Stretches For Awesome Front Splits
When I first started pole dancing I really wanted my front splits, mostly because the Jade split was a dream move that I wanted to conquer. There are so many pole moves that use splits, it’s usually pretty high on every pole dancer’s wish list. I went really hard with my stretching routine and had my front splits flat in about 6 months, and by really hard, I mean I was stretching EVERY DAY. Not a full session every day, but at least 10-15 minutes every day. I had really tight hamstrings so had to focus more on those than on my hip flexors, I spent a lot of time in downward facing dog, still do actually. It may take you longer, or it may be easier for you depending on the flexibility level you have currently and the time you’re willing to put in. If you want front splits, the main muscles you need to stretch are your hip flexors, hamstrings and glutes, all the big ones in the legs basically. I put together a routine that worked for me targeting these muscles using stretches I’d learned from pole class, my time as a basket baller and yoga practice. And then I did it religiously until I achieved my goal of a flat split.
Please keep in mind that I’m not a physio or yoga teacher, I’m just sharing stretches that I found worked really well for me. That doesn’t mean that they’ll work well for your body. You know your body, if something doesn’t feel right, don’t push through it, find another way to stretch or seek professional assistance.
Always warm up prior to stretching. Stretching cold muscles is like stretching a brand new piece of bubblegum, it’s a lot more likely to tear or snap then it is to extend.
I like to hold for 5 seconds, release and re-enter the stretch, trying to get deeper each time. Repeat 3-5 times each side. Remember to keep your muscles engaged while stretching and focus on good back alignment (try not to round your lower back) and core engagement. And don't forget to breathe.
Once you're comfortable with the above stretches you may like to incorporate them into a flow. Below is one I've put together, you'll also see some progressions for the above stretches.
- Yoga blocks are your friends, make sure you’ve got some handy. You can stretch using a block even before you’ve achieved a flat split, it will actually help you get flat splits quicker.
- You’ll very likely have one side which is more flexible than the other. Try to give your bad side a little extra love and attention so it doesn’t fall too far behind. With pole tricks sometimes you’re bad side actually becomes your good side in certain positions and that bad side split may come in very handy.
- Stretch in front of the TV or have music playing, it will help distract you from the pain. It also gets rid of that pesky excuse of not having time to stretch, because we all spend time in front of the goggle box at least a few times a week.
Happy splitting xx
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