Tips on getting the last few inches in front splits?

 
joni1
So, after 13 months of warming up on the eliptical for 20-30 mins and 45 mins of various stretches 5 days a week to get into my front splits, I am now 1 and 1/2 inch on my right front splits and 3 inches on my left front splits. I started at 19 inches pretty much on both sides . Any tips on getting the last few inches Also, I find that if I do the splits with cold muscles or only warm up for 5-10 mins, I am about 6 inches away. Does that mean I have to always warm up for 30 mins and series of stretches first all the time to get all the way down or will I ever be able to just get down without warming up in the future
Any advice or info would be greatly appreciated.
Oct 20, 2010
Charley
Hi joni!

Congrats on your success girl you are an inspiration!!!! I am not that close to my splits but what I hear over and over again is to train your over splits to get those last couple inches - in your case less. Thereis a great book that has been talked about in other threads The Genius of Flexibility - this book is great - it talks about resistance stretching, it not painful and the exercises/stretches are incredibly great.

You have to get your body to a point where splits is your cold stretch, I think you would benefit from the book. I found I went form 6 inches to like 4 inches just by changing how I was dropping down into the splits and being able to push down through my pelvis into the floor rather than stretching down into them.

Seriously though going from 19 inches to 1.5 inches - you are my hero!
Oct 20, 2010
Gary Horne
As charley mentioned, training your over-split will make your splits much flatter against the floor. An easy way to do this is to train with your front foot propped up on an object. Start with something low (ie. a pillow) & gradually increase the height.
Oct 20, 2010
RoxyPink
OVERSPLITS!!
Oct 20, 2010
joni1
Thanks Charley, Gpoledance and Roxy Pink, Oversplits it is. My front leg is all the way down touching the floor. My silk instructor said its my back leg flexor muscle stopping me from getting all the way down. I will start stretching into my oversplits. But with my back leg flexor being the problem, should I raise the back leg, front leg or both legs I'm really hoping to get at least one of my front splits down flat before the end of the year. That my goal.
Oct 21, 2010
PennyGirl
Honestly thanks. I caught this thread and was immediately intrigued. I have the same problem...I am like 2 inches from the front splits on the right and probably 5 on the left...ugh! Every time I stretch it's after a run. So it's usually after about an hour of running so I am pretty warm. I can't get down that far without running first tho. I have tried over splits by putting my front foot onto a folded up yoga mat. Will check out that book tho sounds like a good idea!

***just ordered it on amazon for 4 bucks!!
Oct 21, 2010
Prncsopowr
Interesting. I have been dancing for 22 years and have never done oversplits. I actually just recently lost my splits due to a pretty severe muscle pull and all of a sudden went to 6-8 inches off the ground. For a ballet dancer, this is hell!! I got a really great massage from an excellent therapist last week and all of a sudden my splits are now only about 1.5-2 inches off the ground on both sides. He did a lot of release work on my glutes which were caught up in lots of little knots. It is an enjoyable idea to consider

I am definitely going to start trying oversplits and I may order that book. Thanks!
Oct 21, 2010
minicoopergrl
Oversplits ROCK! Ive had my splits since I was a kid but I wanted a deeper stretch and be able to lift my back leg and be able to rub my heel in my hair. stretching for oversplits has improved my spilts much more.
Oct 21, 2010
ottersocks
Oversplits stretching will definitely help. And to answer your question, you can raise both your front and back foot. I like putting my front achilles tendon onto a foam roller, as it's then easy to roll away to go down into your split after stretching.
Also try the squeeze and release technique. When you're down as low as you can go, squeeze your legs together like you're trying to scissor them closed through the floor. Both legs squeeze down HARD and keep squeezing for a slow 10 count. Then relax everything and try to sink lower. Repeat this 3 - 5 times.
Good luck you're so close great work!!
Oh and also--cold, I'm a good 6" away. Warm, I'm flat to the floor. I spend up to an hour warming up my legs and stretching ALL the muscles in all directions--glutes, quads, hip flexors, inner thighs--before I stretch splits.
Oct 21, 2010
Izzy85

wow I've been trying to get my split down to the floor past those last few inches for months and had no idea about overstretching, I'm gonna try this! The last 3 or 4 months it has felt like I'm losing flexibility weirdly... I hope this helps
Jun 26, 2011
EvaRut

Oooohh so it is okay to start stretching for oversplits even if you have are not completely flat on the floor? 

I have had my split for almost 6 months but it is not completely reliable unless Im really warm and have done some stretching first. And usually when Im down in a split there is a small gap between me and the floor but  just about big ebough so that I can put my hand flat underneath my self. while in the split. I have been stretching about 4 times a week this month and Im not getting any closer. My front leg is completely flat but it is the back leg that is the problem now. 

Im going to try putting something underneath the legs and hope that it will help. I really really want to be able to do a split in the air without needing gravity to get a flat split.

 
Jun 26, 2011
Veena
Remember it's important to stretch more than just the muscles used in front splits. Also change up the types of stretches you do along with the amount of time you hold them. I have some nice varations that target the same muscle groups in the lessons.
Jun 26, 2011
moonflower

I sit in pigeon pose on my yoga mat while my chinchillas are having their play time (30-40min a day). I put my laptop on a chair in front of me for music/youtube/email. I find my back leg to be the less flexible leg so I focus on sittign straight up or leaning back instead of folding over. I find my splits much flatter after doign this. I guess you can do that while watching tv as well.

