wikiHow to Do a Full Split

Three Methods:Building FlexibilityDoing the SplitDoing the Full Front Split

If you want to be a cheerleader, dancer, or acrobat a split is very helpful thing to be able to do. Keep in mind that your hamstrings, although strong, are also very delicate. If you strain your hamstring it could take years to recover. Try to be very careful as you practice doing a split.

Method 1
Building Flexibility

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    Try the lunge stretch. Place one foot forward with your knee bent. Put your other foot behind you with your shin on the ground. Now shift your weight forward while keeping your back straight. This will help loosen the muscles in your hip. Hold for this stretch for 30 seconds and then repeat with the other leg.[1]
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    Do the toe stretch everyday. Stand up straight and then bend at your waist like a hinge. Let your arms fall down and try to touch your toes with your fingers. Don’t bounce up and down. Breathe deeply and try to feel the stretch in your hamstrings.
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    Practice the split by doing the table stretch. This is a great stretch to simulate exactly what your legs will be doing once you actually do the split.[2] Stand at a table or chair that you are able to lift your leg up on to. Place your foot on the chair so that it is at a ninety-degree angle from your body. Lean your torso into the stretch until you feel your hamstrings start to tighten. As long as you don’t feel pain, you can hold it here or keep pushing slightly further.
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    Do ten reps of each stretch every day. Consistency is important to gain flexibility. Continue doing these stretches over the course of several weeks and you’ll find doing the split to be much easier. If you try to do a split without having any flexibility in your hip and hamstrings you risk injuring yourself.

Method 2
Doing the Split

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    Choose which leg you want to do the split with. The directions will assume that you are using your right leg. It’s a good idea to put your dominant leg forward.
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    Bend your right knee and put your right foot flat on the ground. It’s a good idea to take off your socks so that you are able to keep your balance. Consider using a yoga or exercise mat too – if you slip and fall into the split too quickly you might seriously strain a muscle or pull your hamstring.[3]
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    Stretch your left leg back and keep it straight. As you stretch your left leg back, put your left foot on the ground with the outer side of your foot facing down. You should begin to feel some tension in your hamstrings at this point. Don’t be afraid to put your hands on the ground so you can keep your balance and ease yourself down.[4]
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    Slide your legs away from each other. As you get lower your right leg should get straighter Continue using your hands for balance, as you get lower. Breathe deeply and relax – trust your flexibility. If you’re tensed up preparing to feel pain it will be much harder to do the split.[5]
    • As you learn, consider putting yoga blocks to your right and left. This way you can place your hands on them and have stability much earlier.
    • If you feel any pain at all, stop. Continue your stretching regimen and try again in another few days.
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    Continue sliding your legs apart. You right foot will slide forward and your left leg will slide back. Your weight should transfer to your heels as you start to move into a deeper split, and then the pressure will transfer to your hamstrings. If you don’t feel pain, don’t be afraid to continue lowering yourself. Remember to use your hands for balance.[6] Go down onto the floor as low as you can. Once you reach the ground you will have completed a full split.

Method 3
Doing the Full Front Split

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    Get into a downward facing dog pose. This is a yoga pose that is similar to a push-up position with your butt raised up to the sky. Lean against the ground with both palms firmly grounded and your hips lifting up high and back.[7]
    • Pause and rock back and forth on your legs a little bit to loosen up your legs more.
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    Step your right foot forward. Keep a steady deep breath and try to step forward on an exhale. You want your right foot to step out between your two hands so that it is planted in between them. Now start leaning into your left knee, which will naturally release the top of your left foot from the ground.[8]
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    Begin to move your hands to your sides. The goal is to have your hands by your hips with your fingertips touching the ground. If you don’t feel flexible enough to do this yet, try using blocks to give your hands a higher surface to rest on. Once you have gotten your hands out to your side you can begin the process of slowly sinking the weight down into your hips.[9]
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    Extend your front leg slowly. As you sink into your hips, flex your foot and let your right heel slowly move forward. Be smooth and breath deeply. As you do this, keep wiggling your left knee backwards to maintain an even weight.
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    Continue extending your back and front legs until you have reached a full split. Don’t force your legs onto the floor. If they don’t fall down naturally while you breathe and sink your hips, just keep your hands propped up on the floor or on the blocks.
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    Tuck your toes and plant your palms to come out of the split.[10] Lift yourself up using your hands and shoulders and try to make your way back into the downward dog position again. If you try to roll out of the split you might hurt yourself.


  • Try getting gym mats and making your right foot elevated. When you try it again, you should be lower!
  • If you feel any pain, stop.
  • If you're a beginner, you won't be able to do a full split right away. Take it slow.
  • Try to do toe touches every day. You will slowly get more flexible, and soon be great at full splits.
  • Warm up before stretching, go for a jog, or doing jumping/crossing jacks or jacks.
  • You can be seriously injured if you overdo it. You may pull a muscle.

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Categories: Cheerleading