7 Effective Stretching Tips to get your Front Splits Fast

how to get the splits fast for beginners

I began my front splits journey in November 2017. Within 5 months, I got my splits! I had two goals in mind when I started: 1) to show myself that it’s possible for anyone to become flexible and 2) to see how quickly I could get there by learning how to stretch properly. I spent a lot of my time researching tips to help me train more effectively so that I could go into each stretching session knowing that I was making progress. These 7 stretching tips helped me achieve my front splits fast.

My Basic Splits Routine

If you are just starting to stretch for the splits, here’s a Beginner Splits routine to get you started!

7 Effective Stretching Tips to get your Front Splits Fast

  1. Morning stretching
  2. Taking hot showers
  3. Hot yoga
  4. Loaded mobility
  5. Flexibility class
  6. Foam rolling
  7. Standing splits challenge (Free PDF Download)

1) Morning Stretching

How it works: Stretching in the morning helps your body to “wake up” by lengthening your muscles and increasing blood circulation.

Morning stretching

When training for flexibility it is important to keep your muscles warm throughout the day but especially in the morning. After a long night’s rest, our muscles feel stiff. When we’ve warmed up, our muscles are “warm” which makes it easier to move. Stretching in the morning promotes blood flow, gives your body a boost of energy and it’s so easy to add to your routine. To put this in practice, I drew a quick morning stretch routine and put it up on my wall. Having a routine that I could refer to each morning helped keep me accountable.

Takeaway: It can be hard to stay consistent with stretching, doing the quick 5-10 minutes each morning helps you get into the routine of stretching daily. It also feels great. Overtime, I noticed that it took less time for my body to warm up by doing these quick routines.

2) Stretching After Hot Showers

How it works: Muscles work like an elastic band, if you apply force too quickly without giving it a few tugs- it will snap! This is why stretching cold muscles puts you at high risk for injury. 

Stretching after hot showers

Taking a hot shower before stretching is an example of a passive warm up technique (1) where you use external heat sources to quickly warm up your muscles. Your muscles stretch best when they are warm. After a hot shower, it is still important to do a quick dynamic warm up before getting starting your night stretch routine.

Takeaway: Hot showers were a very relaxing part of my day and it helps my muscles warm-up quickly. After a hot shower, I am ready to go!

3) Hot Yoga

How it works: Hot yoga helps to increase flexibility by promoting blood flow to your muscles and joints. Heat help our muscles stay warm and when we are warm, we can stretch our muscles more.

Hot yoga for flexibility

Similar to taking hot showers, doing yoga in a heated room helps deepen stretches. I did hot yoga three times a week for two months (January to February 2018). It made for a nice little escape from the snow!

Takeaway: Being in a heated room helped me focus on breathing and correcting my form. Although I don’t enjoy yoga quite as much as others do, I was seeing a lot of improvement for postures that I had once struggled with (ex. Downward dog). Hot yoga also helped me see how stretches could flow together and I used this to create stretch sequences.

4) Loaded Mobility Training for Front Splits

How it works: Loaded mobility is one of the most effective ways to improve mobility. It uses “deep stretching techniques and muscle activation” to allow your muscles to control your joints on their own. Over time, your body is able to maintain the new range of motion.

Loaded mobility training for front splits

I did loaded mobility 2-3 times a week with a routine that I built. This helped me incorporate weights in a new way and it made going to the gym fun again. I felt like I was doing exercises that no one else was doing.

Takeaways: Strength and flexibility work hand-in-hand. You can train your muscles to adapt to new lengths with the proper techniques. I can go more in-depth about this in another article.

5) Take a Flexibility Class

How it works: Flexibility classes are a fun way to learn about form and to stay motivated with other people. It’s also fun doing partner stretches.

Flexibility class

Takeaway: Flexibility classes helped me learn to listen to my body. What ‘good’ pain felt like for me. I also used it as an opportunity to pick up new stretches and to get advice from my instructors on how I could train better.

6) Foam Rolling

How it works: Our muscles and joints are all connected. When one muscle group is tight, it’s likely going to affect other muscle groups. Likewise, when we roll out tight muscles, it releases tension in connecting muscles.

Three types of foam rollers

In one of the flexibility classes, I learned how to foam roll using a peanut. This completely changed the ball game- I made it my goal to tell everyone about its wonders (I will likely write an article about the peanut). I incorporated foam rolling 1-2 times a week on my recovery days.

Takeaway: I think of foam rolling as a way to heal yourself. The effects can be felt immediately after you roll out.

7) Try the 30-Day Front Splits Challenge

How it works: The 30 day splits challenge works by adding 10 second increments to the initial one minute split hold on day 1. By the end of the 30 days, you’d be holding your splits for 6 minutes (Insane, I know!).

30 day splits challenge free routine

Two girls in pole class invited me to join them and I was up for it! It was a fun way to help each other practice our splits after class. This motivated to stay back after classes to stretch, so that I wouldn’t have to warm up again when I got home.

Takeaway: I didn’t make it through this challenge but I did get my splits. I made it to 4 minutes 40 seconds (Day 23) and I’m quite happy with that! The most challenging part was repeating it on the other side. I preferred doing my ‘bad’ side first so the other side wouldn’t be so bad. I’ve been told that holding stretches for extended periods causes more harm than good. This is likely true – do this challenge at your own risk. A quick 30-second hold at the end of your routine is enough!

journey to mobility youtube
journey to mobility

Takeaway

For beginners, I would recommend trying out morning stretching, hot showers and hot yoga classes.

For intermediate, loaded mobility training, foam rolling and flexibility classes. The splits challenge would unlikely be something I would try again but you can download the challenge in the link above if this interests you!

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