How to Do the Splits in One Day

Four Parts:Preparing YourselfWarming UpStretching for the SplitsDoing the Split

Doing the splits requires flexible hips. By stretching extensively and regularly you can gain the necessary flexibility to achieve the splits position. Depending on the amount of time you devote to stretching and how flexible you are starting off, you can get into a split relatively quickly.

Part 1
Preparing Yourself

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    Dress yourself in comfortable, flexible clothing. Make sure your shorts or pants have a lot of stretch in them to be able to move with your body. Yoga pants, exercise shorts, or sweatpants are great options.[1]
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    Get an exercise or yoga mat, yoga blocks, and a bolster to use. Find a clear space on the floor to lay out your mat to begin. If you are on a carpeted floor, a mat may not be necessary.
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    Fill up a water bottle to keep close. Staying hydrated is important for any type of physical activity. Dehydration can also cause muscle fatigue and reduce your ability to stretch your muscles to their full capacity.[2]

Part 2
Warming Up

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    Perform an overall body warm-up exercise. Spend about 5 to 10 minutes lightly jogging or doing jumping jacks to warm up your body and get your heart rate up. This will loosen your muscles preparing them for a deeper stretch.
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    Lunge and squat to begin to stretch your leg muscles. Performing different types of lunges and squats will stretch different muscles in your legs preparing them to do a split. The type of split you want to achieve will determine what type of leg exercises to do. [3]
    • For a middle split, do wide squats, side lunges, and deep plies.
    • For a front split, do scissor lunges, reverse lunges, and traditional squats.
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    Do a butterfly stretch to open your hip flexor muscles. For a deeper stretch, bring your feet closer in towards your body as you do the butterfly stretch. Make sure to stretch slowly to avoid injuring yourself.[4]
    • Sit with your knees bent and out to the side so they form a “v”.
    • Touch the soles of your feet together and place your hands on your feet or ankles.
    • Bend over to bring your head as close to your feet as you can and stay there while you take a few deep breaths.
    • Use your elbows to gently push your knees towards the floor.

Part 3
Stretching for the Splits

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    Stretch in a low lunge, or lizard pose. The lizard pose is a yoga stretch designed to help open your hip muscles.[5]
    • Lunge forward with your front knee bent in line with your toes.
    • Stretch your back leg behind you.
    • Place your fingertips on the ground on either side of your front leg.
    • Gently bring both hands to the inner side of your front foot and rest your hands on the floor.
    • Take a few deep breaths and allow your muscles to relax with each exhalation.
    • If you’re able to, rest your forearms on the floor to get an even deeper stretch.
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    Perform a straddle stretch. Sit up tall with your legs open as wide as you can without bending your knees. Take a few deep breaths while you stretch and feel your muscles relax more every time you breath out.[6]
    • Keep your legs out and your knees straight.
    • Bend your upper body towards the floor.
    • Breathe deeply and relax your muscles more with each breath.
    • Roll back up to sitting straight up and gently bounce in your legs to a butterfly position.
    • Repeat this stretch 3 to 5 times.
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    Try Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation or PNF. Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation is a contract-relax stretching method that suppresses the stretch reflex so your muscles don’t resist the stretch as much. During PNF, muscle stretches last for a few seconds up to a few minutes in cycles. After each stretch relax the muscle, and then immediately re-stretch the same muscle farther than you did before. Repeat this cycle until no more gains can be made.[7]
    • Lay on your back and pull one leg up toward your head, as far as you can go.
    • Hold your leg with your hands for 20 seconds.
    • Release your leg and relax your muscle for 20 seconds.
    • Lift your leg back up pulling it a little further towards your head each time.

Part 4
Doing the Split

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    Place a bolster in the middle of your mat with two yoga blocks on either side. Use the yoga blocks and bolsters for support as you ease into the splits position.
    • Kneel behind the bolster.
    • Place your hands on the yoga blocks for support.
    • Place one foot down in front of the bolster with your back knee on the ground.
    • Gently extend the front leg forward as you slide the back leg back curling your toes under.
    • Allow the bolster to support your legs to alleviate some of the tension
    • Take a 3 to 6 deep breaths and extend your legs farther with each breath.
    • Repeat this alternating which leg is in front 3 to 5 times.
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    Remove the bolster and try the split again. Once you stop feeling tension while using the bolster, it is time to try the split without it.[8]
    • Position your body in a lunge with your hands on the floor on either side of your front leg.
    • Slowly slide your front leg out into the split position.
    • Lower your body down towards the ground.
    • If you are feeling tension, don’t overexert yourself or you may pull a muscle.
    • Hold this position for several seconds, and then relax down to your knees.
    • Repeat this 3 to 5 times, trying to go a little lower down each time.
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    Repeat the split exercises and stretches. It is important to continue to practice these exercises and stretches every day to achieve a split. Some people can achieve it in a day, but most need the time to build up their flexibility before being able to do a full split. Taking 20 to 30 minutes every day to stretch and practice your split is what it’s going to take to master this skill.[9]


  • It is helpful to, for each stretch, do it twice, each holding for 30-60 seconds. The first time you won't go as far, and the second time you will go farther. After the first time, do the other leg, then back to the first leg for the second time, then to the other again for a second on that side.
  • Breathe during your stretches. Using your breath helps you relax your muscles and go deeper into stretches. When you exhale, your muscles naturally relax their tension so taking deep breaths will help you go further down into your split.[10]
  • Try stretching for a split after your daily workout. This is a great time to do your split stretches because your muscles are already warm and ready to be stretched.[11]
  • Taking a shower prior to stretching may help your flexibility. A hot shower will warm up your muscles causing them to relax. This will loosen them up before beginning your stretches, and you will be able to go deeper into each stretch.[12]
  • Use a timer to make sure you are holding the stretches for long enough. Most stretches need to be held for 30 to 60 seconds to be effective.[13]


  • Check with your doctor before starting exercises and stretches to do a split. Make sure you are in good health and able to perform these stretches before attempting them.
  • Don’t over do it. Most people can’t do a split in one day. If you are starting with very little flexibility, you will need more time to gain the flexibility needed to do a split. Be easy with yourself. If you stretch a little every day, you will gain the flexibility to achieve a split.
  • Stop stretching when you feel pain. When stretching, you should feel tension or a pull but not pain. If you feel pain or too much tightness, ease up on the stretch or take a break to relax. If you feel a sharp pain, you should stop immediately. [14]

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Categories: Splits (Gymnastics)