Wednesday, 9 February 2022

Learning to do the splits

I've wanted to be able to do the splits since I was little, but I always thought that it was something you either could or couldn't do. It wasn't until I started looking through exercise videos on YouTube and found videos with splits stretches that I realised it was something that you could actually train yourself to achieve!

So when I spotted a video from one of my favourite fitness channels promising 'Splits in 28 days' I had a sudden urge to train myself to get my splits. I was realistic and knew that it would take longer than 28 days - I am no longer a flexible young thing after all! But I do exercise regularly and my fitness level is decent. I decided to try for side splits rather than box splits because they felt more comfortable. 

I didn't take many photos of my progress, as I didn't really expect to get there! But here are a few that I took along the way. I was probably about 7 inches off the ground when I started, and I had to lean quite far forward to support myself in that position, it was very uncomfortable. 

Day 6 - Not very much progress from when I started so I'm still a fair way off from the ground and the back leg has a long way to go down. I'm also needing to lean forwards to support myself on the ground in this position.

Splits progress at the beginning

Day 27 - Nearly the end of the 28 day challenge! But I'm still a long way off, although I have gone down by several inches. The back leg has improved but but I'm still having to lean forward to support myself in this position. I didn't feel that I'd made a huge amount of progress at this point, but I could see that if I continued it would improve so I didn't give up. But I do remember being in quite a lot of discomfort when this photo was taken, perhaps you can tell by my expression!

Splits progress after a month

There's a long gap between photos here. My progress was quite slow and went in fits and starts. But when I got to the point where I could comfortably get my front leg flat on the floor I felt more confident in my progress, even though the back leg still had a way to go. And then after about two months I was just over an inch off the ground.

Day 68 - At this point I had been working on my over split for a week or so by stretching using a yoga block to raise my front leg and this really seemed to help. I was definitely starting feel that I was getting there as you can see from the happy look on my face! It's hard to see but I'm only just over an inch off the ground although I'm still needing to support myself quite a lot with my arms.

Splits progress after two months

Day 75 - Only a tiny bit more progress with the back leg but I'm now able to sit more upright without any real support from my arms. At this point I'd been continuing using the yoga block for the stretches every day and I had also started alternating my stretches with a second video (see below). To be honest at this point I was tempted to say that I had achieved my splits, but I just really wanted to get that back thigh down to the floor!

Splits progress after two and a half months

Day 114 - Finally I took this photo after a run last summer. Although I've still been working on my stretches almost every day as part of my general exercise routine I've not noticed much more improvement than this since then. I think that I have to accept that at age 42 this is the best that I'm going to get (and it's definitely as good as many of the pictures and videos that I've seen of the splits online!) 

Splits progress after about three months

I'm very proud of what I've managed to achieve. My flexibility has improved a tremendous amount and I can also really feel the muscles in my legs now as they have developed! 

If you are interested in trying it for yourself, below are the two videos that I followed for the stretches.

For the first two months or so I did the first video every day. It's only ten minutes long and I think it's a good one for beginners. I didn't find it too difficult and you can really notice improvement quite quickly. I didn't find the stretches painful exactly, but I could definitely feel that I had done them, especially for the first few days when my pelvis was quite sore.


As time went on I wanted to change it up a bit and so I found a new video to try. I began alternating between the two. I also bought some yoga blocks to place under my front foot to try and increase the stretch a bit.

Although it's shorter I find the second video much more difficult, even though it doesn't include doing the actual splits. So I would necessarily recommend it for beginners straight away, but it did definitely help me make that last bit of progress. I think that the high lunges at the beginning in particular really helped with the stretch, and I also like the music on the video.


Good luck if you want to give it a go!

2 comments:

  1. Go you! You should be so proud of yourself. The difference between the first and last photo is amazing! x

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's incredible! Well done you.

    ReplyDelete

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