How to do the splits (The side or box splits) is one of the three challenges I have set myself on my return to training after an enforced 6 month lay off.
As with my other two challenges (six pack abs and front splits) I will keep a diary of all the flexibility training I do to master this stretch so this will be a great way to show all those interested how to do the splits and also how easy and enjoyable it can be as well.
The side splits which many people still associate with Van Dam because of his insistence in showing it in all his early films is an iconic demonstration of flexibility and the one stretch that everybody associates with martial arts and the ability to kick high.
Once you have mastered side splits you will feel a great sense of pride in your accomplishment and although the time taken to nail it varies for each individual many people manage it in as little time as 2-3 months so why not follow this plan and master it yourself?
Note Although the side splits and all the stretching exercises that you do to achieve it are passive or relaxed stretches it is important to warm up properly before you begin each stretching workout.
If you are training only for the splits then spend 10 minutes on a treadmill or stationary bike and 10 minutes doing dynamic stretching before you begin your splits exercises. If like me your splits training is only part of an overall workout then you can simply include your splits exercises at the end of the workout session.
My maximum flexibility on the 1-6-2012
The side splits and butterfly stretch
The toe touch stretch and horse stance
The quadriceps and hamstring stretch
Natalie’s maximum flexibility 1-6-2012
As You can see my flexibility is very poor at the moment which is to be expected after being unable to stretch for 6 months at nearly 50 years of age.
However, the good news is the flexibility can be improved upon very quickly especially if like me you have had good suppleness before. I estimate that I should be able to once again do the box splits in about 2-3 months and anyone can dramatically improve there flexibility in such a short time so why not join me and do your own splits program.
My stretches for how to do the splits .
Although I will be doing an overall body stretching program these are the only stretches that directly link to the goal
(1)The butterfly stretch, this is great for loosening the hips, just copy the position in the photo and gently push the knees as far down as possible and hold.
(2)The Toe touch, Keep your legs straight and bend at the waist trying to place your fingers and in time your knuckles and then your palms on the floor.
(3)The horse stance,another great hip loosener and also the position needed when sliding down into the box splits. Copy the stance in the photo and try to sit down lower over time.
(4)The quadriceps stretch, again copy the stance in the photo so that the calf of your back leg is against the wall and your front leg bent with the foot flat on the floor. From there just slowly lean back stretching the quadriceps as far as you can and hold. You should eventually be able to place your buttocks and back flat against the wall.
(5) Splits hamstring stretch, assume the stance in the photo and slowly bend at the waist trying to place the head as far towards the front knee as possible.
(6) Finish of with the side splits, use some blocks or chairs on either side to hold onto and support your weight and slowly slide down as far as possible into the splits and hold then rest for 30 seconds and repeat.
My maximum flexibility on the 14-6-2012
Congratulations Natalie on achieving the box splits. Notice how much her flexibility has also improved on stretches such as the butterfly, quadriceps and toe touch.
The how to do the splits guide
Learn all you need to know about flexibility