How to do the splits + EFFECTIVE tips

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How to Do Forward Splits

Three Parts:

Being able to do a front split can be an impressive skill to have. However, doing a successful front split will require a high level of flexibility in the legs and hips. Developing this flexibility can take a lot of practice, requiring you to work slowly and safely to achieve the full front split. By getting in regular stretching routines and training, you'll soon be able to perform a full front split with ease.


Working Up To Forward Splits

  1. Focus on your hip flexors.The hip flexors are important muscles that are in involved in doing a front split. These muscles will need to be gradually trained to become more flexible before you can do a full front split. Try this basic stretch to increase the flexibility of your hip flexors.
    • Get down on both of your knees.
    • Put one leg out in front of you, placing your foot on the floor and your knee at a ninety degree angle.
    • Gently lean forward towards your outstretched leg. Keep your body and hips straight as you stretch forward.
    • You'll feel the stretch in your thigh of the leg you are kneeling on.
    • Hold this position for about 30 seconds.
    • Repeat the motion on the other leg.
  2. Get in good quadriceps stretches.Another set of muscles that are involved in front stretches are the quadriceps. Stretching your quadriceps will allow the leg that will be behind you to comfortably move into the front split position. Try this basic stretch to build up flexibility in your quadriceps and work towards the full front split:
    • Stand upright and straight. You may want to stand next to a chair that you can grab onto for stability.
    • Bend one leg at the knee, grab the ankle and bring the foot up behind you.
    • Keep your torso straight as you pull the foot and leg upwards.
    • You'll feel this stretch in the thigh of the leg you are pulling up behind you.
    • Hold this position for around 30 seconds.
    • Repeat the same stretch on your other leg.
  3. Increase the flexibility in your hamstrings.Hamstrings are major muscles in your legs that will need to be quite flexible if you want to do a front split. These muscles run down the back length of your upper leg. The leg that goes out in front during a front split will need to have a very flexible hamstring to move into the full motion. Try using these steps to do a simple hamstring stretch:
    • Find a door frame to use for the stretch.
    • Lay down on your back, parallel to the wall.
    • Your hips should be next to the edge of the door frame.
    • Raise the leg closest to the door frame straight up into the air.
    • Rest your heel on the inside of the door frame.
    • Gently straighten the leg against the door frame and hold it for about 30 seconds.
    • Lower your leg back down and repeat this stretch on the other leg.

Doing A Forward Split

  1. Sit down on both knees.You'll need to start the front split by sitting down on your knees. From this position, you'll be able to easily transition into the next stages of the front split. For now, simply kneel down onto both your knees to start the front split.
    • Keep your knees about hip width apart.
    • Your feet and shins will be laying flat on the floor.
    • Do not try to turn you legs in by force in this position. This can lead to injured hips.
    • Keep the rest of your body upright and straight.
  2. Extend one leg forward.You will begin the front split by extending one leg directly out in front of you. This leg will be kept straight, avoiding any bending at the knee that might occur. Place your foot and leg out as straight as you are able to. This position will allow you to gently slide downwards, easing into the full front split position.
    • At this point, your rear leg will still be in the kneeling position.
    • Your front leg will kept as straight as possible.
  3. Gently lower yourself into the stretch.Allow your body weight to slowly lower you to the ground, moving deeper into the front split. As you sink down, your legs will straighten out further and further. Go down as far as you comfortably can before pushing yourself back up to the starting position.
    • Try to get both of your legs flat against the ground. At this point, there should be no bending in either knee.
    • Never force the stretch beyond what you feel is comfortable.
    • If you can't do the full front stretch yet, go as far as you feel you can.
    • Try to hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
    • If your hips aren't square, you are not doing a proper split. If you have no idea whether they are square or not, can you turn to the side? Is your non-dominant hip going back with your back leg? If you answered yes, your hips are not square.
  4. Repeat the stretch on your other leg.To keep a balance in your levels of flexibility, you will want to do the same stretch on your other leg. Sit down on your knees again to start the movement. This time however, put the other leg out in front of you. Sit down into the full front stretch as you did last time to get the same practice and flexibility on this opposite leg.
  5. Keep practicing the stretch to maintain your flexibility.Taking time off from stretching can result in lost range of motion. Because you can lose range of motion from lack of practice, it's a good idea to regularly practice your front splits. By doing your front splits often, you can help keep the motion easy and comfortable, opening the way to more advanced splits.
    • Practicing front splits can help you move onto middle splits or over-splits.
    • Make sure to practice other types of leg stretches that focus on all the muscle groups.
    • Don't over train or hold splits for more than 30 seconds to help avoid injury.

