So I am a boy scout, and for one merit badge we have to make some fitness improvements. I followed the plans we had to make practiced and such, but throughout the twelve week program, I didn't manage to increase my flexibility. We have to do a sit and reach, where we touch a board while sitting down. Before I started, I couldn't even touch the board, but now I can touch it, but I can't hold it for the required 15 seconds. My question is - is there any sort of stretch I can do to at least temporarily increase my flexibility so I can finish this tonight? Thanks

  • 1
    Anecdotally, you would be surprised what a foam roller or lacrosse ball can do for stretching. Try to touch your toes, then use either to knead the back of your calves for a minute or two; try touching your toes again, you should be able to reach much further.
    – John
    Commented Jul 26, 2016 at 7:24
  • Try this: Try and do a standing toe touch to see how close you can get to the ground. Then, stand up normally, make two fists, and put them between your knees so the thumb side of the fists are touching each other, then squeeze your knees together, squashing your fists, as hard as you can, for about 10 seconds. Then try the toe touch again and see if you can get lower. The squeezing of knees together action can act to loosen parts of the kinetic chain in some people that allows for a temporary increase in flexibility. I don't know the specifics, all I know is it works for some people :)
    – Dark Hippo
    Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 7:40

2 Answers 2


Is this for Sports merit badge? I'm not sure I remember it being too strict on them making sure you made improvements. Granted that was probably 8 years ago so I'm sure it's changed a bit.

Just make sure you keep stretching and warm up your legs a bit before you attempt it. Get a nice stretch in for a few minutes, then maybe go for a little jog to get the blood flowing in your legs, then stretch for another minute.

Even if you don't make it, I'm sure the counselor will be able to see that you've made improvements and you should be able to satisfy the requirement.


Do what's called active assisted stretching

Lay on your back and get a rope or a dog leash even works.

Wrap it around one footer and raise that foot in the air until you feel it on the back of your leg.

Once tight hold it still and flex that foot toward the floor.

Check out the range of motion you can get before vs after -- it's a huge difference.

Very briefly what you're doing is activating an opposing muscle

EDIT | Here's an image if it helps you: https://media.licdn.com/mpr/mpr/shrinknp_400_400/AAEAAQAAAAAAAAO9AAAAJDNjNzZjZTUzLTRkYWItNDdkNy1hNGM3LWU0YjU3YTVjYTM1ZQ.jpg

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