Which muscles to stretch in order to do the splits?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Nirawyn, Aug 26, 2006.

  1. Nirawyn

    Nirawyn White Belt

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    Hello there!!!

    I would like to know which are the stretched muscles used to do the splits with one leg in front and one leg behind (not sure about the name sorry).
    Because I know some websites with stretches but I really don t know what muscles I should stretch in order to do the splits (I m a noob I know huhu :rolleyes: )
    Could you please help me?
    Thanks !:)
     
  2. KenpoSterre

    KenpoSterre Purple Belt

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    ooh I love this question especially since3 I need to do the spilts(I am a ballet dancer).

    Do deep squats, leg swings, leg raises, roll your hips in a horse stance position, roll your foot, and be slightly warmed up. Practice some punches than you should be able to slid into the splits.

    as for the name most people call them spilts 1 and 3 (1=left lef front, 3=left leg back) or side splits.
     
  3. Nirawyn

    Nirawyn White Belt

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    Thank you for the answer Kenpo I ll try that :)
     
  4. Last Fearner

    Last Fearner 2nd Black Belt

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    Answer: Your leg muscles.

    There are many muscle groups involved in stretching the legs, large and small, all the way from your toes up around your buttocks.

    It does not matter the name of the muscle (a muscle by any other name would stretch the same). As for the name of the splits, in the past, many people in the U.S. have discriminatingly called the center splits, or side splits (with body facing front, and both legs stretching to the side) the "Chinese Splits," and the ones where you have one leg forward and the other back, the "American Splits." I never have cared for these terms as they suggest that anyone who is non-Asian can not do the Side-Splits).

    Always do some warm-up exercises (jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups, etc) before stretching to relax the muscles.

    Then, just spread your legs apart in the splits - the muscles that you feel resisting, are the ones that you need to stretch. Stop when you feel an "uncomfortable" stretch - - not pain or a burning sensation! Hold a good stretch for 10 seconds, then release the pressure. Do not bounce, or do any rapid movement in a stretch as this can cause injury, and will cause your muscles to reflexively retract, preventing a good stretch. The knees should not be bent, but do not "hyper-extend" them.

    Stretch in the splits in each position (side or center splits, left leg front split, and right leg front split) with your hands off the ground, then again with your hands supporting part of your weight. Also, stretch one leg at a time while on your feet, and while sitting, then stretch with both legs extended. After sitting stretches, stretch while standing on one leg with the other leg propped up high on a support.

    It is very important to stretch the first time through with light, warm-up stretches (10 - 15 minutes), work up a good sweat on a bag, doing forms, or other training, then go back through an entire, very thorough stretch routine (30 minutes to an hour). Do this every fourth day, with the three days in between performing a light, maintenance stretch routine.

    In case you are wondering if I know what I am talking about, here is a picture of me stretching this year.
    (age 46)

    http://martialtalk.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=6728&stc=1&d=1156657718
     

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  5. IWishToLearn

    IWishToLearn 3rd Black Belt

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    You should also stretch your lower back and abdominal muscles as those are key in supporting your body while you're splitting.
     
  6. Nirawyn

    Nirawyn White Belt

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    Thanks for giving your stretch program Last Fearner, I ve been stretching for some weeks now and I have made a lot of progress!! But since 3-4 days I see no longer progress .

    I think its because I train too hard: I spend 3 hours per day stretching my legs (it goes very fast for me lol) and the rest of the day I try to sit in some position that stretch my muscle while reading or playing computer...
    My leg muscles hurt me when I do too abrupt movements especially when I get up, I can t kick anymore but I try to do the splits in a very short period... But when I start stretching them after some minutes I don t feel the pain anymore... that s why I don t stop stretching. I really want the splits :uhyeah:

    Should I stop for some days until I don t feel this pain in my legs? I know its cause I stretch them too much, but will I get results if I stretch 30 mins-1 hour a day?
     
  7. Nirawyn

    Nirawyn White Belt

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    For the split with one leg in front and one behind->

    I don t have any problems with 'the muscles behind my legs'(dunno the name)> those you can stretch by putting one leg on a support and try to bend your body on it or even when you are sitting with both legs stuck in front of you and you try to touch your toes... When I stand, I can touch the ground with the flat of my hands with my arms unwound (and legs extended of course)

    But I really dunno if it helps for the splits, I only try to keep that level of flexibility. My splits had never resisted at that level thought.

    The muscles that I feel resisting while I try to do the splits (as you said) are the glutes-> I stretch them by sitting and placing the palm of my feet facing each other and trying to make my knees touching the ground!

    But I don t see any results!!! My splits stay at the same level even by stretching my glutes... I don t understand.

    Another weird thing is that I m at about 7-8 inches from the ground with the left leg in front of me and I m very far away with the right leg in front. If I attempt to improve the splits with the right leg in front of me, will it help to improve the ones with the left leg in front? lol
     

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