Heel touches have excellent benefits, and if done correctly, this exercise can give you the chiseled look you are aiming for. It is a short exercise that involves lying flat on the ground with your knees in the air, targeting the abdominal muscles and also benefits oblique muscles.
The benefits of heel touches can be felt if done in the proper form and method. This exercise is very easy for beginners to master with practice and knowledge of the appropriate technique.
One of the most significant advantages of this exercise over other abdominal exercises is that it doesn’t require any type of equipment. You just need a well-ventilated room or place where you can lie down.
On the other hand, abdominal exercises like the Dumbbell Sideband require a pair of dumbbells. There are exercises other than heel touch for the abdomen, which can be done without any equipment, but we will talk about it at the end of this post.
Right now you might be wondering: What are the benefits of heel touches? Well, here is the answer to your question.
How to do Heel Touches Properly?
- Begin by relaxing your body and mind, clearing all the thoughts of your mind. Taking a deep breath in and exhaling it. Recline back, with the back flat to the ground, keeping both arms at both sides. Have your full back touching the floor.
- Next, bend your knees, keeping a reasonable distance between your heels and hips. Plant your feet firmly, with a shoulder-width distance between them.
- Slowly lift your head and shoulder blades off the mat; this is the starting position. Lean sideways so that the right hand can stretch out to touch the right heel. Focus on engaging the torso muscles and not putting tension on the neck.
- Next, repeat the same movement with your left hand. Lift up and turn sideways to reach out and touch the left heel with your left hand, thereby completing one rep.
- Breathe naturally in the count with the number of repetitions you do. A steady breathing pattern will keep the body relaxed and will keep the tension evenly in your abdomen.
6 Amazing Benefits of Heel Touches
Heel touches are a workout that efficiently works on the abdominal muscles. The exercise works up the obliques, abs, and lower back muscles. This exercise squeezes the target muscles repetitively.
Heel touches basically consist of lying back flat with your knees up and shifting from side to side to reach your arms toward your heels.
People who want slim hips and want to lessen their love handles can include heel touches in their workout routine for fantastic results. It also reduces back pain and improves posture. From beginners to athletes, people find heel touches to be highly beneficial.
1. Works the Oblique Muscles
Alternate heel touches are a great addition to your workout routine if your primary target is enhancing your torso muscles. The oblique muscles are slanting muscles that are present on the side and front of the abdomen.
People looking to improve the shape of their abdomen should target the obliques for improvement. The strengthening of these muscles can significantly improve the shape of your torso and define your abs.
These muscles extend from the ribs to the hip bones. It strengthens your back muscles and shoulder muscles, Ultimately improving your overall body structure and shape.
2. Increases Core Strength
Core strength refers to the strength that the torso muscles give to upkeep posture and balance. It is important to stay upright, have a good balance, and perform acrobatic tasks.
Heel touches are a simple exercise that increases your core strength greatly. With proper technique and breathing pattern, your core strength will get better in no time.
Core strength training is essential for beginner workout enthusiasts to athletes. When your torso muscles are strong enough, it supports strengthening your other body parts like legs and hands.
Heel touching exercise puts all the torso muscles in action, and thus it strengthens your core. Maintaining good core strength is vital for an overall healthy and fit body. It also reduces the risk of injury in intensive trainers for various sports.
3. Relieves Back Pain
In today’s life, people work behind their desks from day to night, sitting in a chair for hours. This particular work culture has given back pain to almost everybody. Nowadays, 20-year-old students have back pain on a daily basis. This problem is not something to avoid, since it increases the more you avoid it.
One of the exercises to help out with back pain and strengthen the back is this heel touch.
The lower back muscles are worked up in this exercise. The strengthening of the lower back muscles, obliques, and abs strengthens the whole torso. This increased strength in abdominal muscles can improve posture and, thus, relieve you of your back pain.
4. Strengthens Abs
The heel touch workout targets your ab muscles, hence improving their strength, sturdiness, and agility Heel touches are great for achieving a toned abdomen and sharp abs.
