How To Do The Splits For Beginners: Step-By-Step

Do you want to show off your flexibility and impress your friends? Learning how to do the splits is a great way to challenge yourself and develop your strength and flexibility. 

Doing the splits involves a combination of stretching and strengthening exercises that will help you become more flexible and stronger. With this guide, we’ll cover all the basics, so you can start your journey towards mastering the splits.

How To Do the Splits For Beginners: Step-by-Step

First, we’ll go over some basic stretches that will prepare your body for achieving the splits. Then, we’ll discuss how to do both front and side splits for beginners. Finally, we’ll go over some tips for avoiding injury while practicing your stretches.

Once you get started with these simple steps, mastering the splits will be well within reach. So take a deep breath, roll out your yoga mat, and let’s get started!

Stretches To Prepare You For The Splits

Stretching is an essential part of doing the splits, so it’s important to make sure you’re properly preparing your body before attempting them. Here are five simple stretches that will help get you ready for mastering the splits:

  1. Begin by warming up your body with a few minutes of light cardio, such as walking or jogging. This will help loosen up your muscles and prepare them for stretching.
  2. Next, do some dynamic stretches like leg swings and hip circles to warm up your hips and legs even more.
  3. Then, move on to static stretches like lunges and low squats that will stretch out your adductors, glutes, hamstrings, and inner thighs.
  4. Finally, add in some core work like planks and bicycles to strengthen your abdominal muscles and improve your balance when doing the splits.

Remember to take it slow and breathe deeply throughout each stretch—you’ll thank yourself later for taking care of your body!

Runner’s Lunge On Knee

The Runner’s Lunge on Knee is a great stretch to help you get ready for doing the splits. It’s a simple yet effective move that works your hip flexors and glutes, helping you gain flexibility and strength in these areas.

To do the lunge on the knee, start by standing with your feet together. 

Then step forward with one leg, bending your knee and lowering it to the ground, while keeping your other leg extended behind you.

You should feel a stretch in your hip flexor as soon as you lower your knee—try to drive it through the ground to deepen the stretch even more! Once you’re done with one side, switch sides and repeat. 

With this move, make sure to keep your torso upright and avoid leaning forward or backward too much.

If done correctly, this exercise should not cause any pain or discomfort—if it does, take some time to rest and assess before continuing.

Deep Side Lunge

The Deep Side Lunge is an effective way to prepare for the splits and build strength in your hips and inner thighs.

It’s a great move that helps you open up your hip flexors and glutes, while also pushing your knee outward to gain flexibility in the adductor muscles. To do the Deep Side Lunge, start by standing with your feet together. 

Then take a wide step to the side, making sure that your knee is directly above your ankle. From here, lower down into a deep lunge by bending both knees and driving them outwards.

You should feel a stretch in your hip flexors as soon as you lower down—take some time to really drive through those knees! 

Once you’re done with one side, switch sides and repeat. Make sure to keep your torso upright throughout the exercise, so you don’t put too much strain on a single muscle group.

This exercise shouldn’t cause any pain or discomfort—if it does, stop immediately and rest before continuing.

Bent Over Hamstring Stretch

The Bent Over Hamstring Stretch is the perfect way to increase flexibility and strength in your hamstrings. It’s a great move to do before attempting the splits, as it will help you achieve a deeper, more comfortable stretch.

To do this move, start by standing with your feet hip-width apart. 

Then hinge forward at your hips and reach for the ground with both hands. From here, bend one knee and lift the leg behind you so that your heel is pointing towards the ceiling.

You should feel a deep stretch in the back of your leg—take some time here to really focus on pushing out through your heel and getting a good stretch. 

Once you’re done with one side, switch legs and repeat. Make sure that you keep your torso long throughout this exercise, as bending too much can cause strain on your lower back. 

Pigeon Pose

The Pigeon Pose is an amazing stretch that opens up the hip flexors, gluteus minimus and maximus, piriformis, and psoas muscles—all of which are important for achieving the splits. 

To do it, start on all fours, then bring your right knee in towards your left wrist with your ankle resting behind it. Make sure your front leg is bent at a 45-90 degree angle, depending on how flexible you are. 

Remember to keep your hips square throughout the pose, as this will ensure that you’re getting a deep stretch. You may feel slight discomfort but never pain.

How To Do the Splits For Beginners: Step-by-Step

Pigeon With Leg Hold

Pigeon with Leg Hold is a great stretch for anyone looking to improve their flexibility and get closer to achieving the splits. This variation of the Pigeon Pose involves holding your back leg in an elevated position while keeping your front leg bent at a 45-90 degree angle. 

To do it, start on all fours then bring your right knee in towards your left wrist with your ankle resting behind it, as usual. Next, grab hold of your back leg with both hands and slowly lift it until you feel a deep stretch in your hip flexors, gluteus minimus, piriformis and psoas muscles. 

Remember to keep breathing deeply throughout this exercise and never push yourself too far.

How To Do The Side Splits

The side splits can be a daunting move for those just starting out in the world of stretching and flexibility. But with practice, it’s possible to master this move!

To get started, find yourself a comfortable space on the floor and wear socks—this will make it easier to slide your legs outward without sticking to the ground. 

Then, slowly lower your legs outward until you feel a deep stretch in your inner thighs and hips—hold this position for 20–30 seconds while breathing deeply. 

How To Do The Front Splits

To get started with the front splits, begin by doing some dynamic stretches like lunges or leg swings. This will help warm up your body and prepare you for the split.

Once you’re ready, slowly lower yourself into a runner’s lunge position with your knee on a soft surface like carpet. Place both hands on a yoga block for support, and then inch your front leg forward as far as you can comfortably go—do not force it! 

Make sure that both hips are in line if you are working towards a true front split. Hold this position for 30–45 seconds while breathing deeply, then carefully come back up. 

How Long To Hold A Stretch For Splits

As a general rule of thumb, you should aim to hold each stretch for 20–30 seconds. It’s important to remember that different people may need more or less time depending on their flexibility levels. 

If you’re just starting out, focus on holding the stretch for as long as is comfortable and gradually increase the time as your flexibility improves. Don’t forget to keep breathing deeply and stay relaxed throughout the entire stretch. 

Benefits Of Doing The Splits 

As we’ve seen, the splits are a great exercise to increase flexibility and strength. Doing the splits helps to improve balance, coordination and core strength, which are all essential elements of physical fitness.

Stretching the muscles involved in the splits (particularly the hip flexors, quadriceps, and hamstrings) helps to improve muscle tone, reduce the risk of injury, and improve overall mobility.

Doing the splits also helps to improve posture, as it requires strong muscles that are evenly distributed throughout the body. Stretching and strengthening the muscles involved in the splits can help to reduce the risk of back pain and sciatica. 

Additionally, the splits can help to alleviate muscle tension and stiffness, making it easier to move and perform daily activities.

Regularly practicing this exercise can also lead to improved mental clarity and increased energy levels, allowing for better focus and concentration, and we all want that!

Final Thoughts 

Learning how to do the splits is not only a great way to impress your friends, but it’s also amazing for improving flexibility and reducing the risk of injury. This step-by-step guide will help you get there in just one week! 

Remember to warm up your body with dynamic stretches, then focus on specific split stretch exercises.

Aim to hold each stretch for 30–60 seconds at a time, and be sure to take breaks between each one. With some patience and practice, you’ll soon be doing the splits like a professional!

Laura Simmons
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