Splits Help

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by JTG, Aug 11, 2016.

  1. JTG

    JTG New Member


    Let me start out by saying this. I am NOT flexible at ALL! I have been a martial artist for 14 years and throughout all of these years, I have always had a huge amount of trouble when it comes to flexibility. However, for around the last 3 or 4 years I have been working constantly on my flexibility, mainly, just accomplishing the splits. Unfortunately, I still have not accomplished this.

    This is my daily stretch routine I have been doing for the past few years. It has helped my splits go from about 90 degrees to around 110 degrees, however, as of recently, progress has slowed a LOT.
    -30 seconds of front splits (each side)
    -30 seconds sitting on the floor with a leg extended reaching for it (each side)
    -5 minutes of doing the splits up against a wall with 5 lb weights on each leg stretching further every minute
    -30 seconds to 1 minute of butterfly stretch

    If anyone has any more ideas on things I could do to help me accomplish the full splits (180 degrees) please let me know. I would love something more to try and hopefully to work.

    Thank you very much!
  2. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    What strength training are you doing on the legs?

    Van Zandt has a definitive guide on here too...you should search out the thread :)
  3. JTG

    JTG New Member

    I don't do too much on the legs. When I do, it's mainly squat type exercises and slow kicking.
  4. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

  5. matveimediaarts

    matveimediaarts Underappreciated genius

    Ballerinas use barre to warm up before doing splits on the floor, FWIW. Here's one of many good barre warmups out there: [ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8A6c7bkzmQ8"]Ballet Barre Warmup - YouTube[/ame] This one is not complete, but it gives you a place to start from.A proper barre routine should include 1) putting the foot on the barre directly in front of you, bending over, and gripping the foot/ankle, and 2) standing directly in front of the barre and sliding the foot on the barre down as far as possible (forcing you into a modified side split).

    Google around-pretty much every classical barre warmup will help you. Every teacher I've worked with insists on barre before trying splits (including active pro ballerinas). Hope this helps! I'm still working on splits myself, but I'm getting closer. :D

    ETA: I recommend sticking to classical stretching or modern stretches proven to work-like the stuff Van Zandt posts about.
  6. Kwajman

    Kwajman Penguin in paradise....

    Why is it important to you to do the splits? Just curious.
  7. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick


    Two important points to consider here:

    1) Lack of progress (in anything) is a sign that your method doesn't work;


    2) Lack of flexibility is more often than not an indicator of lack of strength.

    So, the way to address these problems is to (1) change what you're doing whenever you stop progressing, and (2) get stronger.

    Since you said you don't do much strength work, you can nail two birds with one stone by starting a regular weight lifting programme - but one that focuses on building range of motion rather than overall strength. Example exercises would be goblet squats, Romanian deadlifts and Bulgarian split squats, as well as isometric contractions in your static stretches.
  8. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Highly Skilled Peeper Supporter

    It's 5AM in the morning and I read this post, then decided to youtube Bulgarian Split Squats and variations, and now I'm watching videos on how to get a bigger butt.

    Also, one day, I'm going to have a giant goblet made that has an olympic bar piece in the center to stack weights in. That way it's literally a goblet squat.
  9. JTG

    JTG New Member

    matveimediaarts, Thanks...I'll give those stretches from the video a try!

    Kwajman, For me, it is important to do the full splits because I have found that I have reached a sort of "peak" for how far I can progress in martial arts with my current flexibility level. I feel like if I can accomplish the full splits that I can continue to progress at martial arts and feel good about myself for accomplishing such a feat. This is especially important to me because I do not have a body of a usual martial artist. I am not flexible in any way and it would feel amazing to be able to do the full splits to prove to myself that I can change that.

    Van Zandt, I read your posts on isometric stretching last night and am going to give those a try today as well as some different types of squats to get me warmed up and ready for an isometric stretch. Thank you for those posts, I am hoping that they will help me to go through this lack of growth (stretching wise) that I've been in lately.
  10. Kwajman

    Kwajman Penguin in paradise....

    I'm glad you responded, I got a PM telling me I shouldn't be rude, hope I didn't come off that way. I was a little older when I started and dd the same thing, just sort of got a certain degree of success but never quite got it. I was never able to do the side splits but did the front/back splits eventually. Keep working at it.
  11. JTG

    JTG New Member

    No problem...I didn't believe that your question was rude, I wonder the same thing about others going for the same thing. Thank you for your support...It's definitely not an easy thing to do :)
  12. Kwajman

    Kwajman Penguin in paradise....

    Anytime, that's what we're here for. Keep up the hard work, take baby steps and enjoy your successes and let the failures go. You'll get it eventually.
  13. JTG

    JTG New Member

    Thanks! I hope to get it soon! :)

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