Splits - How long did it take you?

 
Elektra Vallens

I've been working on my splits 3-5 times a week for about six months, and although I'm further down than where I started, the progress is (a lot) slower than I expected.  (My routine is to take a hot bath, then do about 30 min of stretches before actually trying the splits.)

I'd love to hear how long it took you to get down to the floor, where you started, what you did, and whether you had never done a split before. (I gather it's different trying to get them back than trying to do it for your first time in adulthood) 
Feb 27, 2012 from Boston, Massachusetts, United States
amy

do you know the differences between passive, dynamic, or resistance stretching? have you tried all three?
Feb 27, 2012 from New York, New York, United States
Elektra Vallens

In a word: yes.  Did you have a specific stretch or stretches in mind?
Feb 27, 2012 from Boston, Massachusetts, United States
MrsNaughtywed

It took me just over a year to get all the way down. I am the most unflexible person everrr. I worked on my splits approx 3-4 times a week. Sometimes more. Sometimes less. I kind of wasn't consistant and I have no one to blame but myself. But anyways, it took me just over a year to get all the way down. It's now 1.5 years and I still don 't feel comfortable getting all the way down. And there are still some days where I regress a little. Keep working at it. It can take a long time but you will get it if you don't give up. :)

I suggest working on your splits after a good workout. Your body is so warm and loose after and it can stretch much more. :)
Feb 27, 2012 from Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada
Abn2538
It took me about a year to where I could consistently and easily get into them. But for a few months I would get lazy and not stretch as often as I should... Once I started the foam roller and stretching lessons on here I started noticing a difference in about 2 weeks and then started progressing more quickly. You could also try searching stretching for splits on youtube... There are TONS of different stretches on there so you can find some that really help you :)
Oh and I never had my splits before... Or any flexibility for that matter lol you'll get there!
Feb 27, 2012 from Illinois, United States
amy
Are you tighter in your hip flexors or in your hamstrings? What kind of stretching are you doing now?
Feb 27, 2012 from New York, New York, United States
GiedreB

Girls, I am doing my splits right now. After my dance rehearsals without stretching I always go almost all the way down, there's always 3-4 cm left. But when I try at home, it's nothing similar, and I really do warm up nicely at home, although, I don't have the conditions to get THAT worn out as I am during the rehearsals, and they are just two times a week. I've had thoughts of purchasing Aleathea Austin's DVD Pure Splits because I've heard some of you had good feedbacks on it. So is it really that good and worth the money?
Feb 27, 2012 from Kaunas, Kauno Apskritis, Lithuania
Lana Lee

I am not super bendy to begin with, but I've been working towards the splits since the beginning of January.  I have to say I am pretty close to getting the splits down packed.  It took a lot of religious stretching.  I hear you are supposed to stretch 3-5 times a day, but really I believe that is exessive and don't know how ANYONE has time to do stretchin g 3-5 times a day.

I personally like to stretch right before I go to bed because I find that it's super relaxing, helping me sleep much more soundly.  My stretching session normally lasts roughly between 40-45 minutes.  I try to stretch up to 5 times a week, once a day.  I youtubed a "stretch exercise for splits" and got a pretty good one.  I believe she might actually be a Veener as well [www.studioveena.com] It's a super long one, but I mostly do the beginning stuff, skip the entire "do these stretches when you are in your splits" and only do 1 of the back flexibility stretch exercise.

[www.youtube.com]

Hope that helps you as much as it's helped me!
Feb 27, 2012 from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
UTpoler

Aerial Amy - what kind of stretching would be best for tight hamstrings?
Feb 28, 2012 from Utah, United States
o0sair0o
And I would love to hear what to do when it's tighter in the hip flexors.... If I could get those to let go I'd be there :(
Feb 28, 2012
amy
Here's some help on hip flexors :) [aerialamy.com]

uT,what kind of stretching are you currently doing for hamstrings?
Feb 28, 2012 from New York, New York, United States
Veena

You have a resource for stretching and splits right here as well. [www.studioveena.com] suggest working on the individual stretching lessons first, to learn proper technique, then move on to the routines. Train no more than 3 times a week. Unless you've been stretching regularly for years. [www.studioveena.com] [www.studioveena.com]
Feb 28, 2012 from Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Elektra Vallens

Thanks for all the feedback guys.  It's good to know that it's normal to take a year to go from no splits to the floor- that's what it's looking like for me.  I don't really mind, as long as I know what I'm up against- I started out thinking this would only take a couple of months! (ha ha) 

