How To Do The Splits

One of the questions I get asked the most is how to get more flexible, and in particular how to do the splits. Following these steps daily, you could get your splits in as little as a week from now! You have to commit to it and it won’t be easy, but I truly believe anyone can do the splits if they put in the work.

Now, not everyone will take a week, some may take a month or even six months up to a year, but consistency is key and you will get there if you stick to it, I promise!


WARM UP

This is the most important step and one that often gets neglected and then people wonder why their legs are in agony the next day or how they managed to pull a muscle, concluding that the splits just aren’t for them. It’s SO important to get the blood pumping and flowing to the muscles you’re about to put under strain. It’s vital for your whole body to be warm prior to stretching.

I recommend doing a cardio based warm up first to really get the heart rate up and blood pumping around your body, to prepare your body and your mind for exercise. If you don’t warm up properly, you’re much more likely to sustain an injury. I like to put on my favourite upbeat song and do exercises like jogging on the spot, jumping jacks and jumps for the whole track, making sure to move my whole body.

I will be uploading a follow along cardio warm up on my YouTube channel – go and subscribe now and hit the bell notification button so you don’t miss it!

After you’ve got the blood flowing and your body moving, you want to add some mobility exercises, such as hip circles in both directions.

YOGA / FLOW

Before I get into static stretches I like to do a little yoga flow, such as sun salutations to ease my muscles into the stretches before holding them for too long. In these types of flows, you move through each position fairly quickly as it is often still part of a warm up, and gets more blood flowing to the muscles.

STATIC STRETCHES

Now that you’re thoroughly warmed up, it’s time to really start working on that flexibility. Below are images of all the stretches I do when working on my splits. Most people have a problem either with tight hamstrings (backs of your thighs) or tight hips – sometimes both. So if it’s one or the other, make sure you spend more time stretching out the problem area as it will likely take longer to loosen up.

Hold each stretch for an absolute minimum of 30 seconds, ideally you want to hold each one for about 2 minutes, to really give the muscles chance to relax. Focus on deep breathing throughout your stretches, never hold your breath! With each exhale, see if you can release a little more tension.

Put on your favourite music while you’re stretching to help take your mind off it!

Remember that stretching should never beΒ painful but it will beΒ uncomfortable. It’s important that you learn the difference! You want to hold each stretch at the point where you can feel it, but it shouldn’t be painful as such. There can be a pretty fine line so take it easy at first so you can learn where your threshold is!

PNF STRETCHING

After your static stretches, you should try some PNF stretching at least once a week. Again, the more you do it, the quicker you will see results.

PNF stands for proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation which is basically stretching with an external force. You will need to find either a partner or a band (can be a belt, pair of tights, anything like that) to assist your stretching. By applying an external force you will improve your flexibility much quicker and therefore be able to get your splits faster.

You can use some of the same stretches we did in the static stretches, but use your partner or band to apply force. They will apply force and you will push against it as hard as you can, for 10 seconds. You will then release the force but continue the stretch for 10 seconds, and you should be able to increase the range of motion. Repeat this process 3-5 times in a couple of different stretches and you should see results immediately.

PNF stretching is the most effective way to drastically improve your flexibility quickly.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

FREQUENCY

If you want to get your splits quickly and keep them, you need to do these stretchesΒ daily.Β You have to commit to it and you have to actually want it, or else it’s very easy to give in. If you’re really serious, you could do a stretching session in the morning and in the evening.

Try setting an alarm at a certain time each day so that you remember to do your stretches, or incorporate it into your morning/evening routine so that it becomes habit.

Flexibility isn’t just a cool skill you can show off, it will increase your movement in every day life and make moving around easier!


If you’re looking for a new skill to learn or a challenge, let this be it! Commit to it and start today, and update me on your progress – I want to hear all about it! I’m also happy to answer any questions if you have any.

Remember to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you don’t miss any future stretching/warm up/workout videos!

Happy stretching!

L x

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10 Comments

  1. I used to be able to do the splits a lot and really well when I was dancing but since I gave that up, I’ve totally lost all flexibility aha!

    Shannon x
    http://www.shanylou.co.uk

    1. I think I’d probably lose it quicker if I gave up dancing too – it’s one of those things you have to practise and do regularly to keep hold of!

  2. I’d absolutely loveee to be able to do the splits! I do Yoga pretty much daily and work out 5 times a week. I used to be a literal tin man but since starting Yoga, I’m amazed at my flexibility. But I think my problem is my hips – I have pretty tight hips, which I need to work on!

    1. That’s amazing! Once you’ve identified the tight areas its easier to focus on them! You may also benefit from a trigger point release in the hips to help you out πŸ™‚

  3. I have never been able to do the splits in my entire life! I need to give yoga another chance as I gave up on it a few weeks ago as I didn’t gain much from it, I may give it another chance if it means I can attempt the splits! x

    Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk

    1. You don’t need to do yoga to do the splits but it can help for sure as you warm up the muscles naturally through the different flows. Maybe try a different yoga class to the ones you did before if you weren’t getting much from it!

  4. Awesome post! I remember when I was younger I used to do these exercises and stretches for my dance classes, and doing splits constantly for different types of dances. I danced for 7 years but stopped. Although I exercise and stretch now, I’m not even sure I can do a split since it’s been years. But that’s the point, you have to commit and work your way into them. I’ll be able to do a split again some day!

    1. Some people are just naturally more flexible so you might surprise yourself – give it a go!

  5. I’ve always wanted to do the splits! May give it a shot now following these tips. Glad to see yoga is one of them, absolutely love yoga!

    https://www.itschloetoni.com

    1. Yes, you can do it! If you’re already into yoga then it shouldn’t be too difficult to add some of these stretches into your practice!

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