Happy and Healthy Knees

by | Feb 6, 2022

We rely on our knees to be healthy and happy to do most activities of daily living. Walking, squatting down to pick up your baby or groceries, stairs, getting in and out of a car and the list goes on. They also need to be healthy so you can exercise without pain. The toe touch drill is an excellent exercise that helps strengthen the knee joint and teach the knee where it needs to be in space during all movement patterns.

Figure 1 Toe Touch Front
Figure 2 Toe Touch 45 Degrees Front
Figure 3 Toe Touch Side
Figure 4 Toe Touch 45 Degrees Back
Figure 5 Toe Touch Back

Toe Touch Drill


  1. Stand facing a mirror with feet shoulder-width apart, hands on the top of your pelvis to make sure it stays neutral and does not tip forward or backward or hike up on one side. Draw your belly button in to slim your waistline.
  2. Bend your left leg to about 20 degrees or as much as you can without letting your knee come past your toes. Make sure your knee is tracking over your second toe, the toe next to the big toe. Hold this position.
  3. Using your right leg, slowly touch out to the front, as if touching your toe around a clock starting with 12:00, figure 1, bring your foot back, then touch 2:00 (45 degrees), figure 2, then touch 3:00 (out to the side), figure 3, then touch 4:00 (45 degrees back), figure 4 and then straight back to 6:00, figure 5. Your left leg stays bent, holding the starting position the entire time.
  4. Continue to do this for 30 – 60 seconds, then repeat on other side.


  1. If you feel this in your knee, do not go as deep into the knee bend.
  2. If you feel pain in your back, squeeze your glutes and make sure your tail bone is tucked under.


  1. This exercise can be done by touching in front of you and, as you come back to start, releasing the bend in the knee for a second or two and then bend the knee again and touch the next place on the clock.
  2. If you struggle with balance you can hold onto a wall until you regain some balance.
  3. You can increase the intensity by turning the toe touch into a lunge.
  4. This can be done standing on an unstable surface.


    Reps:    1  if using a 30-60 second hold or 5-15 if using a 2-2-2 tempo.

   Tempo:    30-60 seconds per leg or 2-2-2 per leg.

     Rest:    60-90 seconds

      Sets:    1-3                         

Intensity:   -5 seconds (stop when you feel you can hold it 5 more seconds) or -2 reps, stopping when you feel you can only do 2 more reps with good form.


Strengthens the glutes and quadriceps, as well as teaches the knee how to track properly. This is an excellent exercise for those who have trouble keeping the knee tracking over the second toe during a lunge, squat, or when walking or running.

Click Here To Watch My YouTube Video on the Toe Touch Drill


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