Among professional athletes and fitness lovers, the split has become a kind of an expertise benchmark. If you cannot do a split, then you cannot be considered a successful fitness guru. So, what do you need to do to amaze your friends with your mind-blowing flexibility?
Does everybody make mistakes?
The traditional stretching system is based on pain. We’ve heard about it since we were children and learned that lesson well during the physical education classes. That method has etched in our brain and has become a part of our mindset. This is the reason why we are afraid of doing splits and are so proud when we succeed in doing cross splits on the gym mat.
A classic split is based on the following principle: you need to teach (or, more exactly, make!) your body do an exercise by gradually stretching the connective tissues and the muscles in your legs. If you can’t do that, you’re not a real athlete.
But pain is an extreme state of the human body. Then, perhaps we are doing something wrong?
Interesting fact: there is a technique for doing splits. The people who invented it recommend… putting things right in your head, first.
In order to convince their students, the authors offer a simple test.
1. Stand straight. Raise your leg (left or right) to the side and put it on the table (the raised leg is straight and the standing leg is slightly bent at the knee). Now your legs are at an angle of 90 degrees to each other. This position is called a “straddle split.” Did you manage to do it? Are you sure you did? Perfect!
2. Change the leg. Do the same. As you can see, it works too.
Here is your conclusion. If you can raise your right leg at 90 degrees and you can do the same with your left leg, then why shouldn’t you be able to do that with both legs simultaneously? 90 degrees to one side and another 90 degrees to the other… In summation, we have the desired split!
Our legs are in a way independent. Meaning, there are no shared ligaments, muscles or tendons limiting the mobility of our legs in relation to each other. Don’t believe it? Just open an anatomy atlas.
Legs only connect at the joints (then, there is also skin). And we just saw what our hip joints are capable of achieving.
What is it that prevents you from doing a split at once? Our mind aiming for the simplification of tasks. In other words, our brain saves on the resources and limits the body functions preventing it from extra consumption.
Now remember a traditional working area in an office: what are your legs doing? While you are sitting, they remain quite passive. Muscles contract and when you go to the gym afterwards, your mind desperately tries to hold onto that state because it’s used to that and considers that position more rational and thus, the only one possible.
Fear is born. People are afraid to stretch; however, the thing is everyone can do a split.
3 simple steps to do a split quickly
Is it really so hopeless? It can’t be that you need to apply hypnosis techniques to do it, can it? Well, it turns out you can… overpersuade the body and the brain. There are only three steps between your fear and the split!
1. Take up a convenient position to stretch. Relax. Once you feel that your muscles became as soft as cotton, stretch further. You will immediately feel your muscles tense again. Again, relax. Drive yourself into a state where you can feel your muscles cramp. Take deep and quiet breaths.
2. Now you’ve reached the extreme position. Your legs are probably stretched as far as they’ve never been before. You must agree that no physical training can give you such fast results as compared to this little trick with your subconsciousness. Have a taste of this new feeling: your muscles are fine, your tendons and ligaments are not torn. You should stop fearing the stretches right now!
3. You’re almost there. Freeze in that position for as long as you can. Your body has to remember this new position, and your brain has to believe that your body can do it and stop tensing up every time you try to stretch.
The fear of doing splits may be the most common phobia on Earth. In the meantime, it turns out that the “cure” is quite simple. It’s not about the great shape or natural flexibility, and not even the young age. The key to success is for your psyche to be prepared. Just believe you can stretch, teach your body that you can do it and you will do it! Good luck!