How to learn to do the splits.

How to learn to do the splits

Many people ask how to learn to do the splits. Today I will answer this question. Most of you already know that on this blog we usually talk about mastering the splits in depths. Such as Kinesiology, Biomechanics and Physiology of splits training. However, today we will talk about the basics, and answer your question of “how to learn to do the splits”.

There are three different types of splits:

If you are just starting out learning how to do a split, you are probably wondering what type of splits exist. Well, there are three basic types of splits that beginners are interested in. These 3 basic splits are:

  • Open Front Split, also known as Turned Out Front Split
  • True Front Split, also known as Hanumanasana, Hip Squared Front Split
  • Side Split, also known as Sideways Split, Middle Split, Straddle Split, Center Split, Box Split.

It is very common for most stretching instructors trying to teach you how to do the splits to demonstrate a split and then ask you to assume the position of the split that you are trying to learn. Then try and force your body into a split. This usually leads to pain and lots of injuries. Our system of stretching is completely different. In the EasyFlexibility system we use a specific approach which is a combination of muscle isolation, proprietary Zaichik Stretching Techniques and special Supporting Strength and Movement exercises.

Side Split

how to the side split

Let’s first talk about the Side Split. A Side split, also known as a middle split, center split or box split will have you:

  • Sitting on your glutes with your legs out to the sides.
  • Your toes pointing up.
  • And hips rotated out

This is the most common type of split. There is another variation of the side split, which will have you sitting with your toes pointed forward.

True Front Split

learning how to do the true front split

There are two types of front splits. One is called a True Front Split. The other an Open Front Split. A True Front Split also knowns as Hips Squared Front Split. This type of front split is what most Gymnasts would want to learn.  A True Front Split will have you:

  • Sitting with one leg forward and one leg back
  • The hamstrings and glutes of your front leg will be in contact with the floor.
  • Your quadriceps, as well as your instep and your kneecap will be in contact with the floor.
  • Your torso is naturally facing the front leg.
  • There’s no rotation in your spine.
  • Here your body is simply naturally facing forward.

Open Front Split

learning how to do the open front splits

Now let’s talk about the Open Front Split. Open Front Split is more common in dance or ballet, for example. This type of split will have you:

  • Sitting on the floor with hips open.
  • One hip behind the other hip.
  • Your front toes are pointing up.
  • Your rear kneecap will not be down like in the True Front Split. In an Open Front Split your rear kneecap will be out to the side.
  • In this type of split, it is not your quadricep that is making contact with the floor but, the inside of your knee, and possibly your inner thigh.

How to learn to do the splits:

Now that you are aware of the three types of splits that exist, let’s talk about how to learn to do the splits.

It is very common for most stretching instructors trying to teach you how to do the splits to demonstrate a split and then ask you to assume the position of the split that you are trying to learn. Our system of stretching is completely different. In the EasyFlexibility system we use a specific approach which is a combination of muscle isolation, proprietary Zaichik Stretching Techniques and special Supporting Strength and Movement exercises.

Standard methods of learning how to do the splits:

learning how to do the splits

What you will find offered by various stretching instructors out there is a standard stretching approach of forcing your body into a split.  You will find this case scenario very common, where you go to a stretching instructor asking her to teach you how to do a split only to experience the following.

Let’s take learning to do a True Front Split for example. The instructor will demonstrate a True Front Split and then as, you to assume that position. Of course, since you are just starting out your split will look nothing like the instructors. Most likely you will be high off the floor with your front and back legs bent at the knee and won’t be able to go further into a split. The instructor, however, will either have you hold that position hoping that eventually with a little bit of luck and some miracles you’ll drop into a split. Or worse, they will physically try to force your poor muscles into a split, which most of the time will result in pain and injuries. This is a very basic very primitive approach. However, it is still practiced by various instructors.

