How to Do a Toe Touch Jump

Three Parts:Positioning Yourself CorrectlyGoing for the Perfect Toe TouchStretching for a Toe Touch

The perfect toe touch has your arms out straight to your sides, your legs coming up behind your arms into a full straddle with your toes pointed, your back straight, and a wide smile that says, "Yeah, I know my toe touches are pretty phenomenal." Start stretching now so that perfect toe touch can be yours.

Part 1
Positioning Yourself Correctly

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    Start with a high V or your hands clasped above your head. Well, technically, you start with your hands clasped in front of your chest. But that's not very active, so let's go straight to the high V or your hands above your head. You have to start up top so you can swing down and build up momentum.
    • High schools will start in a high V, whereas All-Stars tend to start with their hands clasped above them, arms up straight slightly in front of their heads.[1]
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    Come down to an athletic position, swinging your hands down and bending your knees. If first position was your arms up in a high V or vertical clasp, second position is your knees slightly bent, weight coming onto the balls of your feet, and your hands in fists down in front of your knees ready to swing up. We will refer to this as "athletic" position from here on out.
    • If you're moving from a high V to this position, make sure to swing your arms in and down, not out and down. If you're moving from a vertical clasp, just swing your arms straight down.
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    Hit a firm "T" with your arms. Let's cover the arms of the actual jump first. As you come out of athletic position, your arms should move to a firm "T," a "T" with sharpness. They should form a 90 degree angle with your neck and head. Not lower and not higher.
    • Some tend to lower their T so their legs look like they're going higher. But your legs won't end up looking higher – your form will just look sloppy.
    • When you hit your T, snap to it. A good cheerleader or toe touch-er has energy behind even the smallest of movements, from head to toe.
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    Jump up off the balls of your feet, rolling your hips back and down. To give yourself that natural explosion upward, make sure you're jumping off the balls of your feet. This will also help you keep your toes pointed, which leads to a more elongated-looking jump. Get your legs out from underneath you as quickly as possible, bursting them out to your sides.
    • To get them high in the air, roll your hips back, exposing your inner thighs. Imagine someone grabbing the top of your legs moving them counterclockwise an hour or so – that's rolling them back. As for dropping them down, that'll get your feet slightly higher than your hips, which is ideal.
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    Snap back to the ground. From the top of your toe touch, snap everything back to the ground, resuming athletic position. That means you'll land aiming to bring your feet close together, legs slightly bent, hands down in front of you and arms straight. Stay in athletic position for a second and then stand up straight. That's it.
    • To get down the latter half of the jump, you may want to work with a resistance band around your ankles. This will force your legs down quicker and get the rapid movement into your muscle memory.

Part 2
Going for the Perfect Toe Touch

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    Start with both feet together. Find a high object in front of you, just above your normal eye level. That is your goal to jump to. Think to yourself that you're going to jump in line with this object.
    • Before you get into the jump (starting with the next step) and when you're ready, count off 5-6-7-8. The prep starts on 1.
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    On 1, put your arms in front of you in a clasp. Your arms should be bent at the elbows, held to your chest. Hold this same position on 2.
    • Your arms should look almost as if they're in prayer position, but your head should remain level and your hands should be clasped together halfway between a clap and a fist.
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    On 3, hit a high-V motion as sharp as you can. Or you can put your arms above you, while still in a clasp (again, this is All-Star protocol). Hold this position on 4 as well. Every step works in twos.
    • Again, make this sharp. You should shoot up into a high V or high clasp. Count 4 shouldn't involve movement unless you're working on super speedy drills.
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    On 5, swing your arms down in front of you and hit athletic position. Do not swing out – swing in and down. You want your arms to lightly cross if you're coming from a high V.
    • Remember: athletic position is with your arms in front of your knees, legs slightly bent, the balls of your feet ready to jump, and your head looking out straight in front of you.
    • Make sure your legs stay together with the balls of your feet firm on the ground. If you pre-jump before your toe-touch, your landing will be sloppy because you did not have enough balance during your prep.[2])
    • On 6, start your jump, finishing the swing. You want the swing of your arms to be one constant motion to keep up your speed. Your arms will finish in a T and your legs will be lifting into the air.
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    Hit the peak of your jump on 7 and land on 8. Remember: a toe touch is not you literally touching your toes. Your arms should be in a T motion and both of your legs should be in a straddle, or splits, in the air. Use your diaphragm to lift your legs up and sit into the stretch.[3]
    • Snap your legs back down on 8, hitting athletic position briefly before coming back up into a natural stance.
    • Try to do several in a row. The more you work up your endurance, the better your toe touches will become.

