Front splits are incorporated into many yoga classes as they’re a great hamstring and quad stretch. Here’s how to advance your front split practice.
Feel pain whenever you’re asked to move from a half split into a full split? This can be caused by a multitude of reasons, including tight hips, hip flexors, and hamstrings.
Your hamstrings are the main muscles that feel the stretch, so these stretches will be helpful as they relax your hamstrings before going into a full front split. Additionally, having strong quads will help to support your body while you are in the pose.
For some, this pose is enough of a hamstring stretch. If it is, feel free to stay in the pose as pushing yourself too much can cause muscle pulls and strains. As a half split does not put as much pressure on your hamstrings, it is a good pose to ease yourself into finding your full front split.
Sit on the floor with your feet in front of you. Bend your left knee and bring your left foot behind left hip. Gently flex your right foot and lower your body towards it without lifting your hips. Keep your hips in line by pushing your right hip back and up while pulling your left hip front and down. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute, then repeat on the other side.
(Also read: 5 Calf Stretches That Every Runner Should Do)
This pose will help to loosen your hips and outer thighs, and can be modified according to your flexibility. It is a passive stretch that does not require much active holds, so it can be easily incorporated into your everyday stretches.
Start in a low lunge pose with your right foot in front. Walk your right foot behind your left palm and rest your right knee behind your right palm. Try to keep your knee at a 90-degree angle, but you can bring your foot closer to your body if the stretch feels too intense. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute, then repeat on the other side.
(Also read: 8 Best Stretches to Increase Upper Body Mobility)
There’s a reason why this pose is used in basically every yoga practice. It grounds the mind and body while providing an active stretch for all your muscles.
Start on your hands and knees. Slowly, lift your knees up and push your hips back and up. Reach your heels to the ground and straighten your knees if you can. You can bend your knees slightly and walk your legs in place to loosen tight hamstrings. Keep your back straight while reaching your sitting bones to the ceiling. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute.
(Also read: Why You Should Do Yoga First Thing in The Morning)
Similar to a low lunge, this helps to stretch your hamstrings. The external rotation and wider stance will give you a deeper stretch and target your inner thighs.
Start in a low lunge pose with your right foot in front. Walk your foot to the outside of your right palm. Place your foot at a 45-degree angle facing outwards and bounce in place until you feel comfortable. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute, then repeat on the other side. To deepen the stretch, lower your forearms to the floor.