The illusive side splits. Wanted by all, had by few. There was a time… many, many years ago, that I could perform the side splits, along with the front splits. But alas, with age and many years without martial arts, I “lost” the ability. I am now on a quest to regain that split.
Science and knowledge have come a long way since I was a kid, when you forced your way into a stretch. Luckily now, with the incredible amount of free knowledge on the internet, you can find help. Below are what I feel are the best instruction for the side split. Utilizing PIR (Post-Isometric- Relaxation), Isometric and Loaded stretching.
1. Middle Split Loaded Mobility Routine
Exercise 1: Weighted Tailor Pose
Exercise 2: Weighted Horse Stance Squat
Exercise 3: Isometric Side Split
Exercise 4: Weighted Pancake (Seated Good-morning)
Minimum of 2 x / week
PART 1 – LOADED MOBILITY ROUTINE – 1:32
B1: Weighted Pancake – 10r + 10-30s (Optional) https://youtu.be/hoQbrx955-8?t=16m32s
Repeat 1-3+ sets.
Rest 60s between sets.
C1. Side Split Isometric – 20-60s https://redd.it/2pogcn
Repeat 3-5 sets.
Rest 60s between sets.
PART 2 – FREQUENCY AND PERIODISATION – 7:27
Perform the routine 2x a week. To adjust, more volume less often or less volume more often.
Increase by 1 set per exercise weekly and deload to 3 sets on week 4.
PART 3 – BEGINNER TIPS – 8:19
PART 4 – DAILY ROUTINE – 9:03
2. 3 Months Middle Split Progress + Tips
3. 7 Months Middle Split Progress with tips
4. PIR (Post-Isometric- Relaxation) * Note… video states PNF but is actually PIR.
EXERCISE 1 – Frog Pose – 1:30 (10secs hold – 5 secs relax – 3 reps) Pinch + Lift
EXERCISE 2 – “Pissing Dog” – 4:11 (10secs hold – 5 secs relax – 3 reps)
EXERCISE 3 – Middle Split PNF – 6:51 (10secs hold – 5 secs relax – 3 reps) Pinch + Lift
The number one tip from Emmet Louis:
So after the last year of workshop tours I can say conclusively that the main reason 90% of people can’t do side splits or have limited success with them is that they can’t twerk.
If people (mainly guys ) mastered the twerk stance they’d have a lot more success with side splits.
This is the twerk stance, butt out lower back arched
mastering this and maintaining this position as the legs extend is the key to unlocking the side split along with a few other factors.
Bonus… Front Splits
ROUTINE – 4:52
A1. Single Leg Good Morning – 10r + 10s
A2. Active Lunge – 10r + 10s Sets: 1-3 Rest: 30-60s between exercises
B1. Active Front Split PNF – 10s + 3r (10s, 5s)
Sets: 1-3 Rest: 30-60s between exercises