The easiest method to do the side split

How to learn to do the split

As we already mentioned, in martial arts in general, body flexibility involves a myriad of advantages and applications (read Body flexibility and martial arts); in this discussion, we will see:

  • The most simple and effective method to get a perfect side split
  • Or simply how to improve what we are already able to make

Premises and preparation

Before starting, some important premises:

  • There are people more “rigid” and more “flexible”, everyone has its times
  • A full and perfect split is not something that we can improvise in a few days
  • Forcing the body is dangerous and counterproductive
  • The ultimate goal is to open our legs far beyond the 180°
  • This kind of split is obtained through pure relaxation, this means that, if our muscles are not trained to sustain it, we cannot use this kind of opening in a dynamic situation (eg. during a combat)

The preparation:

  • Let’s wear very ample, elastic and “slippery” clothes, we must avoid any possible external friction
  • As always, let’s perform the right stretching / warm-up for the legs (read Basic soft stretching and Basic warm-up)
  • A good idea is to choose a place where no one will bother us and / or where we can listen to ambient relaxing music (read Workout music: how, when, why)
  • Let’s find a wall where we can lead (without obstacles and without causing damages)
  • If possible, let’s remove our shoes (the exercise can be performed better with the socks on)

How to do the split

Let’s see how to train / reach our side split:

  • Let’s put our body on the ground in a supine position (with the belly side up)
  • We have to raise our legs and place them on the wall (keeping them together and parallel)
  • Our buttocks should be perfectly attached to the wall (our body must describe a 90° angle)
  • Let’s stretch our legs in such a way that they completely lie against the wall
  • Let’s slowly drop the legs (right and left respectively) keeping them attached to the wall
  • If the descent is not linear, let’s put a paper between the wall and each of our feet (so as not to make it irregular)
  • We must not exert any muscle force (no vibration or thrust)
  • Let’s relax the whole body and let the legs go down gently, slowly
  • Let’s breathe slowly and deeply (read Meditation method 5), we need to eliminate all the possible tensions
  • The sheer weight of the legs and our relaxation will do all the work
  • Let’s maintain the position for 10minutes a day (especially at the beginning we need constancy)

In the meantime, we can:

  • Read / study / watch something
  • Perform other arm exercises
  • Meditate and / or do other regeneration exercises

How to improve our side split

After the first few weeks of daily practice (at least):

  • Every 2-3 minutes we can add a delicate and slow movement of closure (up) and opening (down), this makes our muscles stronger and able to resist to the position even in a dynamic situation
  • After the warm-up and before starting the exercise, we can make a slight lateral split (resting our hands on the ground)
  • At the end of the exercise, we can make a more “profound” (but always slow and gradual) split to see the difference

For now, if we are not already quite flexible we have to wait for the next article (read Side split: a few tricks) before performing the exercise: we will complete the topic with some precautions, tips, and how to overcome the 180°.

Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

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