For the center (chinese) splits, I lay with my butt against a wall and lets my legs straddle wide where ever they go comfotably (important not to push) while I listen to an audio book. After 10-15min I find my legs have dropped much much lower.

 
Jun 26, 2011
MissKitty83

my problem is the muscles in my inner thighs (adductors).  They like to PULL and can become very painful.  My hip flexors and hams are also tight, but they don't pull and hurt like my adductors.  It makes any kind of split very very hard to do.  I haven't reviewed all the stretching lessons, but I want to try some foam roller stretches for my adductors - I'm hoping that will help.  As for foam rollers - do the $3 pool noodles really work just as well?  I'm concerned that they'd compress too much and not put enough pressure on the muscle to have any real effect.  Anyone tried this? 

Thanks for the tip about the pigeon pose MoonFlower - I'll try that.  I need to get back into my resistance stretches too.  I have the resistance stretching with Dara Torres DVD, and I'm just not sure I like it.

I need to get back on track - I've been terrible about stretching and exercising the last few weeks.  Thanks for all the tips, ladies!  I'll put them to good use!  My splits have, over the last 9 months, gone from over a foot off the floor to 2-4" off the floor, depending on the side and how warm I am.  :D

You are all and inspiriation!!  Thanks for the tips - I can't wait till the day I'm flat on the floor!!
Jun 28, 2011
Sam I am

I have also found that a straight line on the floor helps with my splits....with out it I tend to be lopsided and while I thought I was all the way down I really wasn't....oversplits are sooo much help ...MissKitty I tried the pool noodle and really it wasn't any good :( Target and Walmart both sell a cheap roller for under $20 and they work sooooo much better! I'm still working on my middle splits they are so pain full I can only hold the position for about 30secs but I am just a couple inches from the floor!!  So wish I had done some dance or gymnastics as a kid lol , Of course how did I have any way of knowing that I would become a pole addict lol.
Jun 28, 2011
Legend

I'm stuck at 3/4'' for months now... i believe i tried everything i could...so frustrating... just ordered the foam roller, hope it does the trick or i guess i'll have to accept that's just not going to happen for me :(
Jun 29, 2011
tarah

Wow, thanks everyone!!  I have been totally frustrated with trying to get the splits, especially having to do so much "warm up" beforehand.  I thought that oversplits were the next step after getting the splits, so I'm glad I read this.  Will try to get that book!!  :)
Jun 29, 2011
Veena

Have you guys tried the suggestions in the Getting Started Stretching lesson? [www.studioveena.com] I really recommend trying the hot bath and then wearing clothing to keep the heat in. Its a quick way to warm up allowing you to stretch anytime. You only need to sit in the bath or shower for 5-10 mins, but the water must be HOT. Also remember that most people are more flexible in the late afternoon, we are usually the least flexible in the morning. I do all of my flexibility work at night. I'm telling ya baths and the foam rolling each muscle group before you stretch is has worked wonders for me.
Jun 29, 2011
MissKitty83

Thanks Veena!  A foam roller is next on my list of items to buy. And I have to admit, there's nothing like a hot bath to make you feel decadent and deliciously relaxed.
Jun 29, 2011
PennyGirl

Veena, I wish I could "like" your post lol!
Jun 29, 2011
zoe4139
No one has written on here for 7 years but oh well. So I started working towards my splits just under a month ago now. I’ve only been working towards my left leg splits. I started about 11 inches from the ground and I’m now down to 3 inches away. I stretch every night for about 30-40 minutes and then try for my splits a couple of times as it always gets better the more of them that I do. So far I’m really impressed at how fast my progress has been so any estimates how much love beer it will take for me to get to the ground?
Oct 21, 2018
Veena
Hi Zoe, yes this is an old thread. We have many about splits :)

How soon you achieve a full split will vary even if you see progress quickly at first. It's also not uncommon to see progress and them become stuck. If this happens it's a good idea to vary what stretches you're doing. The body gets use to movement patterns and will no longer be challenged in the same way at a certain point, unless you switch things up.

I will suggest that if you're only stretching for left leg splits, start training for all splits, your body will thank you for stretching both sides. In fact you'll see even better progress if you train your full body, back, shoulders etc. If we just focus on one area that's when imbalances happen and injuries can occur. Having a split isn't as important as training properly to reach your bodies full potential.

Feel free to check out my stretching routines here if you haven't' use them already!
Oct 21, 2018
LatinPoler Previous Paid Member
I agree with Veena, at least you should start training your right leg split. One side is always going to feel flexier than the other, but you should train equally. I recommend warming up very well, to the point of sweat and slightly out of breath. Variety of squats, lunges and ending up with kicks (never do kicks with cold muscles!). Dress in layers, I love fleece leggings and legwarmers in winter. If it's very cold, I wear my back warmer too, even if I'm going to focus on legs... the point is to feel warm. Hold your stretches for at least 30 seconds, splits I would say 60-90 seconds. Try techniques like PNF, not only static stretches. Work on squaring your splits. Work on your active flexibility. Use a block under your front foot. Work your middle splits too, it's also leg stretching that will help with hips mobility. As you can see, you have many options. Good luck!
Oct 22, 2018
 
juniejune405144
I'm so excited to have Veena in my computer..I took a class but the teacher wasn't that great. I bought a pole put it up in my living room and Veena on my computer and it's been amazing. I can feel her kindness and her knowledge. thank u
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