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How to Do the Splits in a Week or Less

Three Methods:Doing Your StretchesPracticing the Splits Safely and EffectivelyGetting Into the Splits

The splits. What is it? Well the splits are a very impressive feat of flexibility that is very beneficial for a wide variety of activities, including ballet, martial arts, gymnastics, yoga and just everyday life. Training to do the splits takes months or even years of practice and intense stretching. There is no way to shortcut to the splits, and no way to get them in a week or less unless you are already millimeters from the ground. Ready to get started?

Method 1
Doing Your Stretches

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    Do a V-stretch. This stretch targets your hamstrings, lower back, and calves (but only if you can reach your toes). To do the V-stretch:
    • Sit down on the floor and spread your legs into a wide V-shape. Place your feet against the wall if this helps you to achieve a deeper stretch.
    • Keeping your back as straight as possible, lean to the right and try to touch your right toes with your hands. Don't worry if you can't—just go as far as possible. Hold this stretch for 30 to 60 seconds, then repeat on your left leg.
    • Next, extend your arms straight out in front of you, as far as they can go. Try to get your chest to touch the floor. Hold this stretch for 30 to 60 seconds.[1]
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    Touch your toes. Touching your toes, from both a seated and standing position, helps to stretch out your hamstrings and lower back.
    • To do the stretch while sitting down, sit on your bottom with your legs together and your toes pointing up towards the ceiling. Lean forwards and try to touch your toes. If you can't, grab your ankles. If touching your toes is too easy, try wrapping your hands around the soles of your feet. Hold this stretch for 30 to 60 seconds.
    • To do the stretch while standing up, stand with your feet together, then lean down and try to touch your toes. Avoid bending your knees and try to keep most of your weight on the balls of your feet instead of on your heels. If you're really flexible, try to get the palms of your hands on the floor. Hold the stretch for 30 to 60 seconds.
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    Do a butterfly stretch. The butterfly stretch works the groin and inner thighs, making it extremely important for the splits.
    • Sit on the floor and bend your knees until they point outwards and the soles of your feet are pressed together. Try to push your knees as close to the floor as possible (using your elbows if necessary), while drawing your heels as close to the groin as possible.
    • Sit upright and keep your back as straight as possible. Hold this stretch for 30 to 60 seconds. For a more intense stretch, place your palms on the floor in front of your toes, then try to stretch forward as far as possible.
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    Do a lunge stretch. The lunge stretch helps to loosen your hips, which is necessary for performing a good split.
    • Get into a lunge position by stepping forward with your right foot and bending both knees until your right thigh is parallel with the ground and your left shin is touching the ground.
    • Place your hands on your hips and keep your back straight. Gradually shift your weight forwards until you feel a stretch around your hip and the top of your thigh. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds, then repeat on the other leg.[2]
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    Stretch your quads and hamstrings. Your quads and hamstrings are two of the most important muscles involved in the splits, so it's important to get them as flexible as possible. Here are two more useful stretches for these muscles:
    • To stretch your quads, kneel down in a lunging position, using a pillow to support your back knee if necessary. Keeping your back straight, reach back and grab the foot of your back leg and pull it towards your butt until you feel a good stretch in the quadricep. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds, then repeat on the other leg.
    • To stretch your hamstrings, lie down with your back on the floor and your legs propped up against a straight wall. Keeping your lower back on the floor, reach towards your toes until you feel a good stretch (but no pain). Hold for 30 seconds.

Method 2
Practicing the Splits Safely and Effectively

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    Warm up before you stretch. It's absolutely essential that you warm up properly before stretching or attempting the splits.
    • Warming up helps to prevent pulled muscles (which can put you out of action for a while) and will also help you to get a deeper stretch.
    • You can warm up any way you like, as long as it gets the blood flowing around the body—try doing 5 to 10 minutes of jumping jacks, running around the block, or energetically dancing to your favorite song.
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    Practice for 15 minutes, twice a day. If you want to achieve the splits in a week or less, you're going to have to really commit to your stretching routine.
    • You have to practice twice a day, without fail, for about 15 minutes at time. If you can get a third 15-minute session in (without pushing yourself too hard) then that's even better.
    • Try to accomplish other tasks while doing your stretching to make the time go more quickly. Listen to music, do it while watching TV, or while learning something for school—like spellings or math tables.
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    Enlist a friend to help you. Doing any task is easier when you have a friend there to help you and push you to do better.
    • A friend can help you to stretch and split deeper by pushing down on your shoulders or legs when you're in position. Just make sure that they'll stop immediately if you tell them to—you need to be able to trust them completely!
    • You could also try to make it a competition to see who can achieve the splits first—this is good motivation to work harder at your stretching.
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    Wear the right clothes. Wearing the right clothes will help you to feel more comfortable and flexible while you stretch, and will also help to prevent clothes from ripping while you're doing the splits.
    • Wear comfortable athletic clothes that are either loose and baggy, or stretchy and elastic (so they move with your body). Martial arts gear is also a good choice.
    • One good tip is to wear socks while practicing your splits, as these will allow your feet to slide along the floor more easily, helping you to achieve a deeper stretch.
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    Know your limits. Achieving the splits in a week or less is a pretty difficult task, so it's important that you don't push yourself too hard trying to achieve it -- your safety is more important. You will slow yourself down if you are injured. A good rule of thumb is to only stretch mildly if you wake up sore. Wait a whole day or more if you totally bypassed your limits to do any intense stretching. Prevent needing this by taking it slow and always warming up.
    • While you're practicing the splits, you should feel a good, intense stretch in your muscles, but you should not feel any pain. If you experience pain, this is a sign that you are pushing yourself too hard.
    • Pushing yourself too hard can lead to strained muscles and other injuries, which will prevent you from achieving the splits anytime soon (if at all).
    • Remember that it's better to take your time and achieve the splits safely, than it is to rush and hurt yourself.

