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RETURN TO BLOG Posted 15 September 2020

How To Achieve Your Splits

By Claudia Dean

You can achieve your splits at any time, any age and any skill level. The first step in achieving your splits is believing that your body is capable! Accomplishing your splits has so many benefits: increases the height of extensions, prevents injury, flatter split leaps and will give you more joint mobility overall. The secret to achieving your splits is commitment and discipline, so let’s talk about my top tips so you can lengthen the right muscles for more flexibility.

When you decide to commit to getting your splits, remember to capture your starting point with a “before” photo. Then I recommend selecting the 3 Key Exercises below, completing them 5 times a week and repeating that for 1 month. To get the motivation to do this, you need to set aside a consistent time everyday to complete the Key Exercises. Then commit to capturing your improvement by taking an “after” photo. Seeing your “before and after” results will be your driving motivation towards further improvement. This is why I believe capturing your progress is so important, because it is an inspiration and motivation tool for yourself. 

Of course there will be days where you lack motivation, but this is where your discipline and commitment will come into action. Remind yourself of why you started this goal and how much it’s going to benefit your journey over all with ballet. Knowing your “why” will keep you accountable: Is it because you want higher extensions? A flatter grand jete? YES! So place a photo of your favourite ballerina in the desired step you want to achieve and put the work in until you achieve it. 

Let’s begin with the most important step: Warming up! Before completing all the Key Exercises it is important to ensure your body is warm and ready! You can complete my “Warm up” follow along as this targets every muscle so that you ready to achieve your splits:  

1. The Magic Hamstring Stretch

This Key Exercise is amazing for targeting the deeper section of your hamstring for that more intense stretch. This stretch is perfect if you aren’t flat in your splits yet or wanting to increase the flexibility in the deeper part of your  hamstring. Start in a kneeling position with one leg slightly bent out in front of you. Check that your hips remain on top of your supporting leg and that your hip remains square to experience the full effect of the stretch. Imagine that you have a ruler across the front of your hips to ensure that they are flat and level. To increase the intensity of the stretch, flex your foot and bring your chest as close as you can to your knee. 

2. The Splits Hack

“The Splits Hack” Key exercise is perfect for you if you aren’t flat in your splits yet, wanting to increase your flexibility or if your hips need to stay more square in the bottom of your splits. All you need to complete this Key Exercise successfully is to have a roller or a thick book in front of you. It is important that once you have reached your maximum split on your roller, to ensure that both knees remain straight. From this position we want to go as deep as possible with our hips but when doing this we don't want to sacrifice our form. Once you have completed that slight over split for 30 seconds, take the roller off and hold your maximum split position for 10 seconds. If you are already flat I want you to focus on lifting yourself up and bringing your hips to face the front so you are as square as possible with straight knees. If you aren’t quite flat just yet we want to focus on bringing down our hips closer to the floor.

3. The Hip Flexor Stretch

This Key Exercise is key to lengthening your hip flexors, it is important that our hip flexors are loose as this will increase the height of your arabesque & also deepen your splits. All you’ll need to complete this key exercise is your roller, and place it on your lower back. Lie your back over the roller and draw your knee close to your chest while your other leg is extended out in front of you. When we pull our knee closer to our chest, there can be a tendency that the extended leg lifts off the ground. This is because your hip flexor is tight. So our goal is to work the extended leg as close to the ground as possible, completely parallel with the leg straight. 

Dancers, If you want to put these Key Exercises into further practice, and have constant motivation everyday from myself,  I recommend that you complete the 4 day flexibility course available in the “Courses” category on the platform. 

Remember to DM us your “before and after” progress photos on instagram so I can see your progress! I can’t wait to see your improvement!