Split are not just a spectacular trick or a challenge for your body. This is a stretching exercise that can qualitatively change your life.
In this article we will answer the most popular questions:
- Can anyone make the divisions and for how much?
- Which wire is harder: longitudinal or transverse?
- What exercises do you need to do to stretch the string from the bottom?
Transverse vs. longitudinal splits
It is the same “vandams splits” with the maximum extension of the legs in different directions. Here it should be clarified that 14% of people in the world are not able to comply with it. This is due to the structural features of the pelvis. Although women are considered to be more flexible, men are more likely to sit on it.
This is an exercise where one leg is stretched forward and the other leg is stretched backwards. Depending on which leads, the split is distinguished between “right” and “left”. Unlike transverse, it is more difficult for men as they have a stronger thigh back which is difficult to develop and straighten.
How long can you sit on the splits?
How long it takes depends on many factors:
- Natural flexibility. If you have it, then with regular courses the result can be expected in 3-6 weeks.
- Years. Over the years, the stiffness of the joints increases, the elasticity of the muscles is lost, and the stiffness effect becomes apparent.
- Lifestyle. If you are agile, have practiced dance, yoga, martial arts or something similar, your body knows what an extreme range of motion is and can adapt to you faster and easier.
On average, moderately physically active people take 3 to 6 months to make the splits. But remember that everything is very individual and do not despair if you need more time.
Safe stretching rules for beginners
- Study your body. Although we are all anatomically similar, each of us has our own characteristics: the structure of the hip joint, the elasticity of muscles and ligaments. When using online guides, keep in mind that what works for some people may not work for you.
- Always warm up your muscles before stretching. What can we do as heating? Running or walking in space, lunges, squats, hip rotations, etc. 10 minutes is enough to prepare the body for stress. This minimizes the risk of injury.
- At night, our joints and muscles become 20% more elastic, which reduces the risk of injury and allows us to achieve better results. Use this time to your advantage. Some also prefer to stretch after a hot shower, which is also good.
- Gradually increase the number and size of fillers. Start with a workout every 2 days until you get to daily workouts.
- Stretching is not natural for the body. With a range of motion that exceeds the usual, the muscles automatically contract to avoid injury. Learn to relax and breathe regularly as you stretch. it will help you reach your goal faster.
- Drink more water. When you do not drink enough, connective tissue can stick to muscle fibers, reducing your range of motion.
- Be very careful in case of paired stretch marks. No one but you can know what condition your ligaments and muscles are in right now. In an attempt to speed up the process, you can not help yourself but hurt yourself.
- Use a timer. A simple stopwatch helps you build your training process and track your progress. Start with 15 to 30 seconds and gradually increase the time.
How to avoid stretch marks?
- Set realistic goals. Trying to sit on the rope in a week is utopian. Haste in this case necessarily leads to injury.
- It is better to move slowly and systematically towards the goal for half an hour a day than infrequent but effective exercises for several hours in a row.
- Notice how the load is distributed. The closer the goal is, the more tempting it is to sit lower with your knees bent. Remember: If your knees or back hurt when you stretch, you do.
- When stretching, the sock should be pulled towards you, not away from you (as in ballet).
- Do not hold your breath. Inhale slowly through your nose, filling your chest and abdomen. When exhaling, increase the range slightly and try to sink deeper.
Stretching exercises to get to the splits faster
To sit on the splits you need a large number of muscles: hip flexors, hamstrings, gluteus maximus, long adductor, calf muscle and others. The lumbar muscles are also of great importance in the process. First of all, when choosing exercises, it is worth focusing on them.
Start on all fours, with your palms directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Move your right knee forward until it touches your right wrist. Lower your left knee, push your foot back so that it is flat on the mat and your heel points upwards. The position must be stable. As you breathe, stretch your spine upward, push your navel in and try to open your chest wide. Hold this position for up to 1 minute. Then repeat with the other leg.
Additional recommendations: you can make loading more difficult by leaning forward. It is important that there is no pain or discomfort.
Grab leg lunges
Put your left foot forward. It should form a right angle. The right knee is lowered to the ground. Grasp the ankle of the right leg with the hand and pull the foot as close to the buttocks as possible. Try to keep the shin in contact with your thigh. Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds, then change legs.
Additional recommendations: put a pillow under your knee if you feel discomfort.
Butterfly for feet
Sit upright with legs bent and feet together. Pull your heels towards you. Relax your hips and let your knees fall to the floor. If you are flexible enough, place your hands on the floor in front of you and lower yourself until your chest is over your feet. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds.
Additional recommendations: do not make sudden and jerky movements. Go down slowly, in a controlled and gentle way.
Frog or toads
Stand on all fours, spread your knees to the sides in the most comfortable width. Lower your elbows and forearms to the floor. Lean on it, spread your legs out to the sides, feet pointing behind you. Exhale slowly, pressing your hips down into the floor until you feel a deep stretch. Hold the maximum position for 20 to 30 seconds.
In addition: the feet should stay strictly separated from the width of the knee.
Corner against the wall
Lie close to the wall, lift your legs up and press them against it. Stretch your legs to the sides as much as possible, relax and stay in this position for 5-20 minutes. During this time, the legs under their own weight will slowly lower, which improves their stretch.
Also: do not swing, try to force your legs down. The process must be natural and painless.
The splits are a perfectly achievable goal if you are willing to be patient and systematically work on your flexibility. Such stretches help improve shape, range of motion, performance and prevent the risk of future injuries.