5 Best Stretches To Achieve The Middle Splits

April 11, 2023

Being able to safely do the middle splits is not only a great party trick, it’s also beneficial for anyone who is active in sports, yoga, dance or fitness. Having flexibility in the areas of your hips, thighs and groin can prevent injury and reduce pain in the back and legs. Opening your hips also has a calming and anxiety-relieving effect. Regular flexibility training also balances the body since most of us usually focus on strength training. It may seem impossible at first, but doing the following stretches for splits regularly will get you to your goal.

It is important to warm up before doing any deep stretching. Whether you jog in place or do some gently dynamic stretching, getting your circulation going before holding a static stretch will help you relax and feel less pain. Start by holding each stretch for one minute and work your way up to holding each one for five minutes.

5 Stretches for Splits

5 Best Stretches To Achieve The Middle Splits. A young woman wearing a tank top and yoga pants is doing a butterfly foldover stretch for the hip flexors.

1. Butterfly– Sit upright with your legs bent and the soles of your feet together. Pull your heels in towards you. Relax your hips allowing your knees to fall towards the floor. Hold onto your ankles as you slowly lean forward. If you are flexible enough, walk your hands out on the ground in front of you until your chest is over your feet. Rest your head on your hands if you can.

5 Best Stretches To Achieve The Middle Splits. A young woman is doing a half squat for opening hips and inner thighs. Her palms are on the floor, her right leg is in a squat, and her left leg is stretched out to the side.

2. Half Squat– Stand with your legs turned out a little wider than shoulder width apart. Fold forward to place your hands on the ground. Bend your right knee and squat down on the right side while extending your left leg straight out to your side. Avoid rolling onto the inside edge of your right foot by pressing your right elbow against the inside of your right leg. Point your toes on the left foot. If this is too intense of a stretch, keep more of your weight on your hands as you lean forward and work your way back.

5 Best Stretches To Achieve The Middle Splits. A young woman is doing the frog pose, her elbows propping up her upper body, hips open to either side, knees bent in 90 degrees and feet pointing down.

3. Frog- Get down onto all fours. Separate your knees as far as possible keeping your feet pointing back. Carefully walk your hands forward, lowering your torso to the ground. Allow your thighs to slide open and your hips to fall towards the ground without sitting back towards your heels. You may gently rock back and forth at first to loosen up your hips. Depending on how open your hips are, you will either be holding yourself up on your hands, your forearms or lying all the way down.

5 Best Stretches To Achieve The Middle Splits. A young woman is lying down with her seat against the wall, legs opened to either side in a wall straddle

4. Wall Straddle– Lie down with your hips against a wall and your legs straight up against it. Start separating your legs into a wide straddle position. Keep your heels on the wall and let gravity pull your legs down. Remember to only open as wide as you need to feel minor sensation. You want to be able to hold the position for a full minute before pushing yourself further. For an extra stretch, place your hands on your inner thighs and gently press down.

5 Best Stretches To Achieve The Middle Splits. A young woman is sitting with her legs in wide straddle and her upper body folded over onto the floor, left hand on her left ankle and right hand on her right ankle, in a pancake fold

5. Pancake Fold– Sit upright on the ground in a straddle position. With your legs spread as far apart as possible, reach from your lower back as you lean forward. Walk your hands on the ground for support. Your goal is to fold forward flattening out your torso like a pancake on the ground. If you are flexible enough, you can hold onto either ankle or foot with your hands and rest one side of your face on the ground.

As with all deep stretching, stretching for the middle splits is as much a mental practice as it is a physical one. Learn to sit through some discomfort as you breathe deeply and in time, you will feel and see the benefits of your perseverance.

Do you regularly do stretches for splits? Any other stretches you like to do along with your workouts?

Also by Crystal: Shape Up Like Shakira With These Full-Body Moves Courtesy Of AKT In Motion (Video)

4 Stretches To Achieve Dancer Splits (Video)

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This article was first published on October 23, 2017 and most recently updated on April 11, 2023.



Photo: Crystal Chin

Crystal Chin
Crystal is a professional dancer, writer and certified Pilates instructor based in Los Angeles. She inspires people to dance their true colors in life, never compromising their own self worth for any person, job or societal standard. She teaches her students about mindful movement and healthy living. When not writing, teaching, or dancing, she is learning all the beautiful life lessons her two dogs teach her just by their existence--forgiveness, being present and how to be unapologetically herself. Check out Crystal's blog at www.crystalannchin.com and follow her on Instagram crystalannchin, Twitter @CrystalAnnChin and Facebook.


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