A little bit better approach is to focus on the front leg by itself, and then the back leg by itself. Still other instructors will take learning a split a little bit further by using the various modalities such as PNF. Where they will ask you to contract your muscles and then release them and try to go deeper into the split. This has been considered a new method of training for decades. Most instructors do not go past this point. This is the most that they would do for their students.

Learning a Side Split or an Open Front Split would be done the same way except for a different position. For example, for a Side Spit, Middle Split, Box Split or Center Split: A student might try to assume a split when the legs out and hold it and try to drop down to the lowest possible position. Hoping that somehow the muscles will stop fighting him and let him come down into the split. There are people that have been trying to learn the split this way for many years without getting any results.

Through my 30 years of training and teaching how to do the splits, I have seen this many times. If someone is going to apply contractions for example, a person will assume the same position. Then try to squeeze into the floor and come down deeper. As the muscles fatigue and let go a little bit.

Then there is another approach to learning how to do the split. I see this very commonly in Martial Arts schools. Where students would sit in a straddle and they would stretch to one leg touch, to another leg, and then forward. Then try to get deeper into the split. This is a little bit better approach because, at least there is some isolation to the muscles. This approach works better than simply trying to push down into the split without doing anything else.

Is there a better, easier, faster and safer way how to learn to do the splits?

learning how to do the splits

Again our approach is completely different! In the EasyFlexibility system of stretching we understand that if only one muscle is tight this one tight muscle will be the culprit to you doing a split! Therefore, using outdated methods of stretching multiple muscles at the same time will fail and you will not get your split that way no matter how long you keep forcing yourself into a split.  

With the Zaichik Stretching Techniques (ZST’s) we isolate each muscle. The exciting thing about the ZST’s is that it is not just muscle isolation. It is also a very quick way to go deeper into the stretch by getting around the stretch reflex.

If you’re not familiar with a stretch reflex. A stretch reflex is triggered when the muscle contracts. This prevents you from going deeper into the stretch.

ZST’s go around the stretch reflex so that there is no pain and there’s no resistance. What’s more, with our system of stretching at each training session you don’t’ start from square one. Every time you train with our programs you will not only gain flexibility, you will also get to keep your flexibility gains until your next session. Which means, that you will get a little bit deeper into your split at each workout!

The reason that you are able to retain your flexibility is because we use special flexibility and strength supporting exercises with the Zaichik Stretching Techniques. This allows you to retain your flexibility and apply it to your target sport.

In Conclusion

In conclusion there are different ways to learn how to do a split and it is up to you to decide which method of learning how to do the splits you would like to go with.

This Online On Demand Video Training Course Contains:

Side Split Intermediate Program

In this training program you will continue to improve your split going above the 135 degrees that you’ve gained in the beginner level. Here you will learn a set of new conditioning exercises, ZST’s and Supporting exercises to help you keep your newly found flexibility. 

135 – 180 Degrees

Open Front Split Intermediate Program

 In this training program you will continue to improve your split going above the 135 degrees that you’ve gained in the beginner level. Here you will learn a set of new conditioning exercises, ZST’s and Supporting exercises to help you keep your newly found flexibility. 

135 – 180 Degrees

True Front Split Intermediate Program

 In this training program you will continue to improve your split going above the 135 degrees that you’ve gained in the beginner level. Here you will learn a set of new conditioning exercises, ZST’s and Supporting exercises to help you keep your newly found flexibility.. 

135 – 180 Degrees

Look inside this training program:

In each program you will learn:

Mobility Exercises

Mobility exercises for each joint, to keep your joints healthy and lubricated.

Skill Specific Warmup

Skill Specific warmup exercises to gradually prepare your body for a split. 

Zaichik Stretching Techniques

Proprietary stretching techniques, for each muscle involved in a split, so that your flexibility improves right away without pain.

Unique Flexibility & Strength Supporting Techniques

Special techniques that allow you to retain your newly gained flexibility and connect it to your target skill. 