Practicing Splits Safely

  1. Talk with your doctor.Before undertaking any new fitness regime or flexibility training program, it can be a good idea to speak with your doctor. Your doctor will be able to tell you if you are are healthy enough to work on your flexibility. Speaking with your doctor can help you stay safe, avoid injury and safely work towards your goal of doing a front split.
  2. Always warm up.Jumping into any exercises or flexibility routines without warming up can increase the chances of injuries occurring. Pushing your flexibility to new limits can be stressful on the body and muscles can be torn or injured. Always make sure you spend enough time warming up before getting into your main flexibility training routine.
    • Spend at least 5 minutes warming up.
    • Doing gentle stretches can get your muscles ready for deeper movements.
    • Try something like jogging in place or jumping jacks to gently get your heart pumping.
  3. Move slowly and gently.Whenever you are working on a new stretch or practicing your actual front split, you will want to move carefully. Moving quickly into a stretch or bouncing the motion can increase the likelihood of an injury occurring. Always keep your movements gentle whenever you are working towards your forward split.
    • Never wiggle or bounce any stretch. You should only steadily hold a stretch to avoid injury.
    • Don't force any motion. If you don't feel that you can move further into a stretch, stop the motion where you do feel comfortable.
  4. Stop if you feel pain.Pain should never be ignored when you are practicing your forward splits. Any feeling of pain is an indication that your body is being pushed too far and may sustain an injury. If you feel pain, gently stop the movement that caused it and try again later.
    • Never push through pain.
    • If notice any pain that persists for a long period of time, talk to your doctor as soon as you can.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    If I only want my right split, should I also keep working on my left leg?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Keep working on both. You don't even have to be THAT committed to the leg you don't want flexible. Keep at it, as someone who's not naturally flexible but can now do the splits both ways with ease, I can honestly say it is very satisfying to nail both sides. Also, you'll feel lopsided if you have one super flexible leg, and one stiff one.
  • Question
    I'm 14 and I am trying to do the right front split. Is it normal that my hamstring has a little tingling?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes. It just means your body is doing something new. After you keep practicing, it should go away.
  • Question
    What kind of other stretches should I do if I still have a little gap?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Sometimes it's normal to have a little gap. At this point, you don't really need stretches. If you have like a one inch gap or less, push yourself slowly to the ground, and you'll get the full split. Do the split at least 10 more times and maybe 30 minutes later, check if you can still do it. Just keep practicing them and it'll become more natural.
  • Question
    Is it possible to badly injure myself when doing this?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    The only way you will injure yourself is if you do not stretch properly first. Even then, the worst you could do is a muscle pull/tear.
  • Question
    How can you say you should stop when you feel pain? Stretching isn't working if you don't push yourself. If you never push yourself, how can you progress?
    Community Answer
    You can rip a muscle if you push yourself too hard. When you feel pain, that's your body telling you to stop.
  • Question
    Does it matter what age you are when attempting a forward split?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes. Older people may find it more difficult to work up to the level of flexibility needed to do a forward split. It may take more practice to achieve the full motion at an older age. However, doing a forward split should still be achievable regardless of age.
  • Question
    How do I keep my feet straight when doing splits?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    I had trouble with this too, and my coach told me that the muscles under my knees where tight. She told me to put both of my legs on an elevated surface and to do a pike stretch focusing on keeping my legs super straight.
  • Question
    Can I do the splits in 24 days?
    Community Answer
    It depends on your level of flexibility and how much you practice your stretching. If you are a flat-out beginner, you will most likely not get them quite that quickly.
  • Question
    Does it take a long time?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    This depends on your level on flexibility. If you're a complete beginner or you've been out of the game for a while, it might take a lot of time.
  • Question
    I did the splits yesterday and today I can't do it. Why is this?
    Top Answerer
    First of all, if you are in pain, consult a doctor. It may be because you didn't warm up enough today or didn't stretch enough after your workout yesterday. You may have also pushed yourself too far yesterday, which may have stretched your muscles beyond their normal range, thus reducing their effectiveness.
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