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Alternating Heel-Touch 101 Video Tutorial

Gym Main Variation Core Exercise


Alternating Heel-Touch
Alternating Heel-Touch

Exercise Synopsis

Target Muscle Group


Secondary Targets



Force Type


Required Equipment

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The Alternating Heel-Touch is a bodyweight exercise designed to target the abdominal muscles with secondary engagement of the glutes. This straightforward yet effective exercise requires no additional equipment. To perform the Alternating Heel-Touch, individuals lie on their back, raise their legs slightly off the ground, and alternately reach for their heels with their hands in a diagonal fashion. This movement engages the rectus abdominis and oblique muscles, promoting core strength and stability. The controlled, rhythmic nature of the exercise not only challenges the abdominal region but also involves the glutes, providing a comprehensive workout for both muscle groups. As a versatile bodyweight exercise, the Alternating Heel-Touch offers an accessible and convenient means to enhance abdominal and gluteal strength without the need for specialized equipment.

How to Perform

  1. Begin in a supine position, lying on your back in a relaxed manner with your knees bent and arms fully extended toward your feet.

  2. Exhale forcefully as you engage your abdominal muscles and lift your upper body, reaching towards the base of your heel in a diagonal motion. Ensure a controlled contraction of the abs during this upward curling movement.

  3. Inhale gradually as you lower your torso back to the initial position, maintaining control and resisting any sudden movements. Repeat the exercise on the opposite side, alternating between each heel touch.

  4. Perform the designated number of repetitions, focusing on the deliberate engagement of the abs and the controlled movement throughout the exercise. This bodyweight workout not only targets the abdominal muscles but also activates the glutes, providing a comprehensive approach to core strength.

  5. Emphasize the importance of maintaining proper form and avoiding momentum to maximize the effectiveness of the Alternating Heel-Touch. Additionally, individuals can modify the intensity by adjusting the speed of the movement, ensuring a challenging yet manageable workout tailored to their fitness level.


  1. Exhale forcefully, simulating the action of blowing out candles on a cake, and maintain the contraction for a brief second to enhance the mind-muscle connection. This intentional breathing technique not only aids in engaging the targeted muscle group (Abs) but also fosters a heightened awareness of the muscle contraction.

  2. Should you experience discomfort in your lower back while performing the Alternating Heel-Touch, opt for exercises that prioritize anti-extension and anti-rotation movements. This modification allows for a more tailored approach, addressing individual concerns and ensuring a safer and more comfortable workout experience.

How Not to Perform

  1. Avoid Jerky Movements: Steer clear of sudden and jerky motions while performing the Alternating Heel-Touch. Smooth and controlled movements are essential to prevent unnecessary strain on the muscles and joints, ensuring a more effective workout for the targeted muscle group (Abs) and secondary targets (Glutes).

  2. Do Not Neglect Core Engagement: Resist the temptation to neglect proper engagement of the core muscles. Failing to contract the abdominal muscles adequately during the upward movement diminishes the effectiveness of the exercise. Prioritize a deliberate contraction to optimize the workout for the abs.

  3. Avoid Overreaching: Refrain from overreaching or straining to touch the heel. Maintain a controlled range of motion that feels comfortable and does not compromise your form. Overreaching can lead to improper muscle engagement and potentially result in injury.

  4. Don't Hold Your Breath: Ensure you continue to breathe consistently throughout the exercise. Holding your breath can increase intra-abdominal pressure and may lead to discomfort or dizziness. Focus on rhythmic breathing to support the energy flow and maintain proper oxygenation to the muscles.

  5. Avoid Collapsing the Lower Back: Prevent the collapse of your lower back during the downward phase of the exercise. Maintaining a stable spine is crucial to prevent strain on the lower back and to maximize the engagement of the targeted muscle group (Abs). Keep the lower back in a neutral position.

  6. Do Not Rush Repetitions: Avoid rushing through repetitions at the expense of proper form. Quality should take precedence over quantity. Performing controlled and deliberate movements ensures that each repetition effectively targets the abs and glutes, reducing the risk of energy wastage and injury.


Variations of fitness exercises refer to different ways of performing a specific exercise or movement to target various muscle groups, intensities, or goals. These variations aim to challenge the body differently, prevent plateaus, and cater to individuals with varying fitness levels.


Alternative exercises in fitness refer to different movements or activities that target similar muscle groups or serve the same training purpose as the primary exercise. These alternative exercises can be used as substitutes when the original exercise is unavailable or challenging to perform due to various reasons such as equipment limitations, injuries, or personal preferences.


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