Toy Soldier Stretch – Dynamic Stretching Technique
This page provides details for the dynamic stretch known as Toy Soldier Stretch. This stretch is also known as the Toy Soldiers March, etc. This exercise gets its name from the 1934 movie “March of the Wooden Soldiers” (Babes in Toyland) with Laurel and Hardy.
This dynamic stretch is used by martial arts students in order to stretch their legs, warm-up their lower body and achieve higher kicks (i.e. axe kicks). The Toy Soldier stretch works on areas such as hips, hamstrings, glutes, etc. In contrast to traditional static stretches, dynamic stretches involve smooth and steady movement within a natural range of motion in order to warm-up muscles and tendons. These are not ballistic stretches.
All stretches should be supervised by a trained instructor in order to prevent injuries and to ensure the proper technique is utilized. For additional stretches and exercises, please visit the main Martial Arts Stretches and Dynamic Stretches sections.
Written Instructions for Toy Soldier Stretch
- Walk forward
- Keep your legs straight
- Try to kick your leg up while your opposite hand swings out
- Do not over extend on this stretch
- This stretch can also be done from a stationary position where the athlete just swings their legs versus walking (see second video below)
Dynamic Stretch – Toy Soldier Stretch (walking version)
Toy Soldier Stretch (stationary version)