Plus when you sign up for this course you will also get these bonuses:

Stretch180 App

Flexibility Measurement App Online. This app will measure your splits accurately and tell you how many degrees you are progressing each training session. Track your progress. Give you an estimated date for full splits. Keep you engaged and motivated with your flexibility training. And keep you focused on your EasyFlexibility Goals!

Support Group

Access to a Private Support Group: No longer will you train alone. Now you can be part of a group and train alongside other EasyFlexibility practitioners. Once registered for this course you will gain access to a private support group, where you will find 24-hour active community to share your experience with, ask questions and get advice. 

Lifetime Access

Once purchased, this course is your to keep forever! There are no hidden fees and no strings attached. You will not be billed monthly, you pay only one time and get unlimited lifetime access to this program which is kept for you in your very own online library for easy access on any device of your choice, anytime, anywhere. 

Try a Free Zaichik Stretching Technique called ~Content~ from the EasyFlexibility Side Split Training Program right now!

IT’S EASY TO GET STARTED!

If you are ready to do effortless Splits ANYTIME that you wish with a training method that is Easy, Pain Free and Fast, that is designed to work naturally with your body and keep your flexibility for years to come, then join thousands of satisfied EasyFlexibility practitioners and START YOUR TRAINING TODAY!

This Course includes the following step by step instructions for:

  • Intermediate Side Split
  • Intermediate Open Front Split
  • Intermediate True Front Split

Why do muscles shake during a stretching workout?

why do muscles shake during a stretching workout?

I got this question a few times: “Why do muscles shake during a stretching workout” and decided to answer it in today’s article. Muscles can shake during or after a stretching exercise just like they can shake during a strength training exercise.

Strength Training vs Stretching Workout – Understand why your muscles shake

Although, you want to know why your muscles shake during a stretching workout. It is first important to understand why your muscles shake during strength training exercises. Knowing this, will help you to understand the reason why your muscles shake during a stretching workout.

Although, you want to know why your muscles shake during a stretching workout. It is first important to understand why your muscles shake during strength training exercises. Knowing this, will help you to understand the reason why your muscles shake during a stretching workout.  

You may notice that if you lift to failure, meaning that you do as many repetitions as you can until you can’t do anymore, your muscles may shake. If you lift very heavy, even a few repetitions, again you may experience shaking.

I can bore you with the science behind it. But, the bottom line is this, if your muscles shake it means that you are pushing your body beyond what it is used to. Muscles shaking during a strength training workout can be neurological. Stemming from your nervous system trying to recruit as many model units as possible to complete the task. Muscles shaking during a strength training workout can also be due to nutrient deficiencies, dehydration, low blood sugar, etc., but I personally do not see that very often.

The Stretch Reflex – Reason why your muscles shake during a stretching workout.

Now let’s talk about why the muscles shake during a stretching workout. The reason is the same but in a slightly different context.  When you do a passive relaxed stretch such as in yoga and try to force stretch, meaning go deep beyond your comfort level, the muscles are not going to respond well and there’s going to be what is known as a “stretch reflex”. The stretch reflex is the reason why most people’s muscles shake during a stretching workout.

The Stretch Reflex muscles shaking during stretching workout

When you do a passive relaxed stretch such as in yoga and try to force stretch, meaning go deep beyond your comfort level, the muscles are not going to respond well and there’s going to be what is known as a “stretch reflex”. The stretch reflex is the reason why most people’s muscles shake during a stretching workout

So, what happens during a stretch reflex?  The muscles contract and they do not want to allow the stretch to go deeper. The harder you pull the more the muscles contract. When they contract as much as possible, they begin to shake!

The same thing happens when you are doing a stretching exercise. During a stretching exercise your muscles contract and you’re trying to stretch them but they’re trying to contract. This has always been my issue with relaxed stretching, they are good for many things but not so great for flexibility gains.

Passive stretching does not build flexibility

I personally do not experience muscles shaking during a stretching workout, and neither do any of the EasyFlexibility practitioners, because I do not use relaxed stretches or passive stretches for flexibility. I have given up doing that many years ago even before I came up with the concept of the Zaichik Stretching Techniques.

