Middle split may seem impossible at first, but regularly doing step by step these top 9 stretches will get you reach your goal.
This split (also known as the ‘center split’) is a situation where you are extending your legs in opposite directions, creating an angle of 180 degrees.
To learn how to do center splits in a week, practice these top 9 stretches twice a day for 15-30 minutes, starting with a light warm-up and stretch. Journey of ” top 9 stretches for preparation of Middle split” includes:
- Warrior II
- Standing leg stretches
- Side lunge
- Butterfly pose
- Half middle split
- Frog pose
- Reclined middle split
- Seated middle split
- Transversal split
1. Warrior II
It is a deep hip-opener pose that strengthens the muscles in your thighs and buttocks. It tones your arches of the abdomen, ankles and feet.
The Warrior II increases your ability to concentrate. As you gaze at you, you direct your mind clearly and with intention. The deflections disappear and your energy becomes powerful and focused.
- Move your right foot to the top of your mat, and your left foot 3-4 feet behind you.
- Point your right toes straight forward, and your left foot parallel to the back of your mat.
- Draw an imaginary line from your right toes to the right heel, to the left arch.
- Bend your right knee so that it sits just above your right ankle. Press evenly into your feet.
- Square your shoulders to the left side of your mat and spread your arms wide, parallel to the ground, facing the palms.
- Keep your torso upright, shoulders hinged on your hips.
- Keep your gaze straight, or turn your gaze on the fingers of your right hand.
- Hold your breath for 60 seconds. Inhale to straighten your front leg and leave the posture. Repeat on the other side.
2. Standing leg stretches
This stretch is necessary when your goal is to perform a split, as they increase flexibility in all essential muscles.
This is commonly used in martial arts training as preparation for center division.
- To begin, stand up straight and keep your feet separated by two shoulder widths.
- Keeping your feet completely straight, lean forward at the hips. Hang your body down and try to keep your palms on the ground.
- When flexibility increases, try to bring your elbow to the ground. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds.
- Next you can try ankle graves. Bend to the right and hold the right ankle with both hands, then bend to the left and repeat with the left ankle.
- When holding these stretches, make sure that your hips are level instead of leaning to the side, otherwise the stretch will not be as effective.
- Next, try to grab both ankles at the same time, bringing your chest as close to your knees as possible.
- Keep your back straight and relax your neck muscles so that your head hangs straight down.
3. Side lunge
A graceful posture and an amazing release for the legs and low back, the side lunge pose promotes balance, stability and flexibility.
- Start standing with a wide stance, with the toe pointing towards the longer part of your mat.
- Enlarge the spine and extend across your collarbone.
- As you exhale, start bringing your hands down from the mat, keeping the spine long.
- Bend your left knee and allow your hips to shift to the left. Press evenly through the sole of the left foot as you flex your right toes towards the ceiling. Actively engage your feet to deepen the stretch.
- Option to bring your hands off the floor, in an Anjali Mudra or in any Mudra of your choice.
- Attach moola bandha to help increase energy in this mudra and improve your balance.
- Hold the pose for several breaths before changing your weight and flowing in the opposite direction.
4. Butterfly pose
Butterfly-pose (Baddha Konasana) improves flexibility in your private part and hip areas, as it extends the inner thighs, genitals, and knees.
It helps release any toxins and negative energy in the areas of the hip and waist. Your pelvis, stomach, and back are stimulated by a plentiful blood supply.
The sperm count also increases in men due to the thigh ripping. For women, coupled with Sarvangasana, it helps the ovaries to function properly and to overcome irregular menstruation.
This pose not only increases fertility levels, but also ensures a smooth delivery, if practiced until late pregnancy.
- Sit with your spine and legs straight outward.
- Now bend knees and bring your feet towards the pelvis. The soles of feet should touch each other.
- Hold your feet tightly with your hands. You can place the hands under the feet for support.
- Try to bring heels as close to the genitals as possible.
- Take a deep breath. While exhaling, press the thighs and knees down. Make a gentle effort to press them downward.
- Now start moving both legs up and down like butterfly wings. Start slow and speed up slowly. Keep breathing normally.
- Fly higher and higher, faster than you can comfortably. Slow down and then stop. Breathe in and as you exhale, bend forward, keep the chin up and spine straight.
- Press your elbows to the thighs or knees, pushing the knees and thighs closer to the floor.
- Feel the stretch in the inner thighs and take long, deep breaths while relaxing the muscles.
- Take a deep inhale and bring the torso up.
- As you exhale, exhale slowly. Straighten your front legs and relax.
5. Half middle split
The half middle split is a useful exercise to stretch the inner thighs.
- Hunker down in a low seating position. Transfer your weight to your right foot and pull your left leg straight outward, as if you were doing a center split with that leg. Be sure to point your toes.
- Place your right hand on the floor (in front of your right leg) for balance and use your elbow to push the knees outward until you feel a steady stretch in the inner thighs.
- Hold this for 60 seconds, then repeat with the other side.
6. Frog pose
This is particularly useful for hip-opening and waist opening that targets your adductors muscles (inner thigh muscles), hips, and core.
By increasing your joint, which are part of your waist muscles, you also get the benefit of strengthening your core.
- Start in a table top shape, facing the long edge of your mat.
- Make your knees wider than your hips. Flex your feet so that your toes are outward and your heel is directly behind your knees.
- Option to place additional cushions (such as a blanket) under your knees or pass your knees together.
- Move your hands slightly forward or very forward. If you have room, place your cells on a block or on the ground.
- Reach the crown of your head forward and back on your tailbone.
- Position your hips in the same plane as your knees (if you see yourself from the sides, the knees will look as if they are below your hips).
- Raise your stomach away from the ground.
- Hold for two minutes, then gently drop into the baby pose.
7. Reclined middle split
Wall straddle (Reclined middle split) is a deep, passive stretch that targets the inner thighs and is great after a long, arduous workout.
- Lie with your hips against a wall and your legs straight against it.
- Start separating your legs in a wide straddle position.
- Place your heel on the wall and allow gravity to pull your feet down.
- Remember to only keep it open as much as you need to feel a slight sensation.
- You should be able to hold the position for the full 60 seconds before pushing yourself forward.
- For an extra stretch, place your hands on your inner thighs and press gently.
8. Seated middle split
Upavista konasana or ‘seated middle split’ strengthens the quadriceps, lengthening the hamstrings, hips, waist, tract and spine. It has all the necessary components for a split pose.
- Sit comfortably and spread your legs to your edge – don’t overdo it here!
- Keep the legs active with the quadriceps, gently lift the knee and bend the feet.
- Keep the hands behind the feet and help make the body longer and longer.
- Now keep the stomach active by sending the stomach towards the spine.
- If this is easy for you, slowly move your hands out in front of you as you lower the chest towards the ground.
- Hold at least 10 breaths.
9. Transversal split
The transverse pose can be a super duper hip opener that will make upright splits easier.
- Start by sitting tall, and spread your legs apart.
- Then slowly and with control, lift your chest to create a length in your spine.
- Flex your toes to create some tension with your feet.
- Place your fingers in front of your pelvis on the floor, and slowly push them forward, moving your chest towards the floor.
- Only one can go with a long straight spine.
- Breathe in for 10 to 15 breaths, allowing yourself to drop into a greater posture.
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Written by Amit Kumar. He is a certified Yoga Instructor; Diploma in sports & exercise and nutrition; Diploma in fitness and weight loss; Diploma in Nutrition; Diploma in Nutrition, Food, Science and Menu Planning.