I'm more flexible than average, but I can't touch my knees with my head -- even though I can get my hands pretty far past my toes with straight legs. In my case, it's because I have back rounding. Attempt the exercise in front of a mirror and look at the curvature of your spine. Some people (like me) have quite a high curve in the upper/mid spine which basically acts to pull the chest and shoulders back away from the legs when bending forward. It was first pointed out to me when I was in middle school during a scoliosis check. I was never told that it was severe enough to be checked by a doctor, and I have perfect posture when standing, but I'll never get my head to my knees when sitting on the floor.
I can, however, easily bring my knees to my face when lying on my back, and I do this ALL the time. That's because my lower spine is straight, I think.
Edited by: NAUSIKAA at: 2/9/2013 (04:36)
Fitness Minutes: (390)
34 2/8/13 5:44 P
Could be tight hamstrings. If you bend over and touch the floor you might be compensating with back flexibility. I often people do both the sit and reach and the palms to floor move with "too much back".
Or, maybe there is an impingement somewhere. I would consult a PT.
Birthday: February 27th Les Mills Quarterly: March 17th Advanced Instructor Module: April 13-14
Fitness Minutes: (120)
11 2/8/13 12:53 P
Yeh, it is a weird one. Most of the time it doesn't bother me, as i say, I'm fairly flexible everywhere else and it's not as if it's a movement I ever *need* to do, it just seems odd that I can't do it, when I know people who never do any exercise at all who can manage it easily. I guess natural flexibility is just something that varies a lot like you say. I do do a bit of yoga occasionally, maybe I could do with making it a bit more regular though...
Fitness Minutes: (14,252)
9,692 2/8/13 12:40 P
Some people are simply more flexible than others. I'm one of those who is... not. You remember those toe-touch tests in school, where you had to put your feet on a box, and reach for your toes, then your reach was measured?
Yeah, I could never even touch the box, much less my toes.
I wouldn't begin to speculate on your specific anatomical quirks, though. I would suggest asking a doctor. :)
If you want to improve flexibility, I would suggest yoga... it will improve your flexibility overall, and you'd be surprised how tightness in one place can affect other parts of your body.
Heather Writer, mother, wife, and breadwinner. I love to run, but running doesn't love me, so I'm switching to my low-impact bike.
Fitness Minutes: (120)
11 2/8/13 12:20 P
Something I've been baffled by for a while and just wondered whether anyone here could shed any light:
I've never been able to bend forward when sat on the floor either with my legs out straight in front, or wide apart. (actually i can barely sit upright with my back at 90 degrees to my legs.) You know the seated forward bend position where some people can get their head to touch their knees That one. This is weird because in all other ways I'm more flexible than the average person, when standing I can bend over from standing and touch the floor with straight legs no problems, and can do the "crab" position, and kick at head height - but I can't remember ever being able to do this seated bend even when I was a child. hat's interesting is that my mother and sister have the same issue - which makes me wonder whether it's a genetic thing in some way. It's not that it hurts or feels "difficult" - it just literally won't budge beyond a certain point whatever I do. Even if I get a friend to push down on my back, all that happens is that my butt slides forward and my whole body starts to travel forwards across the floor (which is pretty funny for anyone watching, but not helpful!). I'm used to the "stretched" feeling when you need to practice a position and gradually improve flexibility and this is not it. It's more like when you try and bend your knee backwards - it just won't happen. Is this just an anatomical thing I'm stuck with? Are there alternative stretches I could do with similar benefits?
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