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Training to Do the Splits

 
 
Reply Tue 11 Dec, 2018 09:20 pm
I'm turning 39 this month and can barely touch my toes.

I'm thinking about setting a goal for next year to do the splits.

Is this something someone almost in their 40's can get to? Seems like an impossible goal as it stands right now.
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Type: Question • Score: 6 • Views: 473 • Replies: 10
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chai2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Dec, 2018 10:33 pm
@maporsche,
I’ve never been very flexible, even as a child.

However, now as an adult who has just turned 60, I find myself in some/many ways more fluid than other women my age.

I’ve talked here before about Rolfing, and what a tremendous difference it has made in my life. Not just physically either. When your body becomes more aligned and intergrated, your brain works better too. Also certain types of yoga, such as yin yoga, is very helpful in discovering your body.

What I have learned over the years is that forcing your body into positions it’s not ready for can bring about not only injury, but frustration.

In order for fascia to stretch you need to take a position to just where you feel a stretch, then back off about 10%.....then wait. After 2 to 5 or so minutes, you should feel a release. It will feel so delicious you’ll now want to stay there for more time.

If your fascia is all bound up though, you’ll experience much less success.

So yeah, you can make huge changes, if you give your body the room and time.

Don’t know about doing splits though, not every body is built to do that, and I personally don’t think it’s necessary to devise such an arbitrary goal.

It would be much much more useful to have your entire body working together rather than just proving to yourself you can force yourself into a position that really serves no purpose.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Dec, 2018 12:22 am
@maporsche,
I rate it 'impossible', at least for myself. Even if impossible, I have no argument against increasing flexibility.

eta: don't injure your self by trying to do something you simply can't yet do.
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laughoutlood
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Dec, 2018 06:59 am
Quote:
can barely touch my toes.


I barely touch my toes when I wash my feet in the shower however my splits are a more modest undertaking by comparison, thank goodness.

And don't jump to any conclusions about whether or not I can tie my shoe laces.

coluber2001
 
  2  
Reply Wed 12 Dec, 2018 04:16 pm
@laughoutlood,
I don't see why doing the splits would be of any use unless you're a ballet dancer. Gradually learning to touch your toes--or other yoga back exercises-- would make your back flexible, which is invaluable.

https://balletclassroom.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/ballet-back-attitude.jpg
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Dec, 2018 04:41 pm
@maporsche,
Your body may never be a splits-doing body, however ... start up with the yoga and develop your flexibility. It is certainly possible to increase that well into your 80's. My dad's flexibility and core strength is better at 88 than it was in his late 70's. He'd been a regular swimmer til that time. When he wasn't able to go to the pool anymore he started with chair yoga. He's in pretty amazing shape for his age.
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chai2
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Dec, 2018 05:18 pm
Right on coluber and beth.

Something to add....it's not just about your back, OR your legs, OR something else stretching, It's everthing working in sync with everything else.

Look at that dancer for instance. She's got all this space in her body that permits her to move her various body parts into those moves. Part of the reason why someone can't touch their toes is that their arms are retracted, that your shoulder girdle isn't sliding around, so your arms, palms, fingers aren't doing their share of the work. Ditto for you feet, calves, butt, hip sockets, knees, neck, sternum and on and on.

Many of us become accustomed to letting a few select body parts carry the entire load. I do believe that until we create space in our body by making the facsia more pliable and stretchy, attempting to perform a specific thing that you can't now do is like expecting water to soak into stone.

Beth, you must, as a dancer, many times feel your internal organs shifting around when you do certain things. You have body awareness. Things don't just move back and forth, up and down, but in every dimension and plain.

In particular we all have "hot spots" on our body that are painful to use. Well, actually we don't necessarily feel pain in them, because we've simply learned not to use them. When I was a kid, lying on my back, I accidently dropped a glass paperweight on my right hip bone, the one that juts out. It was that sickening kind of pain, and unbeknowst to me, it got buried in there for decades. Trauma, both physical and emotional, are buried deep inside many parts of our body, and we just work around it.

As an adult, I could never stand to have anyone touch that right hip bone. It did aways make me think of that paperweight, but I didn't make any further connection.
When my rolfer worked on that area, it was not so much physically, but emotionally painful. Well, let me put it this way...the physical pain was plenty as she slowly coaxed, for a few minutes over several sessions, movement back into that joint, but emotionally I wanted to vomit. The same feeling I had when I was a little kid. When it was released, all that went away, and I felt like someone gave me new hips. It was joyous.

Keep in mind this is a very pragmatic person saying this.

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himanshukhaira
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 15 Dec, 2018 04:59 am
@maporsche,
age doesn't matter if you want to achieve something in Life. just be positive and try to do everything you want to.
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MyFloridaGreen
 
  0  
Reply Fri 28 Dec, 2018 03:04 am
Keep in mind proper rest is very necessary.
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georgewhittington
 
  0  
Reply Mon 31 Dec, 2018 02:56 am
@maporsche,
There is a big difference in thinking and doing it. You are in your 40's, don't act like you are in 60's. There is not anything impossible, if you think in positive way. Anything is possible if you take efforts to do it.
0 Replies
 
himanshukhaira
 
  0  
Reply Mon 31 Dec, 2018 03:10 am
@maporsche,
Keep your legs out and your knees straight.
Bend your upper body towards the floor.
Breathe deeply and relax your muscles more with each breath.
Roll back up to sitting straight up and gently bounce in your legs to a butterfly position.
Repeat this stretch 3 to 5 times.
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