How to do splits for runners and beginners

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How to do splits and improve flexibility

Back in 2013, I managed to do front splits (maybe 1cm less making them perfect) with a commitment of around 10 minutes each day. I realized that for anyone who wants to know how to do the splits, the most important thing is that you commit and stick with it.

I used a series of stretches that I share in my previous post on how to approach splits, along with the split stretches that I’ll share below.

The inspiration for this post and these split-lengths came from a DVD I borrowed from Netflix, back when Netflix was LoveFilm (lol) – Secrets of divisions and flexibility’ by Stacey Nemour.

How to do splits without pain

I remember when I started working on my front splits, I got injured and my progress stopped.

So I rented this DVD hoping it would renew my inspiration and thought I’d share some of that inspiration with you too.

The Secrets of Splits & Flexibility DVD was 60 minutes total and Stacey suggested that I follow the splits and stretch after a workout. If you need some workout inspiration, you can check out these 30-minute Tabata workouts you can do at home, or check out this kettlebell burpee vs swing challenge.

I also teach live online classes, including Rollin’ with my Foamies, which would be perfect to help care for your muscles on your journey to greater flexibility.

Overall, there were no stretches included on this DVD that I haven’t seen before and it managed to cover both front splits and box splits in the workout.

4 easy step-by-step stretches for splits

All of the stretches in my Beginner’s Stretching Routine for Splits were included on the DVD, so be sure to check out that post to get started, especially if you don’t have the full 60 minutes to spare every day.

Here are some more stretches you can add to your beginner’s stretches. These also appear on the Secrets of Splits & Flexibility DVD.

1. Mid-split stretch

  • Beginner: 30 seconds each side
  • Advanced Intermediate: 1-3 minutes each side

This first stretch focuses on stretching the hamstrings. In the beginner stretches we did similar stretches, but this version uses the resistance of the ground to get you deeper.

Half Split Stretch: How to Do Splits

The further back your leg is bent, the easier it will be. Practice the stretch with your feet pointed and flexed. You can also use a yoga strap to help reach your toes and the stretch can be done with both legs straight.

Always remember to make sure you are on your sit bones and try to maintain a long and neutral spine (back straight).

2. Dynamic leg kicks

  • Beginner: 5-10 repetitions each leg
  • Advanced Intermediate: 20 repetitions each leg. Ankle weights can be used.

This is a dynamic stretch for the hamstrings.

Trying to keep your leg straight, starting from the floor, kick your leg up toward the ceiling or thigh toward your chest. Return to just above the floor in a controlled manner.

This stretch can also be done on your elbows, with your chest and head off the ground.

3. Frog Stretch Variations

  • Beginner: 30 seconds each position
  • Advanced Intermediate: 1-2 minutes each position

This is a good stretch for the inner thighs/adductors.

Lie down with your knees bent and the soles of your feet touching. There are 3 variations of this stretch: feet as close to the hips as your flexibility allows, halfway, and a long ‘diamond’.

Try to relax and breathe during the stretch to allow your knees to relax and drop toward the floor.

4. Chair/Bench Hamstring Stretch

  • Beginner: 30 seconds each side
  • Advanced Intermediate: 1-3 minutes each side

This final stretch is also for the hamstrings.

Place one leg, bent, on a chair or bench with the other leg straight and your foot flat on the floor.

Trying to keep your spine long and your back straight, reach for your toes; You can also use the chair/bench as a lever to increase the stretch by pulling down.

So if you’re also on a journey to increase flexibility and want to learn how to do the splits, give these stretches a try! They’re also especially good for runners, whether or not they’re interested in being able to do the splits.

Are there other stretches you do to achieve splits?


PS Safety always comes first. If you are new to exercise, be sure to seek the advice of your GP. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids, wear appropriate clothing, and exercise in a suitable space. Technique is paramount, and nothing should hurt. If you experience pain, discomfort, nausea, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath, etc. STOP and see your GP.

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