The split position or extending both legs can be done well if your hip joints and muscles are flexible enough. You can do this position by practicing stretching extensively and regularly. You can master this position in a relatively short time, depending on how long you stretch and how flexible your body is when you start practicing the splits.
Part 1 of 4: Getting Ready
Step 1. Wear comfortable and appropriate clothing for exercise
Choose shorts or trousers with a t-shirt material so that they can extend according to your body movements. You can wear gym pants, exercise shorts, or jogging pants.
Step 2. Prepare an exercise mat or yoga mat, yoga blocks, and bolsters
Find a comfortable place to practice and then spread the mat on the floor. If you are training on a carpeted floor, you can do without a mat.
Step 3. Keep a bottle of drinking water nearby
Your body must stay hydrated while doing any physical activity. Dehydration causes muscle fatigue and reduces muscle flexibility so that it cannot be stretched optimally.
Part 2 of 4: Warming up
Step 1. Warm up to train the whole body
Do jogging or star jumping for 5-10 minutes as a warm-up to prepare your body and increase the rhythm of your heart rate. This exercise will also flex the muscles throughout your body so you are ready to stretch to the fullest.
Step 2. Begin to stretch your leg muscles by performing attacking movements and half squats
Also do a variety of attacking movements and half-squat poses so that your legs are more ready to do the splits. The variety of splits you choose will determine the leg stretching exercises to do.
- For the forward split, do a half-squat pose with your legs wide apart, a sideways strike, and a low plie.
- For the side split position, perform an attacking move by alternating one leg forward, a backward strike while lowering your knees to the floor, and the usual half-squat pose.
Step 3. Do the butterfly pose to stretch the hip flexor muscles
In order to stretch this butterfly pose more leverage, bring your feet close to your thighs and then lower your chest as close to the soles of your feet as possible. Do this movement slowly so as not to hurt.
- Sit on the floor with your knees bent, then bring your knees close to the floor so that your legs form a "V" shape.
- Bring your feet together, then grab your feet or ankles.
- Slowly bring your head to your feet as much as you can, then hold this position while taking a few deep breaths.
- You can press your knees to the floor with your elbows, if that feels comfortable.
Part 3 of 4: Stretching for Split Preparation
Step 1. Stretch in an attacking position while lowering your knees to the floor or doing lizard pose
The lizard pose in yoga is beneficial for stretching the hip muscles.
- Step one leg forward while bending the knee in the direction of the big toe.
- Straighten your back leg.
- Touch the tips of your fingers to the floor next to the soles of the feet being extended.
- Slowly move your palms so they are on the inner side of the forward foot and let your palms rest on the floor.
- Take a deep breath, then relax your muscles as you exhale. Stay in this position for several breaths.
- If you can, lower your elbows to the floor for maximum stretch.
Step 2. Stretch while straddling
Sit on the floor with your back straight, straightening and straddling your legs. Take deep breaths as you stretch, then allow your muscles to relax again as you exhale.
- Extend your legs apart while straightening your knees so that they form a "V" shape.
- Bring your body closer to the floor.
- Breathe deeply and relax the muscles in your body with each exhale.
- Sit back straight and do the butterfly pose again as described earlier.
- Repeat this movement 3-5 times.
Step 3. Perform Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF)
PNF is a muscle stretching exercise that is done by tightening and relaxing the muscles that inhibit the stretch reflex so they don't tighten when stretched. PNF exercises are done by stretching certain muscles for a few seconds to a few minutes for each movement. Once stretched, the muscle will be relaxed and stretched again with a longer duration than the previous stretch. Repeat this exercise until your muscles can't be stretched any further.
- Lie on your back on the floor while straightening one leg up, then bring that leg to your head as much as you can.
- Stay in this position holding your legs for 20 seconds.
- Lower your legs back to the floor and relax for 20 seconds.
- Lift the same leg again, pulling it further toward the head.
Part 4 of 4: Doing the Split
Step 1. Place a bolster lengthwise in the center of the mat and two yoga blocks on each side
You can use these blocks and bolsters as an aid when doing splits so you don't hurt your legs.
- Kneel near the bolster.
- Hold the block to support your body.
- Extend one leg in front of the bolster and lower the back knee to the floor.
- Slowly, straighten the front leg while backing the back leg by bending the toes inward.
- Use a bolster to support your feet to relieve tension.
- Breathe deeply for 3-6 breaths while trying to straighten both legs.
- Repeat this exercise for both legs alternately 3-5 times for each movement.
Step 2. Do the splits without the help of a bolster
Once your legs don't feel as tense as you do the splits using a bolster, try practicing without a bolster.
- Do the attacking pose with both palms pressing the floor next to the front foot.
- Slowly extend the sole of your front foot to do the splits.
- Lower your body to the floor.
- If you feel tense, don't push yourself because you could injure your muscles.
- Hold this position for a few seconds, then relax your legs again by resting on your knees.
- Repeat this exercise 3-5 times while trying to lower your body even lower.
Step 3. Repeat the splits and stretches
You have to keep practicing and stretching every day to be able to split. There are people who do it right away, but many also have to work on their flexibility before they can do the splits perfectly. You can master this skill by stretching and practicing splits for 20-30 minutes every day.
- Keep breathing regularly as you stretch. The muscles will become more relaxed and stretch more maximally if you practice while continuing to breathe. As you exhale, your muscles will naturally release tension. So, by taking deep breaths, you can drop lower while doing the splits.
- Get in the habit of stretching every day by doing splits after you're done exercising. This is the best time to do the splits because your muscles are ready to stretch.
- Try taking a warm bath before stretching to improve your flexibility. With a warm bath, your muscles will relax so they are not stiff and ready to stretch to the fullest.
- Use a timer to make sure you last long enough when you stretch. Each position must be held for 30-60 seconds for a result.
- Do not push yourself. Many people can not immediately do the split. If you're starting out with less flexibility, work on increasing your flexibility until you're ready to do the splits. Know your abilities. By doing light stretches every day, your body will have the flexibility it needs to do the splits.
- Check with your doctor before starting to exercise and stretch. Make sure your body is healthy and able to do this stretch before starting.
- Don't stretch if it hurts. When you stretch, the muscles will feel tight or pulled, but not sore. If it hurts or is very stiff, reduce the intensity of the stretch or take a break to relax your muscles again. Stop practicing immediately if the pain is stabbing and unbearable.