I just bought a subscription to the Veena lessons, so I'll check out the splits section.  I also just ordered the Alethea Austin "Simply Splits" DVD (heard good things on another thread), because while my regular routine has been OK so far, I know eventually I will need more active and dynamic stretches  to get that nice, flat jade.
Feb 28, 2012 from Boston, Massachusetts, United States
UTpoler
@A. Amy - um, just standard stretching like pike (standing and sitting on the floor), reverse lunge, etc. When I do them I have the tops of my legs engaged by pushing against the floor or by pointing and flexing my toes.
Feb 28, 2012 from Utah, United States
amy

UT-- I would strongly recommend that you look up resistance stretching techniques for hamstrings... the work that you're doing now is passive stretching and I honestly find that it did the least for me personally. There's a link at the end of my hip flexor blog entry for more info, but you can also check out videos here:

[itunes.apple.com] 99 cent iDevice app) 

or here: [www.youtube.com]
Feb 28, 2012 from New York, New York, United States
UTpoler
Thanks so much, Amy! I've read half of Bob Cooley's book and contacted Ellen for a Skype lesson a few weeks ago. I'll follow up on that! Thanks for the links and your responses!!!
Feb 28, 2012 from Utah, United States
Veena
I was just about to ask If you knew about Ellen! It's always good to check out several options. What didnt work for you previously might work now or later on! :)
Feb 28, 2012 from Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Masked Loopy II

I think it took me about 6 months to get the splits.  However, I have to be very warmed up and stretched out.  I still can't do splits at the drop of a hat.  I'm not an expert, but what seemed to be a breakthrough for me iniitially was to spend longer sessions stretching for splits (like 30 min to almost an hour).  After a while, it took me less and less time to enter into splits and I was able to reduce my stretching time. Also, a tip I learned was to try to get to the point that you can lift your hands up.  Once you take your hands off the ground, gravity takes over and your body starts to slowly sink.

Lately, some of my fav stretching poses are butterfly stretch and pigeon pose.  I also like to do a diamond stetch (feet together like in the butterfly stretch, but with feet away from you instead of pulled in).  While doing the diamond stretch I challenge myself to rest my head on my feet without using my hands.

 
Feb 29, 2012 from Summerville, South Carolina, United States
beaniegoesnuts

it took me 18 months of regular stretching (with two 2 week breaks coz i over did it and had to let my hip flexor recover) to get my splits on one side. Im still not there with my bad leg but its getting closer!
Mar 1, 2012 from Australia
glitterhips

It took me about 2 months of stretching 4 times a week please don't beat me up!!! I use a combination of Veena stretches, alethea stretches, and a few of my own. But my hip flexors are freakishly loose and when I lead my students through the stretch where you bring your knee to your chest I feel nothing. But to be honest if I didn't compete and see how valuable flexibility is for comps I wouldn't have worked to get them. I am not able to do them that well cold though unless I've stretched within a few hours. However after 5 beers at our employee christmas party I was doing the splits on the floor in the middle of the bar
Mar 1, 2012 from Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
glitterhips

Oh and to be fair I am a super slow learner in pole so I needed something to come sort of easy for me ;)
Mar 1, 2012 from Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Legend

1y 4 months and counting... I'm so frustrated with it that I miss words to express... sigh... but also so relieved to read that I'm not the only one pass the 1year mark.. I was starting to believe my hamstrings were hopelessly atrofied.... still not sure, but at least this gave a little bit of hope...!
Mar 2, 2012 from Oxford, England, United Kingdom
Elektra Vallens

Thanks again everyone for your stories- everyone who has made any progress in their splits should be considered an inspiration, and proof that flexibility can get better, even if you can't always see it when it's happening.

@Legend - Don't get too frustrated!  Right now I figure it might be another year until I have a real split.  That's OK: one thing I learned from my dad, who was a marathoner, is that getting into the best shape your body can be in is also a psychological task; you need to keep your eye on the long term or you will burn out and give up.    

It took me a long time to apply this wisdom to the splits, and realize that part of the problem is the psych-out factor.  Few things feel worse than being in a dance class when everyone else goes down in the splits, and you're so far off the floor you're just trying to balance somehow!  I seriously started about 18 inches off the floor.  It also took me a long time to realize that a big reason I never really tried to get my splits until recently was the fact that I had to overcome my own negative feelings about the limits of my flexibility in order to face practicing regularly first.  Unfortunately, when I did start to practice the splits, at first I pushed myself too far- blaming myself for not having my splits because I wasn't working hard enough- and then had to take time off to recover.  What an excercise in frustration! 

I may not be in the splits yet, but what I've learned along my journey, besides the psychological stuff is the following:

1) If you're working hard and are in pain, but not seeing results, you may be working too hard rather than not hard enough. 

