Ballet dancers and gymnasts can do splits gracefully and effortlessly. This is because they are trained professionals, who do many exercises to keep their muscles flexible, so that they can perform the splits without a strain. You can also do splits, provided you have achieved a degree of flexibility in the muscles of your legs, hips and hamstrings. This could be done by performing warm up exercises regularly, such as the simple stretch. Read on to get tips for doing splits and know how to perform them without injuring yourself.
- Never rush into doing a split, because you could end up pulling a muscle or two. If you have never done a split, it will be better to work up before achieving the desired 180 degrees.
- Stretch yourself well, before attempting for a split. There is a need to have flexibility in the areas that are going to be stretched. This includes hamstrings, groin and the hips.
- The right selection of clothing is very important to perform splits comfortably. Wear leg warmers or tights, so that the muscles in your leg remain warm. Never wear tight pants, or you may end up tearing the clothes, by doing splits.
- Instead of jumping to do a split straight away, first warm up your body and then stretch. Try lunges, butterfly, leg rotations and levies, back flips and aerial cartwheels. The warming up is mainly done to ensure that your legs and back are properly stretched.
- Once the warm up is done, it is the time to perform the split. Acquire your position. Sit on your knees, with the dominant foot pointing forwards.
- Slide your front foot forward, in a slow motion. While doing this, push the other foot at the opposite direction, by sliding it backwards. Keep your hands on the ground, to provide support for your body.
- Stretch your legs, each in opposite direction, until they touch the ground and form an angle of 180 degrees.
- Hold the split for a few seconds, before going back to the original position.
- Repeat the warm up exercises before attempting the stretch for the second time.
- At the time of stretching, make sure that your toes are pointed. This would help make your split look much nicer and graceful.
- Make sure that the place where you are performing the stretch is clear, without any obstruction. The surface should be absolutely smooth. The last thing you expect is to get a splinter from a wood floor or have your legs stuck to a tile floor.
- It is not necessary that you will get the stretch right in the very first go. Remember, ‘practice makes a man perfect’. The more you practice, the better your muscles get tuned to doing splits. As such, they are likely to become more comfortable with the sliding positions.
- Get someone along with you, while performing the stretch. Ask him/her to the mark how far you are off the ground. This would help you track your progress over time.