Chinese splits -- also known as side splits -- take a different amount of time to achieve for different people. Not everyone will be able to learn to do the split in a short month. It's easier for those who have prior flexibility and a full range of motion in their hip joints. Learning the Chinese split requires a lot of stretching of your hips, lower back, groin, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves. The fastest way to learn the split is by stretching every day. Each stretch should be held for 10 to 15 seconds.
Warm up your muscles before stretching. A proper warm up includes running a few laps to raise your body temperature and wake your muscles up. Avoid running too fast or too long so that you don't tire your muscles out.
Stand with your legs wider than shoulder-width apart to perform the standing straddle stretch. Keep toes pointing forward or slightly turned out. Rotate your torso to the right and reach down, attempting to touch your right toe. Don't push yourself and overstretch to reach your toe if you're not that flexible. Walk your hands over to your left side or raise your torso up before reaching towards your left foot. After stretching on both sides, reach down in the middle between your legs. Roll up slowly raising your back, neck then head. This stretch will be felt in your hamstrings and back.
Stand with your feet together and back straight to set up for the hanging hamstring stretch. Lower your torso and reach for your toes. Keep your knees straight even if it means not touching your toes.
Kneel on your right knee to set up for the hip flexor stretch. Keeping your left foot in front of you, bend your left knee at a 90-degree angle with your foot flat on the floor. Place your left hand on your left thigh for balance. Keep your right hand on your right hip to prevent you from bending at your waist. Tightening your abs and keeping your back straight, lean forward. This will transfer some weight onto your leg in the front and allow you to feel a stretch in your right thigh. This stretch can be held for 30 seconds before switching legs.
Sit on the floor with your knees bent and the bottom of your feet touching one another for the butterfly stretch. Grab your left ankle with your left hand and right ankle with your right hand, allowing your elbows to rest on your thighs. Keeping your back straight and knees down, lean forward to stretch. The butterfly stretch works on your glutes.
Sit on the floor with your legs stretched as far out to your sides to perform the sitting straddle stretch. Lean forward while keeping your lower back as flat as possible and legs turned out. After 10 to 15 seconds, raise your torso and reach your right hand over your head to your left foot. Hold the stretch before switching to your left hand and right foot. This works the hips and hamstrings.
Sit on the floor with feet together and flexed and your back straight. Lean forward without bending your knees. The sit and reach stretches your lower back and legs.
- After you stretch, always practice your split, even if you aren't flexible enough to do the full split. Use your hands for support while lowering yourself down.