2) Using a foam roller first helps a lot (I have a lot of adhesions in my leg muscles from running for years without stretching), especially for those of us who can't afford a masseuse.

3) Make sure you're really, really warm. I found out the hard way that a "normal" warm-up doesn't cut it for me.  I either have to run like two miles first, or if I don't have time for that I take a very hot bath. 

4) I was told by an instructor to try doing my splits on top of a bolster or pillows, and this reduced the pain by at least 50%.  And yes, I have made progress doing it this way.

and

5) You have the rest of your natural life to get into the splits!  It will come in time.  In the meantime, relax and don't hurt yourself.  :)
Mar 2, 2012 from Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Legend

Thank you so much Elektra! :) I hope you are right... it does make sense, I try to believe and keep positive.. there was a time I did, I started from a lunge also but, althought slowly, there was some progress from time to time.. now...  some days just feels hopeless. I think I've tried everything at this point. well, everything I could on my own... cant affort a maseuse either.. I'm less than a yoga brick from the floor for months now, and no matter what I do or how I do it, cant go any lower... maybe its time to start saving for professional help. Its not just because of how I feel compared with other polers (thats bad enough..) but since I started teaching.. everytime I have to explain i cant do a split I want to crawl into a hole and cry myself to oblivion... such a bad exemple.. cant help to feel a failure and fraud somehow... anyway... happy stretching ;)
Mar 3, 2012 from Oxford, England, United Kingdom
beaniegoesnuts

I was in exactly the same position you were legend! for 6 months i just couldnt get those final 2 inches and i couldnt figure out why. I would push so hard to get there that i'd over do it and end up on the floor but spend the next 2 weeks in agony and be right back to where i started. i finally figured out 'the secret'.

there seems to be two parts to a good front split- front leg hamstring flexibilty and back leg hip flexor flexibilty. find out which of those two is holding you back. My hamstrings were fine (i can get my nose to leg in a pike) but my hip flexors sucked so I worked intensively on stretching my hip flexors and focused on that in my split training (eg. by pushing down my hips in a lunge and really arching my back) and within 3 weeks I got down to the ground comfortably and without pain or overstretching.

my mistake before this was leaning my chest forward and thus increasing my hamstring stretch (which i personally didnt need) and ignoring my hip flexors which actually required improvement.

sorry for writing an essay but hth! i was so excited to finally figure out what i was doing wrong for 18 months!
Mar 3, 2012 from Australia
poleclimber
Thanks for all of this! I am working on the splits as well. Not easy.
Mar 3, 2012 from Illinois, United States
Veena

Great advice everyone! Sometimes backing off and stretching less is a good thing. It's not a race, so there's a benefit to being kind to your body and accepting where you are in your flexibility, AND pole journey at this moment. It's difficult to be content with where we are, but it makes for a more positive out look and then in turn, I think we end up seeing better results, because we're more relaxed with our progress and ourselves.
Mar 4, 2012 from Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
nikki518

Well I am a beginner of it all...just got my pole and will be doing lessons here and also learning to do the splits....wish me luck!
Mar 4, 2012 from MI
Hazi411

beaniegoesnuts - thank you so much!  I think you've pinpointed what my problem is :-)  Must get to work on my hip flexors - I'm pretty sure they are what's been holding me back!  Thank you so so much :-)))
Mar 5, 2012 from Australia
sparrow

@Legend--I feel your frustration. I teach pole too and I am not to full splits...yet. I am hopeful that they'll come! I've never been bendy. :/

My hamstrings are SUPER tight...I think that's what's holding me back. 
Mar 5, 2012 from Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
ORGANIC ANGEL

k, so I was not gonna jump in b/c I am post partum and have lost a lil bit of my flexibility, but until I was 30weeks pregnant I was doing splits all sides. It took 18 mo. 4x a week. for 15 min. To those who are almost there, you'll get there! I couldn't even touch my toes after my last baby and I did it. Looking forward to pushing new limits this time
Mar 5, 2012 from Heaven on Earth
ORGANIC ANGEL

Oh, and if some weeks you only get to 1 or 2x, don't worry, just pick it up the following week.
Mar 5, 2012 from Heaven on Earth
heathalynne
Actively trying from April to October 2011. Got full splits on both sides within 6 months. Deep postures and deep stretching with Isaac Pena's yoga classes 1x weekly, then Emil Valentino's flexy workshop helped me get fully to the ground. I also do other vinyasa yoga classes 2x weekly but they didn't open my hips up like Isaac and Emil.