Method 3
Getting Into the Splits

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    Get yourself into position. After each stretching session, you should spend some time actually practicing the splits. First, get yourself into position:
    • If you're doing a right or left split, kneel down on the ground and extend your preferred leg out in front of you, with the weight on the heel. Keep your back knee bent so the shin is resting on the ground.
    • If you're doing a center split, stand up straight and slide your feet out into a wide-legged stance, with your toes and knees facing up at the sky.
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    Lower yourself down slowly. When you're ready, start to slowly and and carefully lower yourself down into your chosen splits position.
    • Use your hands to support your weight as you lower yourself down. If you're doing a right or left splits, place a hand on the ground on either side of your front leg.
    • If you're doing a center splits, place your hands on the ground directly in front of you, less than a shoulder width apart.
    • With most of your weight supported by your hands, spread your legs further and further apart by allowing your feet to slide along the floor. Keep going until your legs are at a 180 degree angle. Congratulations, you're doing a split!
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    Relax your muscles. If you're having trouble getting all the way down, take a deep breath and make a conscious effort to relax all of your muscles.
    • Studies have shown that relaxation techniques can make a significant difference to a person's flexibility levels, especially if they are incorporated into a regular stretching routine.[3]
    • In addition, letting go of tension in your muscles can decrease your chances of injuring yourself when stretching.
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    Hold the split for 30 seconds. Once you've accomplished the split position, try to hold it for 30 seconds. It should feel like a deep stretch, it shouldn't be painful. If holding the stretch does feel painful, come out of it immediately and continue with your stretching routine over the next couple of days until you can hold the splits without feeling any pain.
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    Aim for an over-split. You may be perfectly happy once you achieve your splits and have no desire to go any further. However, if you want to keep going, it's possible to do an "over-split" (where your legs are split at a wider than 180-degree angle).
    • This is a pretty extreme stretch so make sure you don't push yourself too far too soon. You should be 100% comfortable with the normal splits before you attempt an over-split.
    • You can train for an over-split by putting a pillow under your front foot (or under both feet if you're doing a center split) once you're in the split position. Over time, you can gradually add more pillows to increase the stretch.


  • Muscles need 90 seconds of stretching before they expand. So stay in a stretched position for at least that long.
  • Stretch almost every morning and night. Then you are stretching twice as much and you will probably get your splits twice as fast.
  • Stretch after a hot shower, muscles are looser with the heat.
  • Even after you accomplish the splits, continue to stretch. It keeps you in shape!
  • Stretch while you're watching tv or a movie; being distracted makes it more enjoyable.
  • You will feel sore the next morning- when you wake up, take a hot shower and start stretching to prevent sore and tight muscles.
  • Don't lose hope, even if you are unable to do it within a week.
  • Be careful you're not going into splits position right away because without stretching you could really hurt your muscles.
  • Create a simple stretching routine that you can easily follow without checking tips or guides.
  • Don't stretch all day long-- even stretching or reaching too hard could hurt your muscles.
  • Film yourself doing the split, and watch it back and see your progress!
  • Stretch every morning and every night. Stretching with a friend is a lot more fun then stretching by yourself.
  • Learning? Do a supported split by putting a pillow, towel, etc. under you to get the basic position of the splits!
  • A good way to stretch your hamstring is to hold your leg straight up in front of you. Try to make your knees locked while doing this stretch.
  • Don't stretch on cold muscles.
  • Don't push yourself too far. You don't want to pull a muscle!
  • You can listen to music while you are stretching to make it go by faster.
  • Stretch and practice splits to a couple of your favourite songs! It'll keep you motivated!
  • Never wear very tight clothing.
  • After every stretch, try doing the splits, try getting a tiny bit further every time(but don't push yourself too far!).
  • Stretch for all splits so you can get them all around the same time.
  • A good tip to make sure your muscles are warm is to squeeze your legs not too hard, but enough to feel if it is tense.
  • If you are stretching to do an over-split, try putting pillows under your feet. Don't do both of your feet at the same time, though. This may be more challenging, so this is definitely for more flexible people attempting the over-splits.
  • Don't try doing an over split before you get your regular splits. You could pull a muscle, and it could prevent you from doing regular splits.
  • Try doing your over-splits for about 30 seconds then try your normal split and go back and forth from there.
  • Make sure to have flexible muscles! Those help with the butterfly stretch, which helps the splits.
  • If you want to do them properly in less than a week, keep on stretching all day long.
  • You can also buy Pilates bands/equipment to help you loosen, however you must ask your dance teacher before use.


  • Never just do the splits. Make sure you warm up properly before hand. You should feel literally warm--even hot--before attempting any deep stretches to prevent injuries that will set you back.
  • Make sure, that you have someone there with you at all times.

Article Info

Categories: Warm Ups Stretching and Flexibility