Do you want to learn how to do a full split?
in this video I’ll show you a simple routine that I help you achieve the side splits.
Hi, it’s Ivana helping you get fit healthy and strong at any age.
I’m a certified strength and conditioning specialist with over 20 years experience in the fitness industry.
My original motivation for learning to do the full split was martial arts.
I started karate at the age of nine. I got my black belt at 15 and I competed for 14 years, provincially, nationally and internationally. I’ve always loved to kick and being flexible and being able to do a full split is really important for that.
I’m going to show you a step by step routine to get to a full split. Even if you’re a beginner or consider yourself in flexible. At the end of this video, I’ll give you a recommendation for how often you should do this simple routine.
And I’m going to tell you how long it took me to achieve the full splits.
Let me know in the comments, how far you are with your splits right now and what your goal is.
Warm Up For 10-15 Minutes
So before we get started, I want you to make sure that you warm up for 10 to 15 minutes. Get your blood pumping in your body, get the joints lubricated a bit. You can just be jogging or walking really quickly riding a stationary bike, or you can do just body movements, jumping jacks, that type of thing.
I actually have a video of a dynamic warm-up that you can use.
If that’s something that you want to try, it might be helpful as well, but make sure you do 10 to 15 minutes of warmup before you start this routine, we’re going to start off with dynamic stretching.
The first exercise is hip circles. So you’re going to rotate around in the ball and socket joint that is your hip. Just trying to hit all the edges at the front and at the back. And then you’re going to switch and do the same thing in the other direction. Really get all the angles.
Now you’re going to move on to hip rotations.
Just support yourself in front and work one hip joint at a time rotating from inside to out. Make sure again, you do this on both legs.
Back Leg Swings
Now we’re going to move on to the back leg swings. So be very gentle at the beginning. Try not to go too high. Just work your way gradually upward.
I’m swinging pretty hard there, but take your time. Wherever your flexibility is.
Then switch over to the other side and make sure you get that range. Your legs don’t have to be fully straight.
Side Leg Swing
Now you’re going to switch over to side leg swing. So opening it up to the side, stretch out those adductors, make sure that you’re still supporting yourself and gradually working your itself higher and higher. Open it up to the other side as well.
Front Leg Swings
And now you’re going to turn it around for the front leg swings again, slowly work your way up. Swing that leg forward in front of you. Give yourself some support, switch over and make sure you do the other side as well. You’re going to find a difference between one side and the other, and that’s fine. You might want to do a few extra swings on the tighter side.
Preparation Stretches For The Full Split
Now we’re going to go into the preparation stretches.
The first one is going to be the butterfly stretch. It’s very just bringing your feet together and bouncing up and down. Just loosening up those hips, opening up the adductors and then pushing the knees down as close as you can to the ground. I like to drive the arms down into, onto the leg there just to get a little bit of extra pressure.
And then you’re going to move into the hip spread. So turning over, pulling the knees apart, and you’re gently going to rock forward and back to try to open the hips up.
Just support yourself with your hands.
And now you’re going to go into deep lunges. One leg in front, keep the foot in front flat. You can try to straighten out that knee at the back. You’ll get even more hip flexor stretch there.
Then of course the other side go as deep as you can with this one while keeping your front foot lot. Now you’re going to switch back to the original side and you’re going to try to bring your forearms down the ground. It’s kind of in the centre there.
This really opens up the hips. Try on the other side as well, just to stretch it out there on the inside,
Put your body weight into it.
Now you’re going to move into a deep squat as low as you can go into a squat position, wiggle it around a little bit. I like to use my upper arms to push it out and open up the hips a little bit more. Now they alternate side knee bends. You’re going to keep both feet on the floor.
Switch over the heels, always stay flat on the ground.
The bent knee. Be very careful of that one. That’s a pretty common mistake. And now try to same thing with your toe up in the air. It just shifts your position a little bit and opens the hip a bit more.
Supine Full Splits
Into the supine side splits.
You’re lying down on your back and just pulling the legs together and apart. Keep good control with it.
You’re pulling on those adductors up and down. Use gravity to pull yourself down, pull with your hands, to pull it into more of a split.
And just hold it there.
The Main Side Split
Finally, we’re going to go into the main side split. Coming from the top and pulling the legs apart, using your hands to support yourself, just work your way down. I like to twist it around just a little bit.
I bring the toes down and then bring the other foot on the heel. So I’m twisting the hips from one side to the other. This really gets them loosened up, working it a little bit further out to the side and then sitting back into it.
Seated Side Split
From this position, I bring the fist back behind me just to lift up the chest and really open up that position across the front. You can just try to relax there and then roll your hips forward and back just to get that little bit more of a loosening up of the hips, just to get that comfort in that position. And now reach from side to side.
This will stretches out the obliques a little bit as you’re going from side to side, as well as the QL along the back.
Just reaching for the toes on either side. I like to have my feet flexed all the time. It gives a bit of a deeper stretch. You’re going to feel the hamstrings stretching as well. And now if you’re looking for a little bonus, reach your hands in front and walk them forward, lie down on your chest
And then walk back.
How Often Should You Do This Full Split Stretching Routine?
I recommend you do this full routine every day.
If possible with perhaps a day off once a week, if you just feel a bit sore and need a break muscles, have a natural property of shortening. So if you’re not stretching them regularly, they’re going to stay in flexible.
How Long Did It Take Me To Achieve A Full Split?
So how long did it take me to achieve the splits?
As I mentioned earlier, I started karate when I was nine and there was always stretching as part of the classes, but I didn’t really achieve the splits until I was about 15. And it probably took me a focused effort for the year prior to the time that I got my black belt in order to get the full split, I made it a focus goal to be able to do that.
Now my goal is to be able to continue to do the full splits when I’m eight.
I figure that’ll be pretty impressive if I do get there. If you’re trying to do the splits as an adult, please don’t be fooled by the clickbait stuff.
Like “do the splits in one day” or “do the splits in a week.”
You need to consistently stretch and really work on this in order to get a full split, especially if you are inflexible.
So I think that most of those people who achieve it very quickly, we’re already very flexible on, for some reason, didn’t try it up until that point.
It can take several months of focused efforts for you to be able to achieve the splits.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that’s the reality for most people just be patient, be consistent and you can get yourself to the splits.
I hope you enjoyed this stretching routine. If you did, please hit the like button to let me know.
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I look forward to seeing you next week.