How to Do The Box (Front) Splits

Four Parts:Warming UpPreparationDoing the SplitsContinuing the Process

The box splits, also known as the front or forward splits, are an impressive way to show off your flexibility, especially if you can do them flat (with no space between you and the ground). There are many things that influence your flexibility into the splits so don't fall into the trap of thinking that it is all about your muscles!

Part 1
Warming Up

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    Stretch before you do the splits. If you rush into the splits, you may hurt yourself. You must stretch before you do the splits even if you have done the splits a hundred times. Stretching your muscles will help you to ease into the splits more carefully.
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    Do a 10 to 20 minute warm-up, stretching each of your muscles. Do each stretch a few times repeatedly, so to increase flexibility in those stretches.
    • If you want to follow a specific program, try physiotherapist Lisa Howell's flexibility program called The Front Splits Fast.

Part 2

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    Organize the space you're going to use for doing the splits. Look for a good spot to do the splits. Doing the splits takes up a good deal of space. It would be bad if you tried to do that splits in your room and accidentally broke your favorite lamp. Instead, try doing the splits in a large room with nothing at a leg's distance that you can break.
    • You can also try doing the splits outside, on your front lawn. Make sure that the grass is dry––if it's wet, it could cause you to slip while going into the splits and thus maybe injuring yourself.
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    Assess the area where you are going to do the splits. Do a couple more stretches to make sure that there isn't anything nearby that you could land on if you accidentally fell while going into the splits.
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    Add helper pillows. If wished, arrange some pillows to help you get into the right position.

Part 3
Doing the Splits

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    Decide which leg is naturally easier for you to use. Many people favor one leg more than the other and it will be easier if you use the favored leg at first. To find out which leg you favor, place one foot in front of you and the other behind and stand for a few moments, then swap over and do the same. The leg you had in front when you felt the most comfortable is your favored leg.
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    Place your favored leg in front of you. Place the other leg behind. Stand up with your hips square. If using pillows, place the pillows between your legs, where your hips will be.
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    From a standing straddle position, slowly make your way towards the floor. Slide down. Slide the front foot forwards and the back one backward. Aim to go as far as you can without forcing the movement, making sure that you have a support to hold onto so that you don't go too far.
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    Find a position where you feel a little stretch, but the rest of your body weight is supported on the pillows (if using). When you start to feel the pull of your muscles, hold it there for 10 to 15 seconds.
    • Hold your position by supporting yourself with your hands.
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    • Focus on your breathing. Use your mind to relax your muscles instead of forcing them.
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    • Don't force yourself into the splits flat on the ground because this could seriously injure your legs.
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    Go further when ready. Once you've held the position there a few times, it's time to go a little bit further. Ease yourself down by a centimeter (1/2 an inch) at the absolute maximum, if you feel ready. Pushing more than that at one time will hurt and could cause damage to your muscles, so once you're down another centimeter, hold your position, as long as it doesn't hurt too much. Hold that for about 5 seconds.
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    Relax and stretch out your muscles a bit. Then repeat the process of slowly working your way down to the ground.

Part 4
Continuing the Process

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    Allow plenty of time to learn this. Few people achieve this quickly, it takes practice, from days and weeks to even months and a year. Stop doing the splits if you feel a lot of pain. You know your own limits, so don't go over them.
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    Repeat the warm-up and splits practice every day. Soon enough, you'll be doing flat box splits at your own pace.


  • If your stretches are too easy, but you can't get the splits yet, try increasing the intensity every few seconds. But, do not force your body into any extreme stretches if you are not ready.
  • Start by resting on a certain amount of cushions in the position, then slowly taking away the cushions one by one when it gets too easy.
  • Doing some kind of other exercise helps a lot before doing your warm-up, such as Skipping (using a skipping rope), jogging, running laps or anything like that before stretching.
  • Push yourself against a door frame, using your favored leg in the back to help you to do your split.
  • Don't go overboard when doing the splits for the first time; not everyone can just slide down into perfect flat splits. If you can't do it straight away, work on all of the other systems, massages, and releases of tight muscles before you attempt the splits.


  • Make sure you stretch thoroughly first. Not stretching can cause pulled muscles as its worst effect and severe pain at the very least. So, stretch before trying to do something like the splits (this rule applies to all forms of dancing or gymnastics).

Article Info

Categories: Splits (Gymnastics)