Doing splits stretches multiple muscle groups such as your thigh muscles and hip flexors. This article offers multiple stretching methods that would ease you into doing splits comfortably. It is recommended that you warm up with lower body exercises before performing the following stretches.
1. Freestanding Stretch Bar
Find yourself a handrail to rest your feet on as shown in the image. You may substitute stretching on the handrail with any other stationary objects. It is also important to choose a height that is appropriate for your flexibility level. To deepen the stretch, move your trailing leg backwards and sink your hips into the stretch.
2. Freestanding Backward Stretch with a Hanging Strap
If you have access to a hanging strap like the one shown in the image, incorporate it in your stretching routine. Find an appropriate location to hang this strap where you can situate it at an appropriate height and support yourself with your hands as well.
3. Freestanding Forward Stretch with a Hanging Strap
This is similar to the freestanding stretch bar exercise. However, the unstable nature of the hanging strap will engage the stabilizer muscles in your lower body as well as provide you with a great stretch.
4. Resistance Band Backward Stretch
A resistance band is a portable and versatile tool for strengthening and stretching your muscles. Position your body as demonstrated in the picture above, use the resistance band to brace your trailing leg and hold this position. To promote a deeper stretch, increase your pull on the resistance band to raise the trailing leg higher. In addition to stretching your hips and quadriceps, this exercise engages your abdominal muscles and stabilizer muscles as you maintain your balance.
5. Side Leg Stretch
Use the side leg stretch to target your inner thigh muscles. Keep your balance by resting on the bent leg and increase your stretch by shifting the foot of the extended leg further away.
6. Forward Lunge Stretch
Begin in a lunge position and then transition your body to the position shown above. To do so, slide your trailing leg and hips back while you keep the lead foot firmly planted. Use your hands to support your weight as you guide yourself into this stretch.
7. Sitting Side Stretch
With one leg curled behind you, keep the other leg fully extended. Grab your ankle with the same side hand as shown in the image. Opening up your hips and bringing your head towards your knee increases the stretch in your hamstrings, calves and back muscles.
8. Seated Groin Stretch
The seated groin stretch is a common workout to improve your ability to do middle splits. Open up your hips and stretch your legs as wide as your flexibility allows. Next, bring your chest to the ground. To intensify this stretch, push your thighs and groin towards the ground as you extend yourself forward.