Conquering the Splits- Improving Flexibility

Posted on: December 20th, 2012 by Laura No Comments

So my daughter is a gymnast… she’s pretty good, BUT she can’t do the splits very well and she HATES working on it! Yep, she’s the one in class who gets a quarter of the way down and calls it good! Then you see all those other flexible little girls and think “wow, she’s got a LONG way to go!) Splits are really easy for some…. Really HARD for others! Ava is not the most flexible child in the world, and unfortunately she got that trait from me. But if you fall into this category, there are some things you can do to improve your flexibility and get those splits down!

Ava can do her right side ok…. But the left and middle splits? Forget about it! The coaches are trying to help us get them down for her before competition. It takes a lot of patience and practice to make this happen, both on student and mom :)!

First, your muscles should be warm when trying to do the splits. Ava’s coach tells her to take a shower and then practice while her muscles are warm.

We do a couple of exercises… but remember if you’re just starting on the splits, these are a bit more advanced exercises. I talk about some beginning steps later in this article.

For Ava, I get her in front of the TV in her split stance and we practice on all sides during commercials. I push gently on her as she is in the split position. I also have her lean against my knees as I’m in a kneeling position and I push alternate legs up over her head as far as I can. For the middle splits, I cradle her torso in between my legs and push her legs apart. Again we do these during TV commercials. I’m VERY careful not to push too hard as I don’t want to tear her muscles. Trust me, your child will let you know when you’ve gone to far. When she says stop… I tell her to breathe deep and push just a smidgen more.

Of course, I’m NO professional… I’m just doing what her coach told us too. So I went in search of other articles to give you some additional ideas.

I like this article for beginners on LiveStrong.

Fit Sugar has 8 stretches that you can look at to help you work on your splits. Go here to check them out!

We’ll be sure to let you know when Ava has conquered the splits! And don’t forget to share your stories too in our comments section or on Facebook!

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