Master the Splits with these Stretching Exercises

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Master the Splits in Martial Arts

Learn How to do the Splits

How to do the 180 splits in weeks is possible with a training routine and patience. Flexibility and stretching have always been necessary for Martial Arts, every martial artist who likes kicking techniques needs to educate himself and read this guide. The following exercises do work and also depend on how disciplined and determined you are with your training.

Flexibility is a must for all martial artists, we must spend time warming up properly and then stretch our hips, muscles, and legs.

Are you ready to start stretching?

These are important starting tips that you have to consider.

  • You must warm up! Don’t do stretching exercises without warming up.
  • Be patient and do not force your muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
  • Create a personal routine and be consistent with it.
  • Follow the recommendations of each exercise and so you do not hurt yourself.
  • Good nutrition is necessary, increase the amount of water you drink.
  • Keep in mind that all results also depend on your muscle mass, how active you are, and the type of physical activity you do.

Here you have Flexibility and Stretching exercises you can do to effectively do the splits and improve your kicking techniques.

Effective Stretching Exercises to do your Splits

Standing Single Hamstring Stretch

Standing Single Hamstring Stretch

Keeping both legs together, take your forehead to the shin and hold for 10 seconds, release and try again. 3 sets of 10 seconds would be recommended.

Hamstring stretch and elongation

Hamstring stretch and elongation

This is a super exercise to stretch your hamstrings, stretch your calves, open your lower back, and stretch your spine. It is important to keep your knees straight. Let’s see the fundamental and recommended steps:

  • In this exercise, you should sit with your feet together, relax the lower back so that the weight of the torso helps to stretch the back.
  • With your hands try to reach the toes and hold for 30 seconds.
  • It is important to be relaxed and not bounce.
  • Let your upper torso weight help you drop and stretch your legs.

Abductor, Hamstring, and Lower Back Stretch

Abductor, Hamstring, and Lower Back Stretch

In this exercise flex one of your legs while you drop your shoulder towards your knee, this will help you stretch:

  • Abductors
  • Hamstrings
  • Hips
  • Lower back
  • Hold for 10 seconds in this pose and then repeat on the opposite side.

Butterfly Stretch

The Butterfly Stretch

Sit on a butterfly position now stretch both arms to your front and let your upper body weight stretch your lower back and both legs at the same time.

Butterfly Leaning Forward

Butterfly Leaning Forward Stretch

 

Sit in a butterfly position now let your upper body fall forward, this will stretch your legs, hips, and lower back. 2 sets of 10 seconds would be enough.

Hamstrings, Hip and Quadriceps Stretch

Hamstrings, Hip and Quadriceps Stretch

An excellent exercise as you stretch and elongate your hamstrings at the same time as your hips and quadriceps. Slowly lower yourself and try to bring your knee to the floor.

Extended Hamstrings, Hip and Quadriceps Stretch

In this exercise, you develop muscle strength while stretching your leg muscles. It is advisable to hold for 10 seconds and change sides.

Sit on a butterfly position now stretch both arms to your front and let your upper body weight stretch your lower back and both legs at the same time.

Hip and abductor Opening Stretch

Hip and abductor Opening Stretch

It is very important to open your hips and lower back before stretching your leg muscles, this exercise is perfect for that.

Stretching and elongation of abductors – Frog stance splits

Stretching and elongation of abductors

This is the “Frog position”, it is a simple exercise to perform and it is very effective. In this exercise you stretch and elongate both abductors at the same time, helping you with the weight of your hips. Let’s see step by step:

  • Begin with the kneeling position, put your hands in front.
  • Open the knees and now lean towards the front, dropping the hips.
  • Try to bring your chest to the floor and hold it for 12 seconds. Repeat again.
  • Return to the starting position slowly.

Stretching and elongation of abductors and leg

Full side Split and hold
Full Side Split

In this image, we can see Half of the frog’s position, in this position you stretch and elongate much more when you stretch your leg. Step by Step:

  • From the position of the frog slowly and while bending, stretch one leg.
  • This position is the same as if you were throwing a sidekick.
  • It is advisable to stretch for about 10 seconds and then the same stretch on the opposite side.

Stretching and elongation of abductors and hips

Stretching and elongation of abductors and hips
The Famous Frog Stance

This is the same position, “Frog position” but from another angle, but now with a modification, which helps, even more, to stretch and elongate not only the abductors but now the hip that goes down with the weight of the body. Let’s see step by step:

  • From the frog position slowly begin to pick up the arms.
  • Try to keep your back straight always leaning on your hands.
  • Here the weight of your torso stretches your abductors and your hips at the same time.
  • Hold for 10 seconds and repeat.

