I recently shared a (front) splits tutorial on Instagram, and thought I’d post it here so that it’s more permanently findable as it’s a question I get asked a lot!
I do believe that anyone can learn, but I get the frustration that it’s a slow process and it’s easy for me to say as I learned as a child while dancing! However, even then it was something I was determined to nail, and between dance teachers forcing my leg up and practicing at home, I got there.
This video and the below instagram post explain how to train yourself SAFELY into splits. Please, please don’t try and drop straight into! Be patient, and follow this guide, and it will yield results, I promise!
Let’s go! how to do the splits
- legallygymliving💙HOW-TO SPLITS & FLEXIBILITY TALK💙
One of my most asked q’s is how to learn – I won’t lie, I was kind of made to when I danced as a kid – the teachers would pull your legs around and lift them up with you stood against the wall to get it near your head…! & I trained hard for it as they needed someone to do it for a show, and i got there!
That said, I work hard to maintain it. WHY?
💜flexibility will help with maximum mobility in old age
💙it complements your normal workouts and helps ease stiffness
💜if you’re working on strengthening you should also be LENGTHENING
💙splits are a great party trick 😉
💋PLUS it has other slightly cheekier benefits when the lights go out…!😜
HOW TO LEARN:
1) watch this video!
2) follow its steps, especially NEVER MISSING A WARM UP! You need warm muscles or you risk painful injury. I’ve been there, torn a hammy, it took me 6 months to get back to splits without pain!
3) focus on increasing hamstring flexibility with things like forward fold where you can gradually improve over time. Use the breath for a natural boost! Inhale & rise a little, exhale and drop.
4) open out the hips – as well as the hip fold over this vid shows, yogic squat and happy baby pose are fab!
5) use a wall, and gravity. This helps you go further into a stretch and also measure your progress
6) ALWAYS PREP YOUR SPLIT with a deep lunge for the hip flexors & a hamstring stretch as shown (until you’re super comfortable in it and then when you’re warm it’s ok!)
Hope this helps! The other thing to note is it’s a gradual process, don’t rush it, don’t push to the point of pain… you should feel a stretch, breathe, go a little further so it starts to be like “ooooh” but DO NOT GO FOR PAIN! Trying too much too fast and forcing it risks injury. Think of it like play dough – it’s not pliable when it’s all cold and stiff. Warm it up, make it bendy over time. Take it easy ✌🏾
It really is that simple!
There’s no magic to it, just dedication and practice over time, and always following this rather than trying to “force” it, which is never a good idea.
So… I really hope that helps, and answers some of your questions! I really love maintaining flexibility because I think it helps with the quality of our movement generally, and as un-glamorous as it is to say, it helps with maximum mobility in old age! Don’t you want to be able to walk around, go to the loo, get up and down yourself without help when you’re 60, 70, 80+…?!
It is also a fun party trick, it makes for fun photo ops – see below! (you can wineglass stand anywhere once you get the hang of it, although if you aren’t warmed up it’s not adviseable – see my poor form in the top pic below!) and it definitely spices up play time after lights out, if you catch my drift.