23 October 2020

Heel Touches: Benefits and Muscles Used

If you've ever hung around the mats at the gym, you'll certainly have seen people doing heel touches. Lying on the floor with your legs bent and alternating your hands to touch your heels is harder than it sounds. In fact, heel touches are a key part of many workouts…

Yet you might be wondering…. What are the benefits of heel touches? What muscles do heel touches use? And, most importantly, how do you perform heel touches correctly?

As with any exercise, getting the most benefit out of heel touches comes with mastering correct form.

So, let's get started!

What are heel touches?

Put simply, heel touches are a calisthenics based, ab and oblique focused workout move. A variation on the classic crunch movement, heel touches involve lying down and contracting muscles in your midsection to reach alternating hands out to touch your heels one at a time.

How to do heel touches properly

As we go into detail on each step of mastering this movement it might be useful to practice yourself on a yoga mat or carpet.

  1. Lie on a flat surface with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle, knees facing the ceiling.
  2. Keep your arms out by your side and raise your shoulders slightly off the ground. Make sure not to work your neck, but instead your abs.
  3. Rotate your midsection so that one of your hands reaches your heel. Tense your abs but do not hold your breath as you do this. Instead, breathe into the movement so that oxygen flows to your muscles and use your obliques to reach out.
  4. Alternate sides and repeat.

Heel touches benefits

The benefits of heel touches are many…

  • Heel touches work the obliques which can be hard to target
  • Heel touches build core strength which is key for other forms of exercise as well as day to day back support
  • Heel touches engage muscles in the upper back as you lift up
  • Heel touches are great for all stages of fitness. As a beginner, simply focus on completing less repetitions more slowly.

So what are you waiting for?

Get on the floor and complete a set of heel touches now! This is a truly effective ab exercise which can be completed from anywhere with some floor space.

Start working out

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