How To Do Splits For Runners & Beginners

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How To Do Splits & Improve Flexibility

Way back in 2013, I actually managed to get into front splits (maybe 1cm off making them perfect) with a commitment of around 10 mins each day. I realised that for anyone wanting to know how to do the splits, the most important thing is that you commit and stay consistent.

I used a series of stretches which I share in my previous post on how to get closer to splits, along with the splits stretches I’m about to share below.

The inspiration for this post and these splits stretches came from a DVD I had borrowed from Netflix, when Netflix was LoveFilm (lol) – Secrets of Splits & Flexibility’ by Stacey Nemour.

How To Do Splits Without Pain

I remember when I first started working towards my front splits, I picked up an injury which saw my progress stall.

So I rented this DVD with the hopes that it would renew my inspiration and figured I’d share some of that inspo for you too.

The Secrets of Splits & Flexibility DVD ran for 60 minutes in total and Stacey suggested that you followed the splits exercises and stretched after a workout. If you need some workout inspiration then you can check out these 30 minute Tabata workouts you can do at home, or check out this burpee vs kettlebell swing challenge.

I also run live online classes, including Rollin’ with my Foamies which would be perfect to help look after your muscles on your journey to increased flexibility.

Overall, there were no stretches included in this DVD that I haven’t seen before and it managed to cover both front splits and box splits in the workout.

4 Easy Step by Step Stretches For Splits

All of the stretches in my beginners stretches for splits routine were included in the DVD so make sure you check out that post for starters especially if you don’t have the full 60 minutes to spare on a daily basis. 

Here are some more stretches which you can add to the beginners stretches. These also featured on the Secrets of Splits & Flexibility DVD. 

1. Half Split Stretch

  • Beginner: 30 secs each side
  • Intermediate / Advanced: 1-3 minutes each side 

This first stretch is focused on stretching the hamstrings. In the beginners stretches we did similar stretches but this version uses the resistance of the ground to get you deeper into it. 

Half Split Stretch - How To Do Splits

The further back you have your bent leg, the easier it is. Practice the stretch with feet pointed and flexed. You can also use a yoga strap to help reach towards your toes and the stretch can be done with both legs straight.

Remember to always ensure you are on your sit bones, and try to maintain a long neutral spine (straight back). 

2. Dynamic Leg Kicks

  • Beginner: 5-10 repetitions each leg
  • Intermediate / Advanced: 20 repetitions each leg. Ankle weights can be used.

This is a dynamic stretch for your hamstrings. 

Trying to keep your leg straight, starting from the floor, kick your leg up towards the ceiling – or thigh towards your chest. Return to just above the floor in a controlled manner. 

This stretch can also be done on your elbows, with chest and head elevated off the ground.

3. Frog Stretch Variations

  • Beginner: 30 secs each position
  • Intermediate / Advanced: 1-2 minutes each position

This is a nice stretch for your inner thighs / adductors.

Lay with your knees bent and the soles of your feet touching. There are 3 variations of this stretch – feet as close to your hips as your flexibility allows, mid way and the a long ‘diamond’.

Try to relax and breathe into the stretch to allow your knees to ease and lower towards the ground . 

4. Hamstring Stretch With Chair / Bench

  • Beginner: 30 secs each side
  • Intermediate / Advanced: 1-3 minutes each side

This final stretch is also for your hamstrings. 

Place one leg, bent, on a chair or bench with the other leg straight and foot flat on the floor.

Trying to keep your spine long and back straight, reach towards your toes; you can also use the chair / bench as leverage to increase the stretch by pulling yourself down. 

So if you’re also on a journey to increasing flexibility and wanting to learn how to do the splits, give these stretches a go! They are also especially good for runners whether or not you are interested in being able to do the splits.

Are there any other stretches you do working towards splits?!


P.S Safety always comes first. If you are new to exercise ensure you seek advice from your GP. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids, wear appropriate clothing and carry out drills in a suitable space. Technique is paramount, and nothing should hurt. Should you experience pain, discomfort, nausea, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath etc, STOP and consult your GP. 

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