Center split, I'm still the highest in the class. My friend said some bodies can never do some things and she's convinced I have scar tissue that's preventing me.
Mar 5, 2012 from Tite Grip, New Jersey, United States
beaniegoesnuts

no probs hazi- i was so happy when i figured it out i wanted to tell everyone!
Mar 5, 2012 from Australia
Dottie Von Boone

I have always had "splits", specifically on my right side, or so I thought.

I recently received my copy of Felix's Flexibility DVD, and I found out I have been doing splits wrong for years. I have always allowed the hip of my back leg to rotate towards the ceiling, yeah no! Once I rotated it towards the floor, and pushed it into the floor, it was a completely different feeling and look! 

I am 2 inches from being on the ground on my right side, I think with an amazing warm-up, I can sit all the way down. Now my left side, I have about 6 inches, and for the middle or straddle split, I have about a foot to go.

I am taking my time, but that hip being in the right position really mattered.
Mar 12, 2012 from Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
Alisa D
I just got aletheas DVDs in the mail yesterday and watched them last night (I like to think of it as exercising in my mind lol) I am really excited to try them and see what happens, I have lost so much flexy this round of baby baking and I wasn't all that in the first place!
Mar 13, 2012 from Stuttgart, Baden-W├╝rttemberg, Germany
heathalynne

@[www.studioveena.com] Yes!!! Squared splits during practice are a must. That's the best way to train so all your standing splits and splits on the pole are easily flattened. I've seen many pole stars that have the flattest jade, but when they're doing squared splits on the ground, they're also a couple inches off. It's a different feeling. Pressure on top of your hip vs pressure on groin.
Mar 13, 2012 from Tite Grip, New Jersey, United States
CreativityBySteffie

Im curently working on the splits aswell. But I do have a question for those who can do a split or almost. Wich is easier to learn, the middle og side split?
Mar 13, 2012 from Aalborg, North Jutland, Denmark
Elektra Vallens

@CreativitybySteffie - Usually they say that the side/front splits are easier to learn than the middle splits, but I think it must differ from body to body, since I'm having a much more difficult (read: painful) time getting my side/front splits than my middles.
Mar 13, 2012 from Boston, Massachusetts, United States
heathalynne

[www.studioveena.com] Front/side splits for me as I'm flat and can finally twist and grab my knee. Middle/center/straddle, forget it. 1 foot away, not kidding.
Mar 13, 2012 from Tite Grip, New Jersey, United States
Dottie Von Boone

@healthalynne - HA! Thanks so much for breaking that down. I want to be as flat as possible - regardless of what I am doing. I am excited! 

It is slowly coming along, my hamstrings are so stubborn .. sigh
Mar 13, 2012 from Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
CreativityBySteffie

Thank you ladies so much! :) I've been working on the side split for a little while, and I am feeling the progress each time I do it, but was thinking maybe I had picked the hard one. (not that it is easy either way) 
Mar 14, 2012 from Aalborg, North Jutland, Denmark
CreativityBySteffie

Maybe I should try the middle split routine, next time I work out. It would be funny, if I was much closer to get that one down.. :)
Mar 14, 2012 from Aalborg, North Jutland, Denmark
DedeJoy

I've been stretching 2-4 days a week for more than a year and a half and I'm still a good 4" off the floor in my front split. I am nowhere near the floor with my side split. I think my issue must be hip flexors.

I have a theory that it just takes longer as you get older and so I've given myself permission to not be as bendy as the 20-somethings in my class who can get their splits in 6 months. Anyone in this thread over 35 or 40 and find it's taking/has taken you longer than the younger polers?
Mar 14, 2012 from Florida
Vertical Joes

Emil Valentino is the most amazing stretch coach.  I have had totally unflexible students that can now split, put their feet behind their head everything.  I do think that you're over stretching and that leads to slow progression.  Check out www.valentinobrothers.com or look up Emil Valentino on facebook and try a live class asap
Mar 14, 2012 from Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Dwiizie

@ DedeJoy I just turned 26. I've been stretching regularly since december of 2009, and actual flexibility training (both splits, back, side, arms, all of it, but first focused on splits) for 1 year and 5 months. I actually looked back on a forum post I made on another site when I started the flexibility journey. I'm still about 8 inches off my center splits. I'm about an inch off on squared front splits, easier right leg forward, and if really warm and really stretched I can get the full split on both sides, but its like one day out of a month. I'm pretty sure hip flexors are the issue with front splits, so I've been paying extra attention to stretching those. For the center split, I'm not sure. Before I went to a chiro, I used to have horrible pain in my right hip when stretching. Now I don't. I've been mainly working on sitting on the ground and straight backedly leaning forward, while trying to creep my  heels just a little further back each day.

