How To Do Side Splits If You’re Not Flexible

How To Do Side Splits If You’re Not Flexible


– So you wanna learn how
to do the middle splits? Well in this video I’m
gonna teach you five of the best mobility
drills that you can do to get you there quickly. And stick around ’till the end because I’m also gonna
teach you the two things that most people get wrong to really stuff up their progress. All that and more, coming up. We are the gym that
teaches people how to move instead of just exercise
because we believe that health is about
performance, not just body image. Hi, in case we haven’t met,
my name’s Rad Burmeister, co founder of the
Foundation Movement system and Unity Gym, where health is measured by the way your body performs and feels, and not by the way it looks. And where we teach you to nourish and move instead of diet and exercise. So, in this video I am gonna teach you some of the most awesome
drills that you can do to increase your middle splits. And the first one that we’re going to do is something called a Cossack Squat. This is something that we teach in the Flexibility Blueprint, which is a free download
if you guys wanna grab that if you haven’t done so already. And the way you’re gonna do this is you’re basically just
gonna bring your feet out to about double shoulder width apart, and go up and down from side to side. So there’s two ways you can do this, you can either go straight
up and straight down, or you can go from side to side. You can also do it with either your feet flat on the ground, or
you can turn the foot out on the leg that’s straight. So what you can do here is, on this leg if this leg’s gonna be
straight when I go down, I can go down like this, or I can go down like this. This one will get into the
hamstrings a little bit more, and this one will get into the
adductors a little bit more. This one’s a little bit more advanced, I like to work towards
that one, definitely. So, yeah that’s the Cossack Squat, you wanna do probably 10 reps on each leg, and you can do up to three
to five sets if you want. You can do it just as one
set if you want as a warmup, but you can also do this
as working sets as well. The next one that we’re going to do is called an eccentric middle split. And on this one you’re gonna need these Tumble Trak things that I’m using here, which again, you can grab them online. We’ve got a link here where
you can grab them from Amazon. And the Tumble Traks you
basically they allow you to slide on the floor. So what you’re gonna do is put your feet on the Tumble Traks, have
something in front of you that you can hold unto to prevent you from going so far that
you cause an injury. And then basically you’re gonna create what’s called a posterior
pelvic tilt which is where you try and pull your
hips forward like this, so I’m actively trying to
suck my abs in, tense my bum. And that’s going to help
improve with your mobility here. You can also, when you
get to the very bottom of the movement you can allow yourself to go to an anterior pelvic tilt, but it’s good to try to keep
the posterior pelvic tilt, requires more mobility to do it that way. And then what you’re gonna
do is basically just slide your feet out, let gravity do its work and you’re resisting falling to the ground by using the muscles on
the inside of your legs. We’re gonna try and tense
the quads, tense the glutes, suck the stomach in and go
down as low as you can go, then you push on the seat or whatever you’ve got in
front of you to get back up. And then we’re going to
do the same thing again for between five and 10 repetitions. Now we’re gonna do something called an isometric middle
split, which is basically where you go to the bottom
of your eccentric range, and you’re going to hold it
there for basically a max hold up to 30 seconds,
whatever your max hold is. Whilst you’re doing this max hold, you wanna try and tense
every muscle in your body. So you’re gonna suck the stomach in, tense the glutes and tense the quads to create that posterior pelvic tilt. Then you push your feet into the ground so it’s like you’re trying
to push away from the ground, tense your upper body, tense everything, send the tension to the adductors, which are the muscles that
you’re trying to stretch here, the muscles on the inside of your thigh. And hold that for as long as you can, and then come back up. And that’s called a
isometric middle split. The last one that we’re gonna do is just a passive middle split, so basically just sitting
on the ground like this. And if you look at the easy progression, so for those of you that
aren’t that flexible, you need something that you can hang unto. When I used to practice this
at home when I was younger, I used to get like a
towel and hook it around a piece of furniture or something. You just need something
that’s really sturdy that won’t pull towards you when you pull, it should stay stationary. So the upright bar that we’ve got for our squat rack here is just perfect. And what you’re gonna do is, I’m really emphasizing
that as I pull forward I’m trying to make my pelvis move from an anterior pelvic tilt
to a posterior pelvic tilt, so that my back goes from
what’s called a flexed spine, so where I’m hunching over which is bad. You don’t want that when
you’re doing the middle splits, to an extended spine, where I pull forward and my spine goes into extension. And that really brings
the stretch into the groin and into the adductors,
you’ll feel it when you do it. For those of you that
are a bit more advanced, and what I mean by that is, as long as you can sit up past vertical with a neutral spine. So if I can sit at least