Abductor and Lateral Stretch

Abductor and Lateral Stretch

Open your legs to your max, keep your back straight, bring one elbow to touch your knee then reach to the other side keeping your back straight. Repeat the same exercise with your other side.

Double leg stretching with legs open

Double leg stretching with legs open

This is an advanced stretch exercise, open your legs and try to bring your head as low as possible, try to grab your ankles.

This advanced stretching exercise has multiple benefits as you stretch:

  • You stretch both legs at the same time, not only your hamstrings but also your lower back and abductors with a single move.
  • It will help you improve your balance and circulation.
  • Hold the stretch for 10-30 seconds.

Abductor stretch and lateral tilt

Abductor stretch and lateral tilt
Alternating and holding stretch

After all the previous exercises it is time to spread your legs and stretch them. This exercise will help you stretch and elongate your legs to prepare them for kicking.

  • Open your legs and bend over to stretch both of them at the same time.
  • Lean towards the left side trying to reach your left foot, try to bend your chest to your left knee. Hold for 10 seconds.
  • Lean towards your right side trying to reach your right foot, the same exercise above, and hold for 10 seconds.
  • Lean forward and stretch your lower back, hips, and leg muscles equally.

Double leg stretching Leaning Forward with Elbows

Double leg stretching Leaning Forward with Elbows
Stretch and lean on elbows

This exercise will help you stretch and elongate your legs equally at the same time. Bend your elbows and lean forward for 10 seconds.

Double leg stretching Leaning Forward with arms

Double leg stretching Leaning Forward
Split and Stretching Forward

This exercise will help you stretch and elongate your legs equally at the same time. Put your arms to the front and try to take your chest to the floor and hold for 10 seconds.

Maintained wall opening Stretch and splits

Maintained wall opening Stretch
Another Stretching Exercise

The following exercise is very effective and one of my favorites, since you sit against the wall, you relax, and only by the force of gravity and the weight of your legs makes them go down little by little until you reach the splits. Your legs go down evenly. You can lean up or hold onto something to climb. (Yes, the one in the photo is me, sensei Peter)

Recommendations

  • Hold for 10 seconds in the center, then hold 10 seconds on your right side and 10 seconds on your left side.
  • Never force your legs, allow them to slowly stretch without forcing the muscles, tendons, or ligaments.

Full Opening Stretch held on the ground

Full Opening Stretch held on the ground
Full Side Split by Sensei Peter Soto

Making the opening by turning the hips down. This opening exercise is advanced but requires advanced elasticity as turning your hips forward exposes your abductors to the floor. Step-by-step opening:

  • Start in frog pose, lean to your left and right side for 10 seconds.
  • Go up in the same pose as the frog to have your back semi-straight.
  • Now stretch one leg slowly and hold for 10 seconds.
  • Now stretch your other leg slowly and hold for 10 seconds.
  • Now slowly try to stretch both legs to hold for 10 seconds, use your hands to hold.

Front Splits Stretch and hold

Front Split Stretch and hold
Full Front Split

It is time to execute your front split one more time and hold for thirty seconds. Remember to repeat the same exercise on the other side for thirty seconds. If you cannot touch the floor then place your hands on each side.

Full Side Splits and hold

Full side Split and hold
Full Side Split

Now execute your side split, lean to your front with both hands for thirty seconds.

Don’t try at home, please!

These young people were my students many years ago, they always did weird and crazy things to be able to develop flexibility quickly. Well, they could, but after many years of training. They are Felipe and Sebastian, they both ended up walking like turtles or as if they had “done their pants” after exercises like that. Thank God nothing ever happened to them and when they did these crazy things they weren’t in training with me, since I wouldn’t let them do things like that. DO NOT TRY THIS AT YOUR HOME PLEASE

DO NOT TRY THIS AT YOUR HOME PLEASE

A full session of stretching and elongation

Next, I leave you this video of our channel with a great stretching and elongation routine that I personally do in my workouts, a highly recommended routine.

Recommendations

  • Always warm up for at least 10 minutes before you do any kicking technique.
  • You must stretch both legs equally to successfully do the splits.
  • Make sure your knees are not bent.

Make your own personal routine with a 10-minute warm-up and then a 30-minute session where you stretch your entire body. Do your own routine at least 3 times a week for better results.

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