Monday, July 27, 2009

10 TIPS: Make Splits MUCH Easier To Do!

So we all know the only real way to get down your splits is to stretch (OUCH!). But it doesn't have to be as bad as you may think. I've come up with a few tircks and tips to make the splits a lot easier to do, with less of the pain. *You won't get your splits JUST with these methods. You gotta stretch so it hurts too :)*

TIP #1: Take a Shower.

No, not because you're dirty! Taking a shower with hot water warms up your muscles, making them more flexible before you stretch. It loosens them up. If you stretch after taking a shower, you'll find it's a lot easier to get down farther into your splits.

TIP #2: Do some Jumping-Jacks.

Or any physical activity that will get your heart pumping. Dance wild around your room, run around the block, have a pillow fight with your younger brother... anything! This method also loosens up your muscles by warming them up. You NEVER want to stretch on cold muscles, it's not as effective, and not to mention it hurts a lot more!

TIP #3: Do This:

This is a quad stretch. It's not very painful, but will help your splits a lot. So many stretches focus on the leg thats forward in the splits (toe touches, heel in hand, etc.) but you can't forget about the leg facing back too! This will help you get farther down in your splits by getting that quad muscle looser.

TIP #4: Watch TV.

Okay, okay, so maybe I'm being a little vague. Just watching TV won't get you into your splits. But if you watch TV while stretching, you are distracted from the pain and don't get bored. Holding your splits is much easier to do while watching Spongebob re-runs!

TIP #5: Stretch at Night.

Do you ever notice how when you first wake up in the morning, you feel super tight and un-flexible? That's because when you sleep you stay in generally the same position and your muscles get stiff. But after a day's worth of activity, your muscles are loose and ready to do splits!

TIP #6: Wear Socks.

Wearing socks while pressing down into your splits will help your feet slide out farther. Plus they're cozy! Bare feet don't slide as well, and neither do ballet shoes. Socks help you reach your whole potential.

TIP #7: The more the merrier!

Doing a split everyday hurts less than doing one once a week. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. If you stretch every night you don't give your musclees a big chance to tighten up again, so even if it hurts because your sore you'll make much more progress and won't hurt as much from being tight.

TIP #8: Take Breaks Every so Often.

If you have a week off of school and are going on vacation, don't stretch for the week. If you're tired and need to take a week off, do it. You'll come back feeling better because you won't be sore anymore (or as sore!). It's important to take breaks every once in a while, but "once in a while" is a key word-- don't take breaks every other week!

TIP #9: Over-Splits.

If you're really struggling getting down those last few inches, try over-splits. Yes, these will hurt but they're a pretty clever trick for getting down your splits. Just go into your splits with elevate on leg on top of a book or two (a textbook works well). After you've done your oversplit, try going into your reular split again. SHAZAM! Suddenly you can do it! Over-splits are like magic for those last few inches.

An Example of an Over-Split:

TIP #10: Make a Friend Before Class.

If you have some free time before class starts, ask someone to stretch with you. You'll be loose for class and will dance better. You'll also impress the teacher with your flexibility. Not to mention, it's a great way to make a friend!


  1. Thank you so much(: I have been working on my splits for so long and just can't seem to get it down! This is sooo helpful(:

  2. I'll try this out!

  3. This is absolutely fabulous! I have gotten so far down, and this is definitely proven to work for me, and I'm sure many more people who would love to get down into the splits!

  4. wow this looks like a good article
    i'll try it!!!
    i'm one inch off and and i need to get it by six weeks from now but i pulled my hamstring! so i hurts to much when i stretch it and usually stretching makes it better but....i pulled it because of over stretching
    it's been a lil over a week now and i still can't stretch it.
    what should i do?!
    does swimming help with this?

  5. Anonymous-
    Swimming is a good idea to rehab your hamstring because it is so low-impact, but be super careful not to over-do it. This has happened to me before and sometimes you just need to wait it out, as annoying as that can be. If you warm up your muscles before you stretch it makes it much more unlikely that you will pull anything, so in the future try doing some aerobic excersize before stretching to prevent any injuries. Good luck!

  6. hey its me again-
    um well the thing is
    i ALWAYS warm up
    jumping jacks, jump rope, dance wildly around the room
    and i have dance every week and we stretch in that too
    and that always sets me back about a week.
    i really really want it-and NEED it!
    otherwise i'll get kicked off my dance squad if i don't get it in like 5 weeks.
    also-for when my hamstring IS better..what stretches SHOULD i do?

  7. lol I also dance wildly around the room to warm up too, I didn't know anyone else did that :D
    I can only speak from personal experience, so if your hamstring continues to bring you pain I suggest seeing a physical therapist. They can be extremely helpful with this sort of thing.
    My advice is to try to stretch only lightly until it heals, if you explain to your coach that you need to take it easy due to this injury I'm sure she'd understand.
    Once you're healed, the best stretch to do is to just hold your splits for at least a minute at a time. Push yourself to get it down, it should be uncomfortable but not unbearable. I've heard some people say that holding your split five minutes at a time three times a day is the fastest way to get a split, although that was too much for me when I was learning. As far as getting down that last inch, it's all about oversplits, oversplits, oversplits. Believe me, they really work. It's all about pushing youself without hurting yourself.
    I know this was a lot to read but I hope it helps. Learning your splits is tough as it is, without the added pressure of a dance squad, so remember not to be too hard on yourself. If you are persistant and push yourself, you should get your splits in time.

  8. thanks for all the help. i went swimming last night but i haven't stretched yet.
    haha me too! i thought i was the only one who would dance before stretching.
    i also do the wall stretch-i think it's really helped but do you think i should try it with my hamstring.
    my moms a doctor and she said that i should only stretch a lil bit

    if you push yourself by doing something uncomfortable wouldn't that be bad though?

  9. OK, so i just stretched but it still hurts. not as much as before though so thats a good sign.
    and the leg that hurts is the one thats better.
    but my other side has been improving more than my better one!!!!

  10. That's great that your improving on your non-injured leg, and that your other leg is starting to heal too. Stretching is really all about finding out what works for you because you know your body better than anyone else.
    From my personal experience, I've found that stretching should feel uncomfortable (just in it's nature) but not painful. Then again, I was a foot off the ground when I started dancing, so I did have to endure some pain to get my splits down.
    You've been dancing for a while (I'm guessing) so you're already way more flexible than I was, so your mom is right; light stretching is really all you need.

  11. i have been dancing for a while but i just realized that i'm not as close as i thought i would be, so do you recommend any specific stretches?

  12. Anonymous - What got me my splits down was just to hold my splits (left, right, and middle) for about a minute a day. It takes patience, but if you stick to it over time you get better.
    Here are some good videos on stretches that help get the splits...

  13. I need to stretch before I do my split. But I always need to do an oversplit to get it to the floor.... I practiced and once I had that I had my oversplit in one night(I have natural flexibility but you can have flexibility)! Do not be disheartened! My friend could not do a cartwheel 8 months ago but now she can do the splits sometimes!

  14. i love this method i am doing them right now and i am about a few centimeters to going all the way down. thanks a lot for the tips.