vertical and lean forward a bit, then I’m ready for this next progression. And what I’m gonna do here
is I’m putting one hand in front of my groin and
one hand behind my groin, and I’m lifting my bum off the ground and sliding myself forward. And I just keep doing
that over and over again until I get as far as I can, then I’m gonna hold it for anywhere from one to two minutes, and then I’ll go again. Push myself a bit further then hold it for one to two minutes, then go again. And you can point your toes
and then pull them back, so you can hold it for a little while with your toes pulled back, then hold it for a little
while with your toes pointed. That’s really good ’cause
that flosses the nerves through all the muscles, and it will allow your muscles
to relax a little bit more. The central nervous system
will release its hold on the muscles and allow
you to stretch further. And then you can also just
go from sort of side to side, you can, you know lean forward a bit, lean to the side a bit, play around with a few different
positions there as well. And that is the passive middle splits. Now, with the passive middle splits, I highly recommend that you only do it when you’re really, really warm. All of these stretches are
best done when they’re warm, but like the Cossack Squat for example you can do it as a warmup. The eccentric middle splits
you don’t need to be as warm, because the muscles are
working against gravity in an active stretch to protect your body, so it’s much safer way
of stretching like that. But the passive stretch, you
need to be very, very warm when you do it, so it needs to
be at the end of your workout or when you’re really warmed up. And then the last thing
that we’re gonna do is this side kick. And what you’re basically
gonna do is lean over, try and get your body close
to parallel to the ground, lift your knee as high as you can, and then just do a couple of side kicks. And then on the last one you’re
gonna hold for 10 seconds. You can do between 10 and 20 repetitions and then hold it for 10 to 20 seconds. And when you do it, you’re really trying to tense your quads to
straighten your knee and lift your leg as high as you can. You’ll feel a burn in
the glutes, in your butt, that means you’re doing it right. And what we’re doing here
is we’re strengthening the opposing muscle group, that’s the whole idea of what we’re doing so that we create active mobility. So, if you haven’t already done so, I highly recommend that
you download our free Flexibility Blueprint,
it is gonna give you an awesome strategy
for how to get flexible over your whole body. A lot of this stuff that I
just spoke about in this video is included in that. And if you like this video,
if you wanna see more, then consider subscribing to our channel and click the notification bell so that you get notified
each time we do new videos. And of course, I promised
I’m gonna talk about the two big mistakes that people make when working towards the middle splits. And the first is that they
don’t do loaded stretching. So loaded stretching are those eccentrics and the isometrics that we did. That is a massive thing
that people miss out on when they’re trying to
get the middle splits. And the second is that
they work active mobility, and that’s where you strengthen the opposing muscle group
after you’ve stretched and gotten as flexible as you can get. So those two things are the big mistakes that people are making when they’re working
towards the middle splits. So don’t let that be you, now that you’ve got the secret formula, make sure that you follow the process. And if you’ve got any questions, please feel free to ask any
questions in the comments of this video and we’ll
answer them as soon as we can. And if anybody has any videos that they would like us to make, if you’ve got anything
that you wanna learn or know about movement,
then please put a comment and we’ll get around to
making it as soon as we can. We make videos every
week and we release them every Sunday and Monday, depending on where you’re
living in the world. Monday in Australia, Sunday in America. So yeah, well until then
guys, I’ll see you next time. Sorry. We’ll do that last bit again. – [Woman] Mm-hmm, just go. – Yeah. Filming? – [Woman] Yeah, you are. What’re you filming today? – Videos on how to stretch your hamstrings and the middle splits, and
how to get hectically buff.

15 thoughts on “How To Do Side Splits If You’re Not Flexible

  1. Thank you. Great material with good information. I am a physiotherapist, yoga teacher, and pole fitness dancer and I love your teaching !

  2. How many times per week must I to do this routine? How many time need to see my progress? Thank for this marvelous video!

  3. Dear Rad! I love your videos. They are awesome and very didactic! I have a dream: do the side split, not the 180 deg, but 155 or 160 will be fantastic for me, because I am not very flexible. Today only I can open my legs 125 deg. I study your videos, and I try download the ebook but it does not arrive to my email. Can you send the ebook? I work with your video and I consider buy the video for leg flexibility.

    Than you very much and Greetins from Spain.

  4. love your videos Rad. Pardon my ignorance but what do you mean when you say towards the end that you have to strengthen opposing muscle groups for the splits or any other body maneuver to work?

  5. How many people here have successfully achieved mid splits as an adult? Like you started training late and still achieved it?

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