Before I started stretching, I could barely touch my toes, and my center split was the top of a plie lol. I was never a flexible or athletic child, was never interested in it. I remember trying to do center splits in 2nd grade and a cheerleader friend of mind jumped on my back to try and make it happen. I was about a foot off the ground at that point lol. I started out, when trying to touch my toes to the back of my head, about 2 feet off the mark. Back flexibility is my biggest problem. As of last night, I'm about a foot off. So I KNOW I'm improving and getting better. I thought I could NEVER EVER do a split, and I have. Its taking for freakin' ever, but I'm getting there. I, personally, don't stretch into pain. I do allow discomfort, as is natural, but pain for stretching? Nooooo, not for me. So thats the story of a mid 20's learning flexibility who was not at all bendy/athletic/whatever as a child or teen :)
Mar 14, 2012 from Richmond, Virginia, United States
DedeJoy

Dwiizie, I had a great front split when I was 14/15. Until I came down with my body twisted one day and tore a bunch of ligaments in my right hip. That injury wasn't treated properly (a whole other parent thread) so it followed me around for years and years.

So, although I wasn't terribly athletic, I danced a lot and I know I could do it once upon a time. It just seems like it's taking so much longer as a middle-aged poler. I noticed that I didn't build strength up as fast as the younger women in my classes, so I'm working on the theory that all of it takes just a little bit longer when you get older. There's another woman in my class who seems to be somewhere between my age to maybe as much as ten years older, and I notice she gets hung on on the same tricks I get hung up on and usually, they are tricks that require extreme bendiness. We're both strong and we can both do most everything except these few tricks... Floating ballerina and allegra come to mind as examples. Funny, I can do a jade split, but it could be flatter.
Mar 14, 2012 from Florida
beaniegoesnuts

dedejoy- you can prob do the jade because it requires more hamstring flexibility than hip flexibility which might be tough due to your injury!
Mar 14, 2012 from Australia
DedeJoy

You know, beanie, it never occurred to me until this thread that old hip injury could be what's holding me up now. I bet you're right.
Mar 14, 2012 from Florida
hotchocolate1

Hey everyone, thanks for the great tips, I've just started on my front splits journey, can anyone tell me, how many times a day do you stretch? So excited, I've dreamed of this forever! 
Apr 10, 2012
LolaSlaytor

I had started working on my splits last spring and initially made progress, but then due to a busy school schedule, I got off track with my stretching and so my progress sort of plateaued, Unfortunately, I started to develop some knee issues that worsened. In the process of figuring out what the injury was and how it happened, I think that a big contributor was my splits training (I can identify a couple "cheats" I think I was doing that were bad ideas!).

Now that I'm stuck with this injury (right medial meniscal tear), I've obviously had to modify a lot of my dance-related activities. I've always been limited more by my hip flexors than by my hamstrings, but I'm not sure of how I can keep working on my splits training without making my current injury worse. I have a hard time keeping my leg fully extended or putting any lateral pressure on it (i.e. any middle splits training or child's pose is out of the question). Even kneeling on the floor is tough.

Hoping someone might have some ideas?
Apr 10, 2012 from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
ORGANIC ANGEL

@hotchocolate-1x a day for 4-5 days a week. I guess you could do 2x a day for maybe 3x a week or so. Whatever you are comfy for that. If you have the time for that then great!
Apr 10, 2012 from Heaven on Earth
hotchocolate1

@LolaSlaytor - Perhaps you should concentrate on strengthening the surrounding muscles and avoiding lateral movements for now? Then hopefully in time your body will respond to the strength training, good luck xx
Apr 11, 2012
PaulettePoles

lolalaystar- I have a knee inhjury as well I got more than 10 yrs ago.. I should have had surgery but I opted not to at the time. I cant do any lateral movements w out my knee snapping and causing me to crash to the floor. WHen my knee is acting up or Ive snapped it recently, I cant bend it all the way or straighten it all the way. It does seem to have healed to a point that if I am careful and have no snaps, I have full ROM forward and back so that I cando side splits, any middle slit stretching requires very careful attention w the lateral movement so I usuallly just skip it. I do all my knee holds w my opposite leg. I also previously broke my opposite shoulder severely.. I just modify everything. I can only do spins one sided using my strong arm, then leg stuff one sided... lol... feel all gimpy but manage to do most tricks one way or the other! Since your injury is new it will probably take you awhile to heal and get to the point of really knowing it and being able to safely work around it. Just wanted to give you hope that Ive had 2 serious injuries and I still pole and Ive gotten my left splits! Knowing I probably will never be able to do a circus climb drives me crazy! Switches back and forth from bad knee to bad shoulder!
Apr 11, 2012 from Bradenton, Florida, United States
xying88
Started poling on and off since sept 2011 and started stretching for splits round about dec that year. I had no stretch routine, just attempted 'splits' whenever I fancied - managed to pull something in my right thigh - now it clicks :(
March 2012 realized my hips weren't squared and back knee was facing out instead of facing down to the ground, so looked up splits stretching videos on YouTube and came across one by emotioncatcher.
3 days ago, started a proper gym workout session (cross trainer or bike for at least 20min) followed by proper stretching. Managed to get down to the floor on day 1 :D !!
Can only so splits (side) when I'm nice and warm bur ah well, practise makes perfect.

