes; Transcript: 9 pages; Mp3 file size: 35 MBs
• Two-Step Process (5:40)
• Why We’ve Changed (7:25)
• Breaking Down the Toe Touch (13:10)
• Benefits of the Toe Touch (18:45)
• Clinical Examples (21:15)
• The Deadlift (31:45)
Here’s a short clip to give you an idea of what this lecture sounds like:
Gray Cook consults with professional and university coaches and athletes, and teaches on various aspects of physical therapy, sports medicine and performance enhancement. His over-riding philosophy is that movement professionals must first understand human movement patterns. He’s the author of Movement: Functional Movement Systems: Screening, Assessment, Corrective Strategies and Athletic Body in Balance and the creator of over a dozen DVD packages. His two main websites are GrayCook.com and Functionalmovement.com.