In martial arts, the ability to do the splits is held in high regard. Flexibility is a talent, but can be trained as well. To do the splits you will need patience and determination, as well as a plan.
Write down a timeline and an action plan. Writing down your goal of being able to do the splits will turn it into a focused goal. Goals are more likely to be accomplished when you have written them down.
Give yourself a realistic time frame for completion. For example, two to four weeks will be realistic if you follow certain steps. After you write down your goal to do the splits within a certain time frame, you need an action plan. One action plan requires stretching twice a day minimum.
Before beginning any stretching routine, warm up. A light jog, jumping rope or even some pushups and jumping jacks will elevate your heart rate. This raises your body temperature and warms the muscles, making them more pliable and less prone to injury.
Start each session with dynamic stretching. Dynamic stretching is an active stretch.
For the splits you will be focusing on your leg muscles. Kick your leg forward 25 – 50 times, then backwards 25 – 50 times. Finally, left and right 25 – 50 times. Perform the movements in a controlled manner and try to feel the muscles stretching a little more each time you kick.
For the front kick don’t bend your knee too much. Swing your leg forward like you’re kicking a soccer ball but continue as high as possible. Try to kick about chin level at minimum.
For the back kick hold on to a chair. Shift most of your weight onto the top of the chair so your leg is free to swing backward.
For the side kick stretch, straighten your leg and swing it up to the left or right. You may want to lean up against a chair for this one as well.
In the evening you will combine the dynamic stretch with a static stretch. A static stretch is the more familiar form of stretching in which you hold a position for 10- 15 minutes. If you have a stretching machine, use that. If not, follow the steps below to simulate a leg stretching machine.
Begin this session with the dynamic stretch routine. For the static stretch you will face a wall and lie down on the floor.
Place your legs against the wall pointing at the ceiling. Next allow gravity to pull your legs apart and down as you go into the splits. Eventually you’ll feel the stretch. Grab a book, listen to music or fall asleep. Try to hold this stretch for 15 to 30 minutes or until your legs fall asleep.
This routine should help you do the splits and become more flexible for your martial arts training.