Is it possible to someday drop into splits without this much warming up??

Goodluck everyone xx

Ps. I'm fairly flexi to begin with and before starting my proper routine, was already couple inches from the ground both side and middle splits.
Apr 12, 2012
xying88
Started poling on and off since sept 2011 and started stretching for splits round about dec that year. I had no stretch routine, just attempted 'splits' whenever I fancied - managed to pull something in my right thigh - now it clicks :(
March 2012 realized my hips weren't squared and back knee was facing out instead of facing down to the ground, so looked up splits stretching videos on YouTube and came across one by emotioncatcher.
3 days ago, started a proper gym workout session (cross trainer or bike for at least 20min) followed by proper stretching. Managed to get down to the floor on day 1 :D !!
Can only so splits (side) when I'm nice and warm bur ah well, practise makes perfect.

Is it possible to someday drop into splits without this much warming up??

Goodluck everyone xx

Ps. I'm fairly flexi to begin with and before starting my proper routine, was already couple inches from the ground both side and middle splits.
Apr 12, 2012
heathalynne
xying88 - As long as you continue to properly stretch with squared hips, you will easily drop split without a longgggg warmup. It takes time. I hit my full splits last October after 6 months. Then hit over splits 5 months later in March and drop splits felt so much easier. I felt comfortable sitting into splits (with arms up) maybe 1-2 months after I hit them. It comes with time and proper stretching. I do yoga 3x/week and one of them is deep contortion-like stretching. Pole 1x/week but the warmups are not enough to get me flexible like yoga.
Apr 12, 2012 from Tite Grip, New Jersey, United States
Kyrsten

I don't stretch consistently, maybe once a week. But side splits came easy... I was able to do them when I was younger so I suppose that helped. Maybe three months to get my right split and I'm not far off on the left. 

"Square" splits are knee facing down, right? That's how I do mine. I was always instructed to turn the knee out but that hurts for me... my jade split is awful urghhh

My middle splits are freaking HOPELESS. I'm at least a foot away lol and they just don't seem to budge at all. It just freaking hurts and I hate working on them and I doubt I'll ever be able to do them because I hate stretching for them so much.
Apr 13, 2012 from Detroit, Michigan, United States
Kyrsten

And I will echo that whether side or middle is easier just depends on the person... I have a friend who got center/box splits with very little effort but she had to work quite a bit at her side splits.
Apr 13, 2012 from Detroit, Michigan, United States
heathalynne
Squared splits on the ground are where your hips are squared and not diagonal or uneven. Perfect square. Front leg with knee straight up, back leg with top of your thigh touching the ground and your knee facing the ground.

Jade splits aren't really splits. Your knee rotates out along with your outer hip rotating out. Also keep your chest facing up to the ceiling, not towards your leg. This will flatten your jade even if you don't have perfectly squared full splits.
Apr 13, 2012 from Tite Grip, New Jersey, United States
ahlemh20014818

Just a question girls, I have found out "knots" on the behind of my knee and another one in the armpit.the one one the armpit is painful, you can actually see there is a knot visually, the one begind the knee is not painful if I touch it, but It hurts a bit in doing some movements. would you use a foam roller to release them or massage?I actually dont know if I have to put pressure on them or leave them alone. the knot on my armpit has been here for a while now, I thought at first it was beacause of me shaving.
Apr 14, 2012
ahlemh20014818

Just a question girls, I have found out "knots" on the behind of my knee and another one in the armpit.the one one the armpit is painful, you can actually see there is a knot visually, the one begind the knee is not painful if I touch it, but It hurts a bit in doing some movements. would you use a foam roller to release them or massage?I actually dont know if I have to put pressure on them or leave them alone. the knot on my armpit has been here for a while now, I thought at first it was beacause of me shaving.
Apr 14, 2012
ahlemh20014818

