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Alex Ingram

Developing Splits

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Alex Ingram

I recently decided that I wanted to develop enough mobility and flexibility to be able to do the splits in all directions.  I've been doing a lot of static stretching which has been helping.  But I wanted to know if there are any dynamic movements that will help improve my hip mobility in order to reach my goal.  If you have any vids plz post.

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Jon Douglas

Leg swings in three directions, bent first then straight. Simple movement that can take you a long way.

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David McManamon

Welcome to the world of Youtube flexibility videos.  Kicks in three directions will help, you can do them standing or lying down on your back, side and stomach.  Also you should incorporate circular motions between your static stretches.  For example:

http://youtu.be/PvRI_MIwce4?t=2m23s

At a beginner level you could start in a lunge and rotate the direction of your hips from front to side.

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Alex Ingram

Leg swings in three directions, bent first then straight. Simple movement that can take you a long way.

 

The three would be forward,backward, and lateral? When you say bent you mean the knee bent first then fully extended? Thnx for the tips.

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Alex Ingram

Welcome to the world of Youtube flexibility videos.  Kicks in three directions will help, you can do them standing or lying down on your back, side and stomach.  Also you should incorporate circular motions between your static stretches.  For example:

http://youtu.be/PvRI_MIwce4?t=2m23s

At a beginner level you could start in a lunge and rotate the direction of your hips from front to side.

Nice vid, so just regular martial arts kicks. Practicing everyday isn't too much right?

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Jon Douglas

 

Leg swings in three directions, bent first then straight. Simple movement that can take you a long way.

 

The three would be forward,backward, and lateral? When you say bent you mean the knee bent first then fully extended? Thnx for the tips.

 

Yep. Put hands on a chair if you prefer for backward swings, and avoid twisting your hips. Watch for your back arching on forward and backward, avoid this, it's false flexibility. Make sure your standing foot is comfortable for sideways-- I use about 45 degrees outwards-- i also prefer to do them facing the wall to keep a modicum of line.

Start slow, more lifting than swinging. By the end of a 15-rep set you should be comfortable using a little momentum to get up a good swing, but err on the side of caution. I am not talking about swinging past your current flexibility, you do not want bouncing or jarring at the end of your ROM :)

When I'm focusing on flexibility I'll do a set in the morning and evening, or as a warmup for whatever class I'm teaching/taking that day.

 

Addendum-- Practising everyday isn't generally too much. 2ce a day is better (provided you can handle it? If you're starting gentle I don't think I've seen any injuries from this, but there's always a first time).

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Alex Ingram

Yep. Put hands on a chair if you prefer for backward swings, and avoid twisting your hips. Watch for your back arching on forward and backward, avoid this, it's false flexibility. Make sure your standing foot is comfortable for sideways-- I use about 45 degrees outwards-- i also prefer to do them facing the wall to keep a modicum of line.

Start slow, more lifting than swinging. By the end of a 15-rep set you should be comfortable using a little momentum to get up a good swing, but err on the side of caution. I am not talking about swinging past your current flexibility, you do not want bouncing or jarring at the end of your ROM :)

When I'm focusing on flexibility I'll do a set in the morning and evening, or as a warmup for whatever class I'm teaching/taking that day.

 

Addendum-- Practising everyday isn't generally too much. 2ce a day is better (provided you can handle it? If you're starting gentle I don't think I've seen any injuries from this, but there's always a first time).

Ok makes sense, thnx for the clarity.

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Karl Kallio

Here's some fun ones. (start slow, do less reps than you think, to less ROM than you think, and wait 24 hrs for feed back from your body before intensifying.

 

Side split (Middle splits):

 

  • Lie on your back, put your legs straight up, open as wide as you can then close.  Make sure to align your feet with your hips.  Add ankles weights with caution and patience.
  • Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you.  Open up as wide as possible then push up into splits and over until your pubis  reaches the floor.  Close the legs behind you (back arched) then reverse direction and return to original position.   Over time you can reduce your hand's role to fingertips or even nothing

Right+Left splits:

 

  • While in the split position walk your hands forward until you are lying on top of your front leg then walk your hands back as far into arch as you can. 
  • Twist your left arm forward and your right arm back (in right splits) so that the body cork screws.
  • Bend up the back knee so the back foot rises or flex up your front foot so the front toes rise, hold, then relax
  • start kneeling then slide into then out of splits using only the strength in your thighs (socks on a slippery floor)

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Alex Ingram

 

Here's some fun ones. (start slow, do less reps than you think, to less ROM than you think, and wait 24 hrs for feed back from your body before intensifying.

 

Side split (Middle splits):

 

  • Lie on your back, put your legs straight up, open as wide as you can then close.  Make sure to align your feet with your hips.  Add ankles weights with caution and patience.
  • Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you.  Open up as wide as possible then push up into splits and over until your pubis  reaches the floor.  Close the legs behind you (back arched) then reverse direction and return to original position.   Over time you can reduce your hand's role to fingertips or even nothing

Right+Left splits:

 

  • While in the split position walk your hands forward until you are lying on top of your front leg then walk your hands back as far into arch as you can. 
  • Twist your left arm forward and your right arm back (in right splits) so that the body cork screws.
  • Bend up the back knee so the back foot rises or flex up your front foot so the front toes rise, hold, then relax
  • start kneeling then slide into then out of splits using only the strength in your thighs (socks on a slippery floor)

 

Ouch! I'll definitely be careful with these ones.

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Biren Patel

AlexLee, I recommend you check out Kit Laughlin's books. I had never really seen much progress in my flexibility over a two year period until I picked up Kit's material. His stuff won't get you working immediately on direct splits practice, but it's worth the patience and investment in the initial weeks to follow the book. His program has really woken up my body, rocketed my mobility for foundation and handstand 1, and gotten me closer to the kind of flexibility like splits.

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Sean Whitley

I'll second biren p's post about kit laughlins book. His book is a set of lessons you can follow, or you can use the book as a encyclopedia of stretches. The lessons address your flexibility weak points methodically. Instead of saying 'hold your toes for a minute' for pike flexibility, he breaks it down into each individual muscle (or muscle group) that is holding you back and how to stretch each individually for greater overall effect. It was only about £20 second hand off amazon, and definitely worth it

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Alex Ingram

I'll second biren p's post about kit laughlins book. His book is a set of lessons you can follow, or you can use the book as a encyclopedia of stretches. The lessons address your flexibility weak points methodically. Instead of saying 'hold your toes for a minute' for pike flexibility, he breaks it down into each individual muscle (or muscle group) that is holding you back and how to stretch each individually for greater overall effect. It was only about £20 second hand off amazon, and definitely worth it

Is there one book in particular that deals with this?

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Sean Whitley

I bought 'stretching and flexibility'. He has a back pain book which I'd assume is also full of awesome stretches but probably not as useful for getting the splits. Stretching and flexibility doesn't have any dynamic movements though if that's specifically what your looking for. For dynamic stretches he mentions in the introduction to have a look at Thomas Kurz 'stretching scientifically'

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gogy

OK I did taekwondo for 5 years, very active training, lots of kicking, training with national teams, at korean university, but I never could come close to split. Need help guys :):D Now I train on my own, I do lots of cardio, strength training and I just need to incorporate flexibility and I will become much a stronger player. :D

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