Reasons that don’t involve joining the circus.
Dancers, acrobats and martial artists all spend a great deal of time perfecting their splits. Even your favorite drag queen may have the ability to split flat to the floor in one leap. While the ability to do the splits makes sense for all of these athletes and performers, is there any reason why anyone else should learn the splits?
The short answer: Yes! There are a number of reasons, beyond “it looks cool” for the average human to do split training. Here are some of the most valuable reasons.
The top reason— injury prevention. If you spend time gradually developing the flexibility in your hamstrings, hip flexors, and hip joints as a whole, the likelihood of a soft tissue injury will lessen greatly. While injuries can happen to anyone, regardless of their flexibility, the likelihood of straining a muscle in your daily life will go down as your flexibility goes up. If say your feet slide apart on ice or you overstep, your body will be more prepared than if you had done no splits training.
What goes hand-in-hand with injury prevention? Increased ROM (Range of Motion). The range in which you can comfortably move your legs will increase, allowing you to maneuver your body in ways you might have never done before. This can lend itself everyday life, as well as other activities and sports you might partake in.
Another benefit of split training that isn’t talked about enough is body awareness. Because the splits involve so many different muscles, and because it can require a high level of discomfort (but NOT pain), it encourages us to develop our body awareness. We have to listen to our bodies to differentiate between uncomfortable and painful sensations, tune into muscles to deeply release, and feel the slight changes as we gradually move closer to the floor.
But learning the splits is a slow process! Which means it also teaches us patience. While youtube thumbnails often boast that they’ll help you get your splits in just a matter of days, this is simply not safely possible. To land your splits takes consistency, and most importantly, patience.
All of this and more went into building our new program Split it in Two. While this is a two-week splits training program, our goal for these 14-days will not necessarily be to land our full splits. There is no rush. It will be to understand the mechanics and muscle groups involved, learn flows and drills to set us up for success, and ultimately create a sturdy foundation for our future split training.
Ready to start split-training the right way? Join Split it in Two.