Just a question girls, I have found out "knots" on the behind of my knee and another one in the armpit.the one one the armpit is painful, you can actually see there is a knot visually, the one begind the knee is not painful if I touch it, but It hurts a bit in doing some movements. would you use a foam roller to release them or massage?I actually dont know if I have to put pressure on them or leave them alone. the knot on my armpit has been here for a while now, I thought at first it was beacause of me shaving.
Apr 14, 2012
Lyme Lyte
I am 46 and got my splits in 8 weeks stretching about 2x week. It is not as though I can now just fall into them, it takes me about 20 min to stretch out before I can go all the way down.
Jun 6, 2012 from Grand Haven, Michigan, United States
CapFeb
I've never considered myself flexible, but I guess I am. It took me about a month to get my forward splits (left foot leading). I just looked up "how to do the splits" online, and did the recommended stretching excessize every day for four weeks, usually right before bed. I'm working on the side splits right now (I think that's what they're called, every time I see them I just think of Carrot Top...) but not I'm not so fierce about getting them as I was with the left foot leading splits.

Also: Keeping yourself super hydrated really really helps. I didn't drink hardly any water when I learned left. Now I'm learning right, and drinkingwater seems to have made stretching keep it's....stretch? Longer, and with more effect.
Jun 7, 2012 from Glendale, Arizona, United States
Cantetinza17

It took 2 months of a llot of stretching before I got my left side split.  It looks like an extra month for my right and my middle splits is still a work in progress.
Jan 29, 2013 from San Diego, California, United States
Ava Avane Dawn

The question thus far having been how long it took to get down into doing the split, now my question is how much you have to work in order to keep being able to go all the way down! Not as much, I hope? What's your experience?
Mar 16, 2013 from Sweden
tehCammy

You should be stretching just about every time you do pole. If you do other exercises that may tighten the muscle (running, powerlifting, etc) then you should be stretching then as well. Bottom line, splits aren't something you get, they're something you do. You have to keep working if you want to keep doing them.

 

Tongue in cheek: if you don't keep doing them, you could hop on your pole one day and end up like THIS:

[studioveena.com]

 
Mar 16, 2013 from ON, Canada
Ava Avane Dawn

Thanks for the answer! We'll see where my motivation takes me, I have other things I wish to train too...
Mar 17, 2013 from Sweden
Ms Diddy

i have heard that the valentino brother dvd's are too advanced for beginners. is this true? because i planned on checking them out, but i don't know.....i can't seem to find too many reviews.
Mar 18, 2013 from Queen City, NC
RoseMay

Valentino brothers have beginner/intermediate and advanced DVDs. The beginner/intermediate are definately suitable for beginners, for people who can't do the splits yet. They explain a lot there. The 3 beginner DVDs brought my splits from 16 inches down to 4 inches off the floor within 6 months on and off training. At this point I stopped making progress and bought Aletheas DVDs.

If you can do the splits you can use the advanced Valentino Brother ones (at least the ones about leg flexibility).

Re: How long does it take to maintain the splits: For me I need 2 hours per month to maintain a 4 inch oversplit on my good side and normal split on my bad side :-) 30 minutes per week is ideal, but I don't always do that. Though it would take a lot more work for me to progress from there.
Mar 18, 2013
Ms Diddy

thanks rosemay! i went ahead and purchased the beginner DVDs. i'm the type of person that NEEDS a routine to follow along. i'm not good at, nor am i consistent with trying to take videos and make up my own routine. i skimmed through them and i think they will be very helpful. i am NOWHERE near the splits. i am about 20 inches from the ground lol. they suggest 3x a week and i have been trying to workout 3x a week so i can do it after my workouts. 
Mar 18, 2013 from Queen City, NC
amberpoledancer
After 30 years of not being able to do the splits at all I just got them last week. As a child I could never do them and kinda gave up trying, however I always naturally had flexible hip flexors ( I often sit in a butterfly stretch when watching TV as I find it comfortable) and can easily put my legs over my head however I learned my hamstrings where really tight hence the reason I can't do spilts. I tried stretching a few times a week when doing pole for 2 years and got no where. Then I discovered a love for yoga and aerial yoga and I literally got bendy over night! With in my first week of joining a yoga class my splits where much lower to the ground, two months later I can finally do it!!! It's still a bit of a struggle ( i need to do it after a good pole workout and ease into it slowly and it's not perfect yet but I'm so happy!) can't recommend yoga and aerial yoga enough if you want to get bendy for pole!
Mar 19, 2013 from Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
leyrose
Front/side splits took me 3 weeks to get after not doing them for a few years. Middle splits I've never had and am currently struggling with them. 
Aug 4, 2013
Polefit Korea
Front spilt took me 6 months. Middle split.. I'm still working on it.

