Ever looked at someone do the splits and wondered wow, look at how amazing that looks, their legs are flattened like spaghetti! Trust me there are many benefits to have your legs as nimble as a spaghetti string for both guys and for girls. In this article, I am going to show you step by step how to perform the splits easily.
Some of you may be thinking, I will never be able to stretch my legs that perfectly horizontal. I am not flexible enough. It’s either genetics or they must have some history of gymnastics as a child. Well, I am here to prove to you that you are wrong. Anyone can learn to do the splits and I am going to demonstrate how.
For those of you looking to cut down the time it takes to get to full splits, I would highly recommend taking a look at our article on the best stretch machines. Stretch machines are great for improving flexibility and also for measuring progress.
For those of you that don’t have the budget we’ve devised a perfect beginner stretching routine that will help you do the splits. Follow this routine in correct order everyday for the next few weeks and you will be doing the splits in no time.
You should always be warmed up before performing any type of static stretches (especially when trying to do the splits) to prevent injury and to get the most out of the stretch. You can plan do to your stretches after your workout or perform some dynamic stretching movements/light cardio before beginning your stretch routine.
Stretching your muscles too cold could possibly cause it to tear. It happens all too often especially in the form of micro tears where the muscle you stretched feels painfully sore the next day and you haven’t gotten any more flexible or looser.
Start off the stretch with stretching your hamstrings by performing either a stand up hamstring stretch or a seated one. To perform, try and reach your toes while your legs are perfectly straight, from either stand up position or by sitting down and reaching forward to touch your toes. When reaching for the toes in the seated position try and flex your toes backwards having them pointed towards you the entire stretch.
Always keep your legs as straight as possible to elongate the hamstrings and maximize the stretch. Hold for 30-60 seconds.
Hip Flexor Stretch
To best perform this stretch, step into a lunging position with your front leg forward bent 90 degrees and your back knee against floor. Slowly push your hips forward and sit into the lunge to feel the stretch on the hip that’s connected to the back leg. Hold for 30-60 seconds. Repeat for both legs.
To get an extra kick in this stretch, raise your back hand up, lean back as your pushing your hips forward, and slowly rotate your torso diagonally towards the direction of your front leg. You will feel a sharper stretch as your targeting different angles of your hip flexors.
Half Splits in Kneeling Position
In the same lunging position, straighten your front leg forward, lower your torso and try to reach forward to touch your toes. You won’t always be able to reach your toes and have your torso fully lowered on your first try so work your way up to it. Hold for 30-60 seconds.
Try just leaning forward and placing your hands on the floor to gradually work the stretch. If want also you can place a couple of yoga blocks underneath your hands to provide stability while you focus on leaning forward more.
Split As Low As You Can Go
This one’s my favourite because not only is it a full stretch for your legs but also serves as a true test of positional flexibility. Once you’ve warmed up and you’re stretched out a bit, go ahead and attempt to perform the splits. Go as low as you can go and hold it there for 30-60 seconds.
As you’re doing the stretch, you’ll find you’re able to slide slowly your legs a little bit further. You want to keep going and be able to hold those deeper stretches comfortably. As a measuring a stick, place your yoga mat horizontally when you do this pose to see how far apart your feet are each day you perform this stretch.
You can always have something in front of you to hold on to while you’re splitting to maintain balance and focus on the stretch. Doing this every time at the end of your stretching routine will help you measure how far you’ve gotten and likewise let’s you know if you’ve been slacking slightly if you haven’t made any progress.
Repeat the Stretches Each Day
That’s you’re road map to mastering the splits. Make sure to practice this everyday and in a few weeks you’ll notice you have made dramatic improvements in your flexibility, balance and strength.
The stiffest people in the world can work their way up to do the splits. Not only will you end up being able to perform the splits safely anywhere at anytime, you will be able to achieve balance and flexibility in a variety of other positions as well as making you well rounded.