Heel touches work out abdominal muscles like the rectus abdominus, transverse abdominus, and oblique muscles. These define your abs and consist of the core muscles. As you routinely practice heel touch, it works up your abdominal muscle, and with other abs exercises, one can build strong abs.
5. Better Posture by Strengthening Obliques
Hunching forward, carrying a heavyweight around constantly, and sitting hunched at your desk can all cause bad posture. When you keep hunching forward, your body starts to shape like that, and your backbone curves, which leads to bad posture. Bad posture not only results in body pain but also makes you appear less confident, short, and weak.
In this fast-forward life, people working behind a desk are the most common people with bad postures as they are constantly hunched forward to their dest. There is not a single benefit of having a hunched posture unless you want to look underconfident and get rejected even before getting interviewed.
Heel touches give you a lean stomach and a good posture. Heel touches greatly improve the strength in the middle of your core which holds up the lower back better than before. Adding a heel touch to your routine will undoubtedly reduce back pain and correct your posture, making you appear confident and robust again.
6. Engages Upper Back Muscles
Heel touch uses your upper back muscles during the practice of the exercise. It strengthens your upper back as much as it strengthens your abdomen and core. As it strengthens your upper back muscle, it strengthens your backbone as well.
Strengthening your upper back leads to your chest being the face of your confidence, leading to a proper body posture.
This workout effectively works up the upper back muscles, thus further improving posture and body proportions. As you lift up to crunch forward, your whole upper back muscles get engaged, and by the end of the rep, you can feel the muscles relax.
It increases the flexibility of your spine as you add it to your workout routine.
The flexibility of your spine plays a large role in your overall body structure and posture. This exercise flexes your spine as it becomes a routine exercise for you.
When doing this exercise, you bend your spine towards one side and the other. At first, you will find it difficult as your spine may be rigid, but as you keep doing this exercise on a daily basis, you will find that you are touching your heels without difficulty.
What to Avoid during Heel Touches?
This workout is an easy one for beginners as well, with a low injury rate. But care must be taken to avoid straining or other injuries that can be easily avoided with a bit of knowledge. As the head and neck muscles are involved in this exercise, taking precautions is advisable.
Feeling the tightness primarily in the middle of the core muscles or the torso is essential for good results, but the following points should be kept in mind while performing heel touches.
- The lower back must remain flat on the ground, and the neck must not be under a lot of pressure. and the neck must not be under a lot of pressure. It may cause straining. Try not to involve your neck muscles in the exercise.
- Keep your head free from all the effort you put into the exercise. Keep your head focused on inhaling and exhaling for the exercise.
- Keep your body relaxed by breathing in a definite pattern. The focus should be primarily on how the workout is performed rather than the number of times it is repeated. Focus more on doing it the right way than trying to do it more times.
- If you are a beginner, then do it slowly with all the things kept in mind; try to do it perfectly. If it’s giving your abdominal and back trouble, you are on the right path, but if it’s giving you trouble at your neck and head, you are doing it the wrong way.
- Pay keen attention to how you move. Do not hunch forward; instead, keep your movements solely in a horizontal line. You are not supposed to be having a curved posture while doing it. After each crunch, come back to the starting position, rest, and then move to the next crunch. This ensures that there’s no use of momentum to propel your movements.
Your back should be flat on the surface and your head a little in the air, but you have to put pressure through your back shoulder muscle, and you have to try to avoid involving your neck muscles. When you start doing it without neck muscle involvement, you have perfected the heel-touching exercise.
Speed can adversely affect the effectiveness of this exercise. The core will not be engaged enough if the movements are fast. Plant your feet firmly, and be precise and slow while completing each rep. Go slow. As you do this every day, as you master it, your body will automatically start going slow.
You are not supposed to use your momentum to complete more rep. Because as you use your momentum and speed, you are skipping the trouble of abdominal and oblique muscles. And if they are getting away without working correctly, you’ve wasted your time and energy for nothing.
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