Putting your hands on your waist instead of ground would be helpful.

 

 
Aug 5, 2013 from Korea, South
blondierat
So glad to here that Amber! I just started going to hot yoga as much as I can - I already feel the benefits! I no longer get major pain in my right shoulder. Hopefully I will be down in my splits soon enough! I need to start stretching more as well. 
Aug 5, 2013 from Kingston, Ontario, Canada
safetypin90
I think, for most of us, the reason why it takes so long is because we're trying to find the best technique that works for us for so long. It's been over 6 months and I;ve finally found a routine that works for me and I;ve finally learnt how to stretch properly and so I'm seeing a difference.

 

Also, I havent stretched in the past 3 days and I feel like crap. I will tomorrow !!
Aug 7, 2013 from United Kingdom
safetypin90
I think, for most of us, the reason why it takes so long is because we're trying to find the best technique that works for us for so long. It's been over 6 months and I;ve finally found a routine that works for me and I;ve finally learnt how to stretch properly and so I'm seeing a difference.

 

Also, I havent stretched in the past 3 days and I feel like crap. I will tomorrow !!
Aug 7, 2013 from United Kingdom
safetypin90
I think, for most of us, the reason why it takes so long is because we're trying to find the best technique that works for us for so long. It's been over 6 months and I;ve finally found a routine that works for me and I;ve finally learnt how to stretch properly and so I'm seeing a difference.

 

Also, I havent stretched in the past 3 days and I feel like crap. I will tomorrow !!
Aug 7, 2013 from United Kingdom
3Splits
For me, it took me about 2 months. I had my right split before and stopped stretching, lost it, and now am working on it again. I am 4 cm away in my right and 4 inches away in my left. My middle is 5 inches off the ground.
Aug 15, 2013
KidKerrigan
I JUST got my left split one time, got excited, went to go show my instructor and snapped a hammy. It's going to take me a lonnngggg time to get that back :( even my handstand holds are now pooped! Never never ever push yourself too hard with stretching. Soon as you feel a weird tingle, back right off. You'll very much regret it otherwise!!!
Aug 16, 2013 from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Cara Christina
I had to respond to this thread because I just finally got my splits at age 35 (never could do them as a kid) after 3 years of trying!  I guess it's not very encouraging that it took 3 years but the thing was, as so many people have said, everyone's body is different and what works for some won't work for others.  After stretching on a pillows/really soft mat, I finally realized that I'm supposed to relax my muscles.  Well, I thought I was relaxing but really I was tensing.  The psychout/fear factor was and is huge with me.  I also paid attention to the feeling of stretching those areas in which I am flexible--what are my muscles doing?  What is my mind doing?  Why is this easy and the splits are hard?  After awhile of really paying attention to these kinds of things, I was able to consciously help my muscles relax.  Good luck--it can happen!  Oh, and I found that trying too hard was also counterproductive.
Sep 2, 2013
NerdasaurusJess
I had a rather odd split journey. I was inflexible child. I could hardly touch my knees up until College. I started doing yoga a couple times a month my freshmen year and could touch the ground. Sometime around my sophomore year I started dancing. I did not stretch I did not work towards splits. I kept trying to do them in my sets and one day I was flat. I know this is not the norm at all, but I think a lot can be said about just being warm and working it in those movements. I have also heard one yogi say she stayed flexible because "she never bent her knees to put on her underwear" it is such a minor thing but it could make a HUGE difference.
Sep 5, 2013 from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
thaliajanse2428
It was very easy for me it took me 5 days only! with this video: [www.youtube.com]
[www.youtube.com]
Mar 7, 2014
M Darling
I bought the "Felix Cane Flexibility" dvd last year, and I would do that at least two days a week after doing cardio before. One I had all the stretches memorized, I would do as many as I could as often as I could. I would only hold each stretch for about 30 seconds. I would pick two days a week to do deep stretching and oversplit stretching. Now that I have found Veena, I do her stretching and workouts and I only work on oversplits about twice a week and this seems to help. I also found some nice videos on youtube...and Aerial Amy (Thank You!) I haven't even used a foam roller yet, but I am looking forward to that! Can anyone tell me what helped them get a nice aerial split? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Mar 10, 2014 from Ca
 
brittanymoyce3448
Loving the 30 day takeoff.. just what I needed to get out of a rut! I find the daily routines perfect in length and intensity and a great way to shakeup a stagnant workout routine. Plus, now I am limber and warmed up to do some practicing
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