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What is a good stretching plan to do the splits?

by admin on November 20, 2009

I’m a teenager and I’m training in gymnastics and Chinese martial arts. Both require flexibility. What kinds of stretches should I do to be able to do splits (front and side)? How many times a week should I stretch? How long should I hold each stretch without over-stretching?

Check out a book called "Stretching Scientifically" — http://www.amazon.com/Stretching-Scientifically-Flexibility-Training-Revision/dp/0940149451/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/103-3154316-2415815?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1180075741&sr=8-1 It reinforces the use of dynamic stretching as a means of gaining flexibility for martial arts kicks, and its writer, Thomas Kurz, documents how his stretching regimen helped him become able to do a split. In fact, the book contains photos of him doing splits supported only by chairs beneath his ankles… and there are similar photos of people who followed his advice and could do splits as well.

Basic dynamic stretches (much more detail in the book):

• Front stretch: stand in a forward stance with left leg forward. Swing the right leg up to the front as high as you can and return it to starting position. Be sure to keep the leg locked straight the entire time and use control when lowering the leg (instead of just using gravity). Repeat 10 times, then switch legs.

• Back stretch: stand in a forward stance with left leg forward. Swing the right leg back as high as you can and return it to starting position. Be sure to keep the leg locked straight the entire time and use control when lowering the leg. Repeat 10 times, then switch legs.

• Side stretch: stand in a resting stance, legs shoulder width apart. Swing the right leg up to the side as high as you can and return it to starting position. Be sure to keep the leg locked straight the entire time and use control when lowering the leg. Repeat 10 times, then switch legs.

Thomas, Kurz, the author, suggests that people do at least 15 minutes of dynamic stretching in the morning and then again in the evening every day to start seeing results. Hope this helps!

Leg Stretches

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