This is a follow up to my unexpectedly popular Stretching for Splits post! I got a lot of requests for center splits exercises.I myself do not have my straddle split, but you can see some of my progress here — these stretches do work!!
As with all stretching, make sure you are warmed up (5-10 minutes of cardio should do it — jogging, dancing, jumping jacks, running up and down the stairs, whatever!)
Wall Sits are a great way to increase your flexibility in your straddle! I like to do mine on this wall with the mirror as it gives me a point of reference for how I am progressing; when I first started, my feet were on the mirror! I also have a wall at home where I marked my starting point with pencil and update it every few weeks. Seeing visual progress is a good way to keep motivated and it’s easy to do with this stretch series!
Some great stretches for loosening up the hips and legs before trying a wall sit:
Froggy - Butterfly - Happy Baby - Pigeon - Floor Straddle
You will be using gravity and the wall as resistance in a few different positions. Try to hold each position for at least 1 minute (feel free to hold for longer).
- Lie on your back with your butt against the wall, legs pointing up and flat on the wall. Slowly begin to open your legs in a V. Keep sliding your legs wider until it starts to become uncomfortable. Now here’s the fun part: HOLD! Let gravity do its work and pull those legs closer to the floor. Don’t resist! Try to relax! Breathe :)
- Without moving your bottom, try to push yourself up onto your palms to press your chest toward to the wall. Depending on your level of flexibility, you may not be able to sit up all the way. You may need to begin with resting on the forearms rather than the palms. Hold. Relax. Breathe.
- Without moving your legs, begin to slowly slide your butt backward. Your feet will slide down the wall until they are on the floor. You will sitting up in a straddle with your feet against the wall. Here’s the fun part again: use your palms to press yourself forward into the wall, letting your legs stretch wider as you push forward. If you are flexible enough, once you get a good amount of resistance/stretch, you can rest your face, shoulders, or chest against the wall while you hold, relax, and breathe again :)
Optionally, while you are holding these stretches, try alternating pointing and flexing the feet every 15-30 seconds or so for another challenge.
A straddle split is usually harder to obtain than a front split (though for some people it’s the other way around) so again, PATIENCE! I’m still working on mine too, but I have made a LOT of progress! Good luck :)
Middles. I want you.