One of the root elements (or skills) in gymnastics is your splits. As our Destira Stars know, splits are stretched in warm-up and then utilized on every event throughout each practice. You do splits in your leaps and dance elements on beam and floor, and even on vault and bars when you have to kick through a split, or straddle up, to perform a skill.
Having a good split helps to increase your scores (a 180° split is required for no deduction from Level 6+) and also keeps you safe from potentially pulling a muscle.
We’ve comprised a list of SOME exercises you can do to stretch your splits at home, mainly focused on hamstring and quadricep flexibility.
Hamstring focused exercises:Sitting pike stretch
Extend your legs straight out in front of you and sit up tall. *Think flat back.* With your ears covered reach forward for 5s. (“one gymnastics, two gymnastics”…) the flatter your back is the more your hamstrings will feel the stretch. Stretch forward for 5s as far as you can while keeping your legs straight. Hold for 10s at the lowest point you reach with your back still flat. Repeat 3X.Standing pike stretch
Stand on a balance beam, panel mat, or another raised surface. Squat down with your feet together and grab under the beam or panel mat. SLOWLY start straightening out your legs until you get to a point where you feel a stretch but it’s not painful. Hold the stretch for 10s and then repeat 3X.Single leg pike stretch
Sitting up tall on your knees, straighten one leg out in front of you. With a flat back and your arms up against your ears, reach forward for 5s. Hold for 10s and repeat 3X on each side.
Hip-Flexor focused exercises:Figure four
Lying on your back, cross the outside of your right ankle over the top of your left knee. Hold onto the left leg (inside AND outside your left thigh) and slowly pull it to your chest. Hold for 10s. Repeat 3X on each side.Single leg lunge
Sitting up tall on your knees stretch out one leg in front of you. Slowly bend your front knee, focusing on keeping your front foot in front of the knee and extending to a point where your back hip is as close to the ground as it can get. Hold for 10s. Repeat 3X on each side.
Quadricep focused exercises:Stomach-down quad. stretch
Lying on your stomach reach behind you and grab your foot in your hand. Slowly bring your heel to your bottom, hold at the point where you feel a stretch but it’s not painful for 10s. Repeat 3X on each side.Single leg lunge + quad hold
Sitting up tall on your knees stretch out one leg in front of you. Slowly bend your knee, focusing on keeping your front foot in front of the knee and extending to a point where your back hip is as close to the ground as it can get, then reach behind you and pull your back foot as close to your bottom as you can. Hold for 10s. Repeat 3X on each side.
Inner thigh focused exercises:
Sitting down, bring the soles of your feet together in front of you. Pull them slowly to your chest and hold for 10s. Repeat 3X. *Note, the goal is to keep your knees as close to the floor as possible.*
Sit with your legs extended as far out to each side as you can, while keeping your legs straight and the back of your knees pressed into the ground. With a flat back and your arms up against your ears, reach forward for 5s. Hold for 10s and repeat 3X.
We’d love to see pictures of YOU trying some of these exercises or hear what YOUR favorite exercises for stretching your splits are! E-mail them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance for them to be shown in a later blog!
Have fun stretching your splits in a Destira leotard! Thank you to our Destira Stars for showing off your splits. Shop the featured styles here:
Ombre Waves Leotard
USA Proud Leotard