Have you always wanted to be able to get into a split? We created a complete resource to achieve a split from beginner to advanced. Learn how to reach both front and side splits. We wanted to share with you the splits training that has worked for our clients.
Hip Rotation is a prerequisite.
The hip joint is a ball and socket joint. This means if the hip does not rotate then it will not flex or extend. Think about most of the splits you see especially the progress pictures. The biggest issue is the hips don’t stay square….. they are pushed out because they run out of rotational space.
Hip rotation is really important in splits training and we just happen to have a whole blog post for hip rotation.
Regress to progress
Building off of hip rotation, when starting to train for splits most people will force themselves into a progressed position. If the inside of your knee hurts…. your lower back hurts after split training…… it’s probably because the hip joint runs out of space/capacity which causes it to pull on the neighboring joint.
The answer is to regress, taking the load off of where it shouldn’t be aka knee/ low back, and finding the right position for you to load the hip so it adapts leading to stronger and resilient splits.
Passive Stretching is not a long term solution
You must involve the nervous system (brain) when doing splits training if you want long term changes. If we are passively just hanging out especially somewhere we are not ready for, then we might take a step backward in pain. There should always be a connection with your breathe during training. This includes holding it, tempos, focusing on and utilizing intra abdominal pressure for force production.
Using isometrics, eccentrics and eventually loading stretching will give you long-lasting results with not just flexibility but
Flexibility + Strength = MOBILITY.
How often do I stretch for splits?
There is no right answer. Splits training takes work just like any other goal. You want to adhere to progressively overload. This could be as simple as 5 extra minutes of total time under tension compared to last week. It could be one extra round of isometrics. Or in the 5th week, you add an extra training day.
You are in it for the long run when training splits. Try to avoid doing too much too soon or being so inconsistent you go nowhere. Incremental gains each week turn into monthly PR’s.
Two Steps to increase range of motion when training splits
Expand = You need more range of motion so we use isometrics to increase specific ROM.
Save the Work = You need to control, strengthen, and ultimately own that range of motion so do these after you expand your range of motion.
For these next exercises you will increase your range of motion. (Expand)
Properly Stretching The Hamstrings (Beginner)
Hip Flexor Stretch (Beginner)
Half 90 Advanced Isometrics
For these exercises you will do the work to solidify your new range of motion. (Save the Work)
Hip Rotation Capsule CARs
Trail Leg Front Split Eccentrics
Half 90 End Range Rotations and Lift Offs lead Leg Flexion
Half 90 Kinetic Stretching
Front Split Kinetic Stretching
Half 90 to Front Split Hover
For these next exercises you will increase range of motion. (Expand)
Side Split Abduction Isometrics (Beginner)
Side Split Pancake Isometrics
For these exercise you will do the work to solidify your new range of motion. (Save the Work)
Side Split Eccentrics
Pancake/ Middle Split Kinetic Stretching
Straight Leg Hip Rotations
How do I put it all together for Splits Training?
1.Start with the rotation pictures of your hip rotation assessment and a before picture of you in your best splits today.
The complete rotation link will explain how to do the assessment. When you take your pictures do them from all angles including front, side, and back! It will show so much more.
2. Begin working on expanding your deficits in hip rotation.
1-2 times a week of isometrics/ PAILs & RAILs with follow up work named saved the work.
3. Start working on the linear aspects with hip rotation.
Use the hamstring and hip flexor setups especially if the limitation you feel is in the hamstring belly or front of the hip. Treat the Half 90 setup as a difficult progression. If you are hanging on for dear life there regress. If Half 90 does not work then keep hitting the hamstring and hip flexor while focusing on hip rotation.
4. Always start a session with a warm-up
Ideally CARs and something to make you sweat. Then start your splits training session with exercises that expand range of motion. Then follow up that with exercises that save work.
5. Be consistent for 4 weeks and take a progress picture
Email us your gains so we can celebrate your success. Feel free to reach out via Instagram also @MarkowTrainingSystems
Are you a coach, trainer, therapist or physio interested in mobility training? Check out our Online course Mobility Coach Plus.