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I have an urge to want to be able to do a split. can you do it?

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  • #16
    Yep, I can do front splits and I've got a pretty good sitting straddle. I'm glad I have them for my trapeze and silks work but I don't think they're needed for any health reasons past generally flexibility.

    If you want them, read up on resistance stretching. If you can afford it, hire someone at least once to teach you how to properly stretch without cheating. I'm doing this now because my hip flexors and low back are hyper-flexible and I'm not using the correct muscles in some positions which causes pain later.

    Try this:
    1. Get into a deep lunge, right foot forward.
    2. Using the right hand, pull the left foot towards the glutes or vice versa.
    3. Place the free hand flat on the ground by the front foot to keep the back straight instead of arched.
    4. Push your raised foot towards the floor while the hand overpowers it and pulls it closer to the back/glutes.
    5. Feel the burn going up the front of your leg. :-)

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    • #17
      Dancer and dance teacher here, and I've read quite a bit into this!

      The myotatic reflex is the pain you feel when you stretch beyond your muscle's elasticity. It's a protective mechanism as your body doesn't believe you are strong in that range of motion, and more prone to injury.

      It's interesting because the most flexible dancers can often be the flimsiet, and they struggle with strength, stability and power. The most powerful and strong dancers have little flexibility. These qualities aren't necessarily mutually exclusive, but the key to gaining great control over your movement is training both strength, flexibility and stability at the same time. There's a lot of papers on it! Read into passive, active and static flexibility, and decide which one you want to achieve.

      My niche in my dancing eventually became my flexibility, and I make my students do the same stretches I did as a kid: butterfly, a proper lunge, sumo squat, and a handful of other stretches that don't have names. But it all starts from the hips. Try to find stretches that focus on flexibility through your range of motion in the hip joint, then focus on your splits later. You'll find they come naturally after this is addressed.

      Don't hold stretches for more than 30 seconds. Research has shown this is ineffective. Move through your stretches with slow breaths, very yoga-esque. Continue with it and don't go too hard! That's how I pulled a hammy and was out of commission for a year.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by OldSchhool View Post
        Definitely gets the guys attention when a woman drops straight into one on the nightclub dance floor !

        As to any fitness benefit, can't really think of any, I put the ability to do the splits into the same category as stuff like being able to touch your nose with your tongue or put your whole fist into your mouth.
        Find me a women like that and I'll marry her.

        I work on them now and again but have never achieved it. I should put this on my bucket list.
        I find your lack of bacon disturbing.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Mr. Anthony View Post
          There are probably good tutorials online. You need to make sure you're using correct form or you can jack up your body.
          Really? I was under the impression that stretching was relatively harmless... unless you are doing some really crazy stuff that would likely (hopefully) cause a pain response that would make you stop.

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