Public Network for Contortionists
I have a question that haven't been able to figure out myself.
For my entire life as a gymnast, It was drilled into me to keep your hips square when doing splits.
However! Since my sister has begin dance, she's been told that it's okay to open the hips. I've also seen photos of contortionists preforming them the same way.
My question is for oversplits.
Should they be kept square or can you open them up? I have continued to train my over-split with my hips squared, but I'm beginning to wonder if that is even beneficial or a safe alignment when I'm pushing a two foot oversplit.
Can someone please enlighten me?
I used to practice taekwondo. All kicking movements are done to the side. So any ty[e of oversplit for me is done with the hip open and the opposite foot pivoted. It wouldn't make sense to me to do a oversplit to the front or back but, thats just me.
usually dancers keep splitting turning out due to esthetic looking (french cancan ....) but gymnasts and some contortionists tend to look for a perfect alignment, so square hips are the aim.
And yes that's also possible to sit in a oversplit while square hips are hold.
Good luck and feel as ease as you are with that !
PS : also in yoga the right alignment is the most important rather than the amplitude.
Mike (yoga teacher)
This is an old post, but I would like to add that the hips squared alignment, as practiced in yoga, is probably more safe. Yoga alignment is not designed around aesthetics, but with the goal that someone could practice yoga into their 80's and beyond. I don't know, but I look at the unsquared version of the splits and I see SI joint pain. It looks like the back of the hips are getting torqued. The sacrum can get overly mobile if the surrounding connective tissue is overstretched, and that's where problems start.
Women are especially prone to SI pain, especially as they get older and/or have had children.
I don't see why one wouldn't square the hips. But that's the yogi in me I guess. I learned yoga before seeing contortionists doing splits so unsquared hips looks strange or even a bit lazy to me. I guess that's part of the look. I don't mean to be judgmental.
You are allright. As a yoga teacher, I agree with your point of view.