Forum: Advice / Stretching

Center Splits Technique
By irishdancingem
On Fri Dec 07, 2012 02:42 AM

My 2012 New Year's goal was to get my splits (right, left, and middle). I haven't really been doing much to get them, but with one month left of 2012 I've decided to get to work. I've almost got my right and left splits, but the center splits still have a ways to go. I stretch my splits by holding myself up between two chairs and going down as far as I can. When I do the center splits I get pain in my hips. I figured I must be doing something wrong, so I looked up how to properly do them and apparently you're supposed to tilt your pelvis?? I'm still somewhat confused on the proper technique. When I go into them, should my feet be flexed or pointed? Should my knees face forward or up? Do I tilt my pelvis? Should I even be stretching the center splits between two chairs? I'm a little confused since Irish dance doesn't use this kind of flexibility. Thanks!

4 Replies to Center Splits Technique

re: Center Splits Technique
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member
On Fri Dec 07, 2012 01:23 PM
I prefer to stretch them facing the floor. To begin you can start standing, sliding your feet apart until your hands reach the floor. If your feet can go further with straight knees, then go farther. If your hips dip below your shouders with your hands on the floor, go down so that you're supported by your elbows on the floor. If your hips dip below your shoulders when your elbows are on the floor, put your chest on the floor, lay your head down and reach your hands out to each side.

In this position you should absolutely have straight tight knees, and if you're all teh way down where your feet aren't supporting you, then you can worry abut point and flex. Your knees should be facing "forward", meaning up to your head, not down to the ground or up to the sky. This way, you are "bent over" or "tilted" at your hips. Once you do this and gain flexibility this way, then sitting upright in your best straddle position will become wider and wider until you are flat in a seated straddle as well.

Image hotlink - 'http://spgymnastics.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/dsc_1394.jpg?w=810'

Image hotlink - 'http://dancerblogs.webs.com/photos/Dancing/split6.jpg'
re: Center Splits Technique
By SoClassy
On Fri Dec 07, 2012 03:20 PM
^^I've found that tends to hurt my knees. Am I doing it wrong or is it just my bad knees? I usually do them like the second photo, though I am a couple inches off the ground.
re: Center Splits Technique
By FeisForFoodmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Dec 07, 2012 06:55 PM
I've always found that it hurts my knees to stretch them like that, too (the facing-the-floor, technique, I mean). My ankles, too, unless I do it like the girl in the very front and try to keep the soles of my feet on the floor. It feels like it's putting some dangerous pressure on those joints.

My technique is the lie on the floor in front of an empty wall. Put your legs up and together so you're sitting in a pike position with your butt and legs on the wall and your back on the floor. Start to move your legs into a straddle until you're at your stretching point, and gravity will provide the right amount of force.

The above technique will also ensure that your knees are facing the correct way and you're not turning your legs out or in or anything weird. I tend to point my feet while I'm doing it just to be working on those muscles at the same time, but you work a few different muscles when you stretch flexed so I do a little of both.
re: Center Splits Technique
By SoClassy
On Fri Dec 07, 2012 07:10 PM
Ah yes I do the against the wall stretch as well, really stretches you hard. On occasion, though, my knees have felt slightly off afterwards. Not necessarily painful, just not comfortable. Glad to know I'm not alone with the pain in the other stretch.

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