Zaichik Stretching Techniques (ZST’s), as you may already know, do not produce the stretch reflex. Thus, your muscles will not shake during a stretching workout with the ZST’s. In ZST’s there is no holding this constant movement, and the stretch reflex does not set in. Because of this the muscles don’t get a chance to start opposing and eventually shaking thereby eliminating muscle shaking during a stretching workout.

I’m going to give my personal opinion here. I’m not a fan of muscle shaking during strength exercises. And I’m even more against muscles shaking during stretching exercises.  To me muscles shaking during strength exercises means that I am doing too much. But then again, I’m not a competitive athlete so I’m only speaking for myself.  

I personally do not experience muscles shaking during a stretching workout, because I do not use relaxed stretches or passive stretches for flexibility. I have given up doing that many years ago even before I came up with the concept of the Zaichik Stretching Techniques.

If you are going to use passive relaxed stretches for flexibility gains you have to do them for a short period of time, many times. Instead of sitting there and forcing the stretch. Because, there is a very high chance, that if you fight with your muscles, you can injure them. And if you don’t injure your muscles right away you may just make them sore and still not gain any flexibility.

From the many years of research that I have done, and over 30 years of experience in the field of flexibility. I can tell you this with absolute certainty. That if your primary goal is to get flexible and retain your flexibility. Continuing to use passive relaxed stretches, especially to the point of muscle shaking, is not an optimal way of developing flexibility.

Relaxed Passive stretches may lead to Injuries if used the wrong way!

If you are lucky enough to not get injured the first time when you fight with your muscles. And continue to force stretch. Your muscles will begin shaking during a stretching workout. Eventually they will fatigue and let you get a little bit more flexible. But, your poor muscles will be so sore that you won’t be able to do anymore stretches for a while. This will of course set you back for a certain amount of time. And if you don’t wait until you are not sore anymore and keep on stretching, you are almost guaranteed to injure a muscle or a tendon. Not to mention that you will again experience muscles shaking during a stretching workout. Which is what you are trying to avoid in the first place!

I’m going to make this point again about the passive relaxed stretches. Passive relaxed stretches should be used for what they have been intended for. That is to calm down the nervous system, and help the body relax after a workout. From the many years of research that I have done, and over 30 years of experience in the field of flexibility. I can tell you this with absolute certainty. That if your primary goal is to get flexible and retain your flexibility. Continuing to use passive relaxed stretches, especially to the point of muscle shaking, is not an optimal way of developing flexibility.

- Paul Zaichik is an Exercise Science Expert, author of multitude of books, and the creator of Zaichik Stretching Technique (formerly known as Kinesiological Stretching Technique). His specialty is flexibility training as well as body weight conditioning. His innovative method is designed to have maximum carry over into specific athletic techniques. Paul is the author of books and DVD’s on the topic of flexibility, martial arts and bodyweight training. Over the years, Paul Zaichik has worked with a variety of individuals including athletes, entertainers, and military personnel. His ElasticSteel Method of Athletic Conditioning. Zaichik Stretching Techniques and programs are used worldwide by both professional and amateurs with great success. For more information about the Zaichik Stretching Techniques please visit <a href="http://www.EasyFlexibility.com">www.EasyFlexibility.com</a>
– Paul Zaichik is an Exercise Science Expert, author of multitude of books, and the creator of Zaichik Stretching Technique (formerly known as Kinesiological Stretching Technique). His specialty is flexibility training as well as body weight conditioning. His innovative method is designed to have maximum carry over into specific athletic techniques. Paul is the author of books and DVD’s on the topic of flexibility, martial arts and bodyweight training. Over the years, Paul Zaichik has worked with a variety of individuals including athletes, entertainers, and military personnel. His ElasticSteel Method of Athletic Conditioning. Zaichik Stretching Techniques and programs are used worldwide by both professional and amateurs with great success. For more information about the Zaichik Stretching Techniques please visit www.EasyFlexibility.com

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