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How I (almost) did the splits - By Felicia

How I (almost) did the splits - By Felicia


Practice + patience + pain = progress!



The idea of attempting the splits first popped into my mind when I couldn’t do a specific TikTok dance that required the splits. Frustrated, I did some research about doing the splits.


Sure enough, I found a few websites about how to do the splits. Generally, they all recommend these things:


  • Take it slow and don’t rush, or else you could get injured.

  • The splits are easier for anyone under 12 (I’m 10, so I’m fine)

  • Practice makes progress


One website, womenshealthmag.com, recommended a short tutorial about practicing 5 minutes a day using a weekly routine. It went something like this:


Monday:

  • Straddle stretch: Sit on the floor, with legs open as far to the sides as your flexibility allows. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.

  • Split stretch: Take a big step forward with your left foot, and a big step back with right. Gradually slide your right leg back, until you feel resistance in hips and thighs. Hold for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat three times on both sides.


Tuesday:

  • Seated forward fold: Sit on the floor with both legs straight in front of you, feet pointed. Fold your body forward with a straight spine, reaching your arms out to touch your toes. Hold the forward fold for 30 seconds, and then repeat three times.

  • Split stretch: Take a big step forward with your left foot, and a big step back with right. Gradually slide your right leg back, until you feel resistance in hips and thighs. Hold for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat three times on both sides.


Wednesday:

  • Butterfly stretch: Sit on the floor and bring soles of feet together to touch in front of you. Allow knees to gently fall open, as you keep chest lifted and shoulders relaxed. Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat three times.

  • Split stretch: Take a big step forward with your left foot, and a big step back with right. Gradually slide your right leg back, until you feel resistance in hips and thighs. Hold for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat three times on both sides.



Thursday:

  • Standing hamstring stretch: Start standing, and step right foot forward and left foot back, keeping both feet pointed forward. Slowly fold forward toward the right thigh, keeping legs straight or with just a slight bend in the knee. Hold for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat both sides three times through.

  • Split stretch: Take a big step forward with your left foot, and a big step back with right. Gradually slide your right leg back, until you feel resistance in hips and thighs. Hold for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat three times on both sides.


Friday:

  • Frog stretch: Starting on forearms and knees, begin moving knees apart slowly and with control, lowering hips and pelvis toward the floor at the same time until you find a point of slight tension. Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat the stretch three times.

  • Split stretch: Take a big step forward with your left foot, and a big step back with right. Gradually slide your right leg back, until you feel resistance in hips and thighs. Hold for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat three times on both sides.


Saturday:

  • Lying hamstring stretch: Lie on back with knees bent, feet hip-width apart on the floor. Draw right knee to chest. Extend the right leg straight, grabbing it behind the thigh or calf. To deepen the stretch, extend the left leg long on the floor. Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat both sides three times through.

  • Split stretch: Take a big step forward with your left foot, and a big step back with right. Gradually slide your right leg back, until you feel resistance in hips and thighs. Hold for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat three times on both sides.


Sunday:

  • Low lunge stretch: Starting on your hands and knees, step right foot forward between hands, with right knee over right ankle. Extend left leg back slightly and plant ball of left foot on the floor. Lift left knee off the floor a few inches. To deepen the stretch, lower onto forearms. Hold for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat three times.

  • Split stretch: Take a big step forward with your left foot, and a big step back with right. Gradually slide your right leg back, until you feel resistance in hips and thighs. Hold for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat three times on both sides.


After repeating this routine for 2 weeks, I could see a visible improvement in my flexibility. My legs were no longer sore the next day, and I could stretch my legs the tiniest bit farther! I am now in the middle of my third week of this routine.


Moral of the story: don’t give up!

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