I’ve been getting lots of emails and requests lately regarding the splits…how to get them, how much to stretch, and what you can do to achieve them – and I’m happy to be answering all of your splits questions in this blog post. I’ve also included a workout for getting your splits. Let’s go!
Stretching for the Splits
Believe it or not, doing the splits isn’t all about…well…doing the splits. It’s important to do more concentrated stretching in certain areas before you jump right into the full splits. These areas are your hip flexors and hamstrings. In the workout below, we stretch these muscles in addition to doing the full splits:
- Pike hamstring stretch
- Half pigeon pose
- Low lunge
- Double low lunge
- Reverse low lunge
- Full splits
- Center splits
When to Stretch
Your stretching techniques are important, but when you do these stretches is vital.
First of all, your muscles should always, always be warm when you stretch them. I have plenty of workouts on here for you to warm up – view the full workout tag here. Your muscles are more pliable and will mold and stretch better when they are warm. This will help you maintain your splits in the long-term.
Also, make sure you’re stretching consistently. “Stretching binges,” as I call them, won’t help you to maintain your splits in the long term, and you may end up damaging your muscles if you overstretch. So, make sure to keep it in moderation, and be consistent but reasonable.
How to Stretch Your Splits
Now that we are finally doing the full splits, it’s time to discuss the details. Number one, as usual, is to do everything with correct form and technique. In the splits, this involves a few pointers:
- Maintain your turnout.
- Point your feet.
- Keep a straight and rotated back leg.
- Keep your hips completely square.
- Keep your weight evenly distributed between your two sit bones.
Those last two are especially important. It kills me when I see dancers do the “splits” like this:
Do you see how the girl’s hips aren’t square and she’s opened to the side? Also, her back leg is not rotated properly or straightened completely.
Finally, my last tip – just let go! If you’re constantly holding yourself up in the splits and not allowing yourself to go all the way down…like this…
you’re never going to be able to go down! You need to take your hands off the ground very briefly, or bend the elbows slightly, so that you can feel the stretch and begin lowering yourself all the way down. That’s how you’re going to improve – by pushing yourself.
Thanks for reading today’s blog post! I’ll see you on Wednesday here on gouletballet.com with a new blog post.
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