Can Anyone do the Splits?
Who can achieve the splits? There is a common misconception that you either can or can’t do the splits. Don’t get me wrong, some people are more flexible based on their genetics. Is this fair? Of course not! However, you can’t let that stop you from reaching your badass potential. The splits require flexible hamstrings, hips, groins, and abdominals.
1. Seated Forward Bend
Perfect for beginners, the seated forward bend opens the hips and hamstrings. In a sitting position with your legs in front of you, reach your arms above your head and forward, extending your spine and neck.
2. Standing Forward Fold
Another stretch for beginners, this elongates and strengthens the spine while opening the hips and hamstrings and activating the abdominals. Bend forward and focus on lengthening your torso and bringing your hands to the ground.
3. Butterfly Stretch
Perfect for loosening the groin muscles and hips, the butterfly pose is one of the best stretches for preparing the splits. Sit with the soles of your feet touching, your knees facing out, and bring your chest forward until you feel a stretch in your back.
3. Pigeon Stretch
The pigeon pose stretches the groin muscles, hamstrings, and hips. Additionally, it has unexpected benefits such as relieving stress and reducing menstrual pain. From all fours, bring your right knee to your right hand. Your right ankle should be in front of your left hip, while your left leg extends backwards.
4. Pancake Fold Stretch
The pancake stretch is one of the best stretches for improving hip mobility while loosening hamstrings, glutes, and abductors. In a seated straddle, flex both feet and walk your hands out as far as you can while keeping your back straight.
6. Reclined Hamstring Stretch
This stretch is perfect for relieving tight hamstrings. Moreover, it opens the hips while stretching the groins and calves. Starting flat on your back, raise one leg as high as possible while keeping it straight. Push your leg toward your head while flexing your foot. You can use a resistance band to help straighten your leg.
7. Supported Splits
When close achieving the splits, try this supported split to prepare. Use a block or blanket to support your right hamstring, and push your left foot away from you, approaching a side split.
How are Stretches Beneficial?
The splits not only are a great party trick! The frequent stretching may improve mental health by reducing stress and anxiety. Furthermore, stretching can serve as a form of mindfulness, helping us to connect with our bodies.
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