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You can’t even touch your toes but you want to do the splits? It really looks amazing, but doing the splits requires a lot of flexibility in your hips, quads and harmstrings. Increasing flexibility takes time and hard work, but if you follow these simple steps and stretches, soon you'll be ready to do the splits too. Have fun!

 

1. Choose the right clothes

Wear comfortable clothes that are either loose and baggy, or stretchy and elastic. Also try to wear socks while practicing your splits, this will allow your feet to slide along the floor more easily.

 

2. Warm up

Do not stretch on cold muscles! It’s absolutely essential that you warm up properly before you start stretching. It helps to prevent pulled muscles and will also help you to get a deeper stretch. Do 5 to 10 minutes of high knees, jumping jacks, go for a run, or dance around. After each stretching session, you should spend some time actually practicing the splits.

 

3. Practice a daily stretching routine

If you want to achieve the split in two weeks or less, you have to practice a daily stretching routine: 15 minutes, twice a day! (You want to do more? Even better!). Stretch while watching TV, studying, or while surfing on the internet.

 

–   Butterfly stretch: Sit on the floor and bend your knees until they point outwards and the soles of your feet are pressed together. Try to push your knees as close to the floor as possible, while drawing your heels as close to the groin as possible. Sit upright and keep your back as straight as possible. Hold this stretch for 60 seconds.

 

–   Lunge stretch: Get into a lunge position by stepping forward with your right foot and bending both knees until your right thigh is parallel with the ground and your left shin is touching the ground. Gradually shift your weight forwards until you feel a stretch around your hip and the top of your thigh. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds, then repeat on the other leg.

 

–   Leg stretch: Lay on your back, your legs on the floor straight in front of you. Lift one leg up as straight as you can, reaching your fingers toward your toes, until you feel your quads tighten. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat with the other leg.

 

–   Standing stretch: Simulate the split by standing and stretching your leg all the way out on a chair or table. As you feel your hamstrings and hip muscles tighten, hold for 20-30 seconds and then repeat on the other leg.

 

Breathing

Remember to breathe slowly and deeply during all stretching exercises. This helps to relax the muscles, promotes blood flow and increases the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles.

 

The Split Itself

Once your lower body feels bendy, slide your front foot forward, lean back, and slowly lower yourself to the ground, using your hands for balance as you get lower. Do it gradually to avoid injury, if you feel pain, stop immediately and try the split another time. Keep your hips squared and your toes straight. Don't lose hope, even if you are unable to do it within two weeks. It’s better to achieve the splits safely, than it is to rush and hurt yourself.

 

Continue stretching

Even after you accomplish the splits, continue to stretch. It keeps you in shape! Pushing yourself too hard can lead to strained muscles and other injuries, which will prevent you from achieving the splits anytime soon. If you experience pain, this is a sign that you are pushing yourself too hard. Don’t push yourself too far!