To learn or not to learn split?
Well split is a trick and I would call it as an extreme stretching. That means, that you need to be healthy first of all and you have to be really wise and cautious while doing it. If u have or had some injuries or health problems (problems with joints, spine etc.), then consult your doctor before doing these exercises. Of course the best way to learn split it’s to do it with a trainer, or at least you can start with a trainer and then later continue on your own or using a video. But in a case if you don’t have this opportunity, my article with videos might help you. But you need to be very consciousness about what you are doing.
Firstly, I want to tell a bit about some principles of stretching, which you need to understand before you start your stretching journey.
1 Whole stretching is about relaxing. Your result depends on how much you can relax your muscles. So no any tension in muscles, no any pushing on yourself, you just relax and gradually go wider and deeper. If you break this rule, you can easy get injury.
2 It’s better to be really wise and listen to your body. You need to feel some burning in your muscles but it’s supposed to be bearable. That means that you are not swallowing your tears but bringing it, that means that you feel slightly uncomfortable but not too much uncomfortable. So of course after stretching sore is possible just like after any other sport activity, it lasts 3-5 days usually. If you feel pain for a long time, that means you got some injury and you need to consult a doctor. You are not supposed to feel any pain in your joints, so if you do, then you must stop working out and consult your doctor.
So from one hand you are supposed to feel some burning in muscles, but from other hand you should not overdo and get injury!!!! So you need to be really wise!!! I’d say that you need to have a cold and strong mind, because all kind of emotions and passions are not helping here.
Stretching is a very personal thing, because everyone is different. Those exercises which are easy for one person, could be very challenging for another. So no one knows what you can and what you can’t. But you know it, because you feel your muscles and you feel your body while exercising, so you decide if it’s too much for you or not. Be wise and listen to your body, respect your body!!!!!
3 If we repeat exercise about like 5 times we do not stretch ourselves on maximum from the first attempt, we do it gradually: first time a little bit, then more and more.
4 If we do a static exercise we hold it for 10-15seconds, sometimes 15-30seconds.
5 If exercise has modified version and more advanced versions. We do them from easier versions to more advanced ones, even if we are 100% capable to do the most difficult one!!!!
Breaking those rules can bring some injuries!
How does front split works? Let’s analyze it.
This is Hanumamasana yoga pose or monkey pose, an advanced seated split. As you can see in this pose the most stretched muscles of front leg are hamstrings, gluteus maximus, gastrocnemious and for back leg the most stretched muscle is rectus femoris. So that means that to learn split we need to stretch those muscles to make them enough flexible.:)
We are going to start our workout with a good good warm up routine. For stretching warm up routine is everything, it is about like 70% of your result. And believe me you don’t want to stretch cold body. It takes only extra 10-20 minutes, but it really warms up muscles, prevents injuries and takes away sore pain you might get after previous stretching workouts.
So this is my warm up routine for front split
While doing stretching exercises in a warm up routine and till the end of our stretching workout we do all exercises slowly and gently, we do not rush, our body is relaxed and we stretching relaxed muscles. One very important thing – never ever stretch yourself on your maximum during warm up routine!!! Warm up routine is called warm up routine because it meant to prepare our body for a real workout.
It’s better to use a thick matt for splits and if you feel some stress on your knees anyway then use some pillow under your knee. It’s better to do not do stretching workout and strength workout at the same day (that would be perfect), because they do opposite things to your muscles. But if you combine cardio or strength workout and stretching then stretching is supposed to be your last workout of the day, you are not supposed to do anything after stretching, otherwise you might not have good results of your stretching workout. For active people (like me ) who like not only stretching and yoga, but also some intensive workouts with crazy kicks, I wouldn’t recommend to do those crazy kicks next day after stretching, give some time to ligaments of your joints to recover.
So I think I said everything I should say before starting workout, so let’s start.