Part 3
Stretching for a Toe Touch

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    Always warm up and stretch before doing toe touches. You must always warm up and stretch your legs before jumping to prevent injury. Do a light jog, some jumping jacks, and push ups to get your blood flowing. This will prep your muscles to stretch to their maximum potential.
    • There are several stretches you can do to prepare for a toe touch. We'll discuss those in the next steps. Just remember to never overextend yourself – you'll find yourself unable to stretch the next day.
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    Sit in the toe touch position. To do this stretch, start in a straddle position on the ground. Get your legs out to your sides on the same plane as your core as much as possible. Hold this position and put your arms in a T. This is what you should look like in the air. Hold this for 10-20 seconds. Relax and then repeat. Soon this position will become effortless.
    • A "T" is where your arms are directly out to your sides, so that your body sort of looks like a "T" shape. Generally, your hands will be in fists whenever you're in this position.
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    Do the "Coach Wallace" stretch, or squat kicks. These can be very difficult, but once you perfect this stretch you can easily perfect most any jump. To do this one, stand with knees shoulder-width apart and hit a T. Bend your knees until you are in a squat (you should be able to feel the stretch already). Kick your right leg up as high as you can without moving from your T or your squat. The rest of your body should be completely still while you kick. Do the same for the left leg.
    • Try your best to keep your back straight. During the jump, you'll have to have your back straight or your jump will be hunched over. Practice makes habit, after all.
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    Do hip flexor exercises. If your hip flexors aren't developed, it'll be hard to raise your legs high into the air. Grab a seat on the ground in an open area. Here's how to do this stretch:
    • Get into toe touch position, like in the first stretch listed above.
    • With your back straight, spread your legs out in front of you as wide as possible. The more they are off to your sides, the better.
    • Place your hands by your knees. The weight should be in your hands; if it's further back, that's cheating![4]
    • Point your toes and lift your legs 4 or 5 inches (10-13 cm) off the ground.
    • Work in quick cycles, lifting and lowering, lifting and lowering. Do this 10 times, take a break, and repeat 10 more.
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    Stretch your legs against the wall. A way to get higher toe touches is to use the wall as resistance. To get started, find a wall (wide enough for your legs to spread out on) and then lay down on your back (facing the wall). Next place your legs against the wall, pushing your butt up against the wall as far as it'll go. At this point, your body is in an "L" shape. After that, slowly open your legs until you start to feel a stretch. Stretch them as far as you can.
    • As the days go by, gradually your legs should go lower and lower and it'll start to look like you're doing the splits on the wall. Do this each day for about 5 minutes.
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    Do drills with a buddy. Sometimes part of the obstacle of the toe touch is mental. After all, if our legs are spread way out up in the air and we have a split second to get them back down – eesh. But having a buddy give you a boost gives you that extra second, which means peace of mind. Here's how it works:
    • Have a friend stand behind you with their hands on your waist. Go through the motions of the right technique (discussed above) – but as you jump, your partner should help lift you off the ground, keeping their hands on your waist the entire time. This will give you an extra split-second in the air, which could mean extra inches to your jump.
    • Or you could work with two partners. Sit on the ground in a toe touch position. Have one partner behind you keeping your back straight and your hands up in the air and one partner lifting your legs up and pressing them back. Have them hold this position until you can't hold it any longer.


  • Stretch your legs by sitting in straddle and lifting them about two inches off the ground.
  • To help them get higher, you want to "sit" into the toe touch. It makes you rotate your hips to help them get higher.
  • When jumping, or stretching for your toe touch, point your toes. This is very important and makes your toe touch look good, no matter how high you are in the air.
  • Do not try to touch your toes. Keep your back straight.
  • When doing your splits always make sure it is stretching not hurting. If it hurts try doing a little less of a split until you are more ready to do a complete split.
  • To get your toe Touches higher, when you're just sitting around, watching TV, sit in a straddle. Keep your back straight, and your upper body over the straddle to stretch.
  • To get a bit more flexible do straddle sit and try to get your nose to touch the ground while stretching. Hold for 30 seconds and keep practising. If you have a overpowered pain don't keep doing the stretch or you might pull a muscle or a nerve.


  • Even though this is a simple jump, it can be painful if not executed properly.
  • Be sure to stretch before you attempt this jump so you do not pull any muscles.
  • If you are just trying it for the first time, make sure you sit when you jump or you can pull some vital muscles.
  • Do not try to do this jump with a star-jump approach. It is easiest to have your legs a bit ahead of your hips (body)

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Categories: Cheerleading