Whether you are a dancer, yoga student or just a fitness enthusiast, you can get your splits down without all the pain. You do not have to be a cheerleader to do your splits beautifully. Completing a side split or a centre split takes a great deal of flexibility throughout your hips, groin and hamstrings. Loosening up these muscles with different stretches can help you reach your splits quickly, safely and without pain.
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Warm your body up. Before you begin to stretch, you must get your body warm with movement. A warm body helps you ease into your stretches and can prevent injury. Jog or walk to loosen up your muscles.
Lengthen your hamstrings. Your hamstrings are the muscles on the back of your thighs. Complete a forward fold. Stand with both your feet touching and let your upper body hang over your lower body. Try to touch your fingertips to your toes. Hold this pose for 30 seconds and then slowly return to standing. Complete this stretch two to three times.
Straddle the wall to stretch your groin. Find a wall in your house and place your legs up against the wall as you lie on your back. Try to bring your glutes close to the wall and slowly let your legs fall open. Let gravity pull your legs out to the sides, allowing them to slide down the wall, opening up your groin. Hold this position for two to three minutes.
Perform a butterfly stretch to open the hips. Sit with the soles of your feet together in front of you and your knees wide. Grab your ankles and use your elbows to push down on your knees. Lean forward with your waist and aim to get your knees to the floor. The American Council on Exercise suggests holding your stretch for 30 seconds and repeating it four times.
Stretch daily. Stretch in the mornings and the evenings, as well as before any exercise. Daily stretching helps to gain flexibility faster and allows your muscles to elongate more efficiently.
Tips and warnings
- During your stretches you should feel tension on your muscles but not pain.
- Be sure to breathe during your stretches, which helps to settle you into your stretch.
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