How to do splits for men

Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

While scientific research supports the notion that women are generally more flexible than men, it is a myth that performing a split is only achievable for women.

With daily practice and stretching exercises designed to gradually increase the range of motion of the hip, pelvis and leg joints, most healthy men will be able to achieve a full front split in time. However, as with women, how long it takes will depend on a range of factors, including age and natural levels of flexibility.

Warm up your muscles and ligaments to encourage greater (and safer) flexibility by performing an aerobic activity such as jogging or skipping for at least five minutes.

Starting from a standing position with both legs together, step forward with your right leg into a front lunge so that your front and back legs are bent at 90-degree angles at the knee. Your front foot should be flat on the floor, and your back knee and the top of your back foot should be resting on the floor.

Check that your hips are square and pointing forward.

Slowly slide your front foot along the floor to straighten the front leg. Transfer the weight of your front foot onto the heels so that the toes point toward the ceiling. Place one hand on either side of your front knee to support your weight.

Breathe deeply and evenly. Consciously relax the muscles throughout your whole body.

On an exhale, slowly edge your front foot forward a centimetre or two. Keep your

hips square and pointing forward.

Hold this position for 20 seconds, breathing deeply and evenly.

Continue to edge your foot forward a centimetre at a time, until you feel you have reached your maximum stretch.

Change direction and repeat steps 2 through 8 with the left leg forward.

Repeat this exercise three or four times on each leg daily, gradually bringing your pelvis closer to the ground until you achieve a front split.