Can a front split be rear leg dominant? Or is a Squared Front Split that is functional always hamstrings (front leg) dominant?
Due to our previous articles more people are now aware of the imbalance in their splits once they master them.
Many people ask can a functional split be dominated by the rear leg?
In theory it can be. In practice even if the rear leg is very flexible, it’s muscles are generally (almost always) than the front leg and will always pull when in split. This way the pelvic will go into lordosis and more flexible hamstrings will stretch.
The most flexible hip flexors I see were in Artistic Gymnasts and Back Bending Contortionists. Still they splits were front leg dominant, if they did not try to control it and simply relaxed.
What difference does it make? Well when trying to transfer splits into skills, dominance will play a role in how easy of a transfer it is.
For example a front split that needs to become Penche and is hams dominant will have the dancers body dropping very low with lack of control.
A side kick will have “head brushing the floor” if a martial artists open front split is nothing by a deep medial hamstrings stretch.
In conclusion, if you just want a split for a picture, functional or structural will do. However if you want to use for a skill, make sure that the rear leg is trained separately. Remember that there are more muscles in the rear leg to be stretched and they are often tighter.
Fortunatelly ZST allows them to be taken apart. Because in most cases front leg flexibility runs against lateral hamstrings first and foremost, sometimes medial hamstrings, with glutes and adductors more rarely. But rear leg can run against anyone of the hip flexors or adductors.
Since so many people stretch with regular techniques, hams can be isolated (in supine position) from the spine, but musles of the rear leg can’t be, and often the back will be stretched (if you do a standard lunge stretch).
This article may very well answer your question of “why I can do a split on the floor”, but when I try to use it in skills nothing happens.
You can improve your skills to achieve beautiful and functional front splits.
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If you’d like to balance your splits and make them structural Choose this program: