Hey! I'm a 19 year old contemporary dancer from Argentina. I'm far from being a contortionist, but I joined this website to increase my flexibility as much as I can.

However, I have a problem with my middle splits and maybe you guys can help me. Even though I started dancing at 13 (pretty late), I never had any problems with flexibility BUT I have an awful turnout and that affects my middle splits and my extentions. When I do a middle split (torso horizontal to the floor trying to use gravity to open my hips) I get close to the floor but in a weird way: it feels as if the knee is giving in but not the hip, so from the knee to the foot the leg's touching the floor but the upper part of the leg isn't, the hip is not giving in at all. So I end up not feeling the stretch on anywhere else but the knee and that's not good at all.

Any ideas of what kind of exercises I should do to make my middle split flat on the floor but without hurting my knee? Thanks! And sorry if my English's not very clear.

Tags: middle, out, split, turn, turnout

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I have my middle splits! :)))) I found that the best way to get them is to stretch in them. Get into your middle split as far as you can and stretch to the left side for 10 seconds (really ten, breathe through it) then to the left for ten and then repeat five times. Each time go a little further. Once you have done that stretch to the middle. The goal is to get both your stomach and your chest on the floor. Hold that for up to a minute (again just breathe) push through your hips and bring your legs back until you are laying down. DO this once per day and you should have a decent straddle by the end of the month!

You can also try doing your middle splits against the wall. It takes the pressure off your knees and arms and lets you relax into the stretch. 

Here is a picture: http://contortionistsunite.ning.com/photo/just-having-fun?context=user

Basically, just like on your back and scooch your bum as close to the wall as possible. Then, split! You can use weights to help too. When you finally reach the floor, you are in fact doing a slight oversplit. (:

Hope that helps!

I never thought about using weights, that's such an awesome idea! Thanks!

Verdaderamente, ¡tenés ingles casi perfecto! Asegurate abrir las piernas lo máximo posible; unas veces, yo tenía un problema similar (aunque normalmente tengo las abrepiernas centrales sin ningún problema). Tuve que abrir la cadena con la mariposa (butterfly stretch; no sé si se llama distinto en español), y me lo resolvió. Eso dicho, a mi me parece que dejas tu rodilla doblar/girar adentro, que resultaría que estiras esa articulación en vez de la cadena. Si girarla más al afuera no te resuelve el problema, también hay que probar el "frog stretch", en lo cual la pierna se dobla a la rodilla. Este debe de sacar la mayoría de la presión de la rodilla, y ayudarte a estirar sola la cadena. 

De paso; ¿las llamo bien, las abrepiernas? Nadie entre mis amigos ha podido darme otro nombre. Y disculpame si he equivocado en mi español, o si no estuve claro en algún punto. 

...hice una revisión, pero no me lo cargó...
Bueno; no había mirado los otros comentarios antes de escribir la mía, pero el frog stretch que mencioné ya había sido mencionado por Holly Satine. Además, me encanta lo que dijo Ria Marcus; es perfecto con una almohada y un buen libro! 

English please?

Essentially, opening the hips might help, don't let the leg rotate/bend inwards to keep the alignment straight, try frog to access the hips directly. 

Muuy buen comentario de Tyler!

ya my knees touch the floor but my hips still give me an inch of room left >./p>

I seem to have this problem too!  I have very good hamstrong flexibility and my hips are quite flexible in many directions.  I have a pretty good straddle (where my knees face the ceiling) split but when I go to a middle split (knees turned in.. thanks Ria for clarifying the difference for me) I run into complications.  Im close to the floor but it hurts my hips.  I also have wretched turnout but I have a decent lotus (my left hip seems very open).  Is it possible to have hip mobility only in some directions?

Yup. I have yoga students you can put their feet behind there head and sit ankle to knee, knee to ankle and bend in every direction from there... but can not pancake or have a poor middle.....I have been pushing on a wall but I still have that last inch to go.

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