Practice For a Split

The reason that I practiced for a split is simply that I wanted to. It seemed like an interesting ability to have. The plan I formulated to get to the end result was to start a daily practice of getting into end range motion, eventually reaching a complete split. This is the daily routine I used to get to a split. Within six months I was doing a full split. It’s the slowest method I developed but it will get you there.

Warm up: movement within range of motion to increase the blood flow and create some heat.

  • 3 arm circles. As large as possible, both directions, right arm only.
  • 3 arm circles. As large as possible, both directions, left arm only.
  • 3 leg swings. Only to the front, as high as possible, right leg only.
  • 3 leg swings. Only to the back, as high as possible, right leg only.
  • 3 leg swings. Only to the front, as high as possible, left leg only.
  • 3 leg swings. Only to the back, as high as possible, left leg only.
  • 3 leg swings. Only to the side, as high as possible, right leg only.
  • 3 leg swings. Only to the side, as high as possible, left leg only.

Stretches: get to end-range of motion, stay there until relaxation happens, then go further if possible. Be aware: discomfort is OK because you’re in an uncommon position. Pain is NOT OK because damage is likely, e.g. tearing. Tingling is NOT OK because you’re damaging your nervous system. A sleeping sensation is NOT OK because you’re cutting off blood flow. STOP what you’re doing if pain, tingling or a sleeping sensation occurs. There are two options: stop for the day. You are done. Or, recover, wait it out, then continue the routine.

  • Grabbing hands behind the back. One arm coming from the top, one from below. Stay there for 20 seconds. Start counting once you’re at end-range.
  • Same. Switch sides. Again for 20 seconds.
  • First front/back split (spagat, as I call it). Left leg stretched to the front, right leg to the back. Hold at end-range. Go a bit further when relaxation occurs. Do so for 90 seconds total. Start counting once you’re at end-range.
    • Once you get better, have more range of motion: at the one minute mark, lean your torso forward for an added stretch. Eventually you’ll be able to lie down on your leg.
  • Second spagat. Switch legs. Right in front, left at back. Again for 90 seconds total. Again, lean forward at one minute mark if capable.
  • Side split (or simply, split). Left to the left, right to the right. Again for 90 seconds total.
  • Once you get better: at some point during the stretch, twist to the side, trying to touch your foot with your head, while keeping the split. Leaning over your leg, if you will. Do this both left and right, staying on one side for up to 15 seconds. Then, lean forward. Trying to lie down flat on the floor, while keeping the split. Do this for up to 30 seconds. These all count towards your total of 90 seconds.

Cool down: shake out your legs, swing each one up and down a few times, and lastly swing each leg side to side a few times.