Flexi-tize and strengthen those legs!

Since my post about stretching splits in three weeks has been so popular, I’m writing a follow-up.

Thanks to everyone who read the article and started getting those splits down! I’m very happy for all of you, and glad that you already have the splits. Thank you for everyone who commented, also. See, three weeks wasn’t so long after all!

If you don’t have the splits already, you should read the article posted above and work on them! Trust me, three weeks will zip by.

This article is mainly about how you can further improve your leg flexibility, get those kicks high, split when you’re in the air, hold your leg to your nose, whatever it is, you can do it!

Flexibility is just step one to getting high kicks. Leg strength comes next. So many people have perfect splits, but low kicks. It doesn’t make sense, but when you think about it, you’re using different muscles and need strength.

For kick flexibility, stretch your splits vertically on a wall (doorways make it easiest for balance). This is your kick position, so it will help most.

For kick strength, keep kicking! Don’t kill yourself, but practice some good kicks everyday. I’d recommend three sets a day of two eight-counts of high kicks (bounce, kick, bounce, etc.), meaning eight kicks each set (don’t worry too much about staying in line, but do keep it in mind at this moment, just worry about getting your kicks up). Running also strengthens those leg muscles, so a short jog a day will really help. Encourage your team to jog daily (for at least ten minutes) to warm up. Of course, jogging right after school doesn’t seem too enticing, but after a few minutes, it feels really nice. Building muscles in your thigh help keep your kicks high. Combining all your leg muscles help keep your legs straight.

Remember, remember, remember: do not hunch into your kicks. Sometimes when you bring your body into your kick it feels like it’s higher because your face is closer to your knee, but it gives you bad posture and does not elevate your kicks.

I’ve heard that stretching in the pool or in a warm bath might help, but I’ve never tried this myself. If you’re interested, you could try it out (tell me how it goes!).

This is just a general article about leg strength. If you are truly interested, I will be posting a follow-up to this one including a specific schedule/strengthening routine that you can use to help you out.

Ways to Improve Your Flexibility

You can always improve your flexibility. But sometimes you just don’t know how!

I didn’t explain actual stretches to you in how to become more flexible. So, here are some stretches that might work for you:

The Simple Stretches

That’s right. Just the normal old v-sit will help a lot! You just need to focus when you stretch. If you truly want to be more flexible, then work on being more flexible. Stretch and think of stretching that extra inch as your goal. You won’t become flexible if you don’t genuinely want it. Stretching requires focus.

The Split

Sit in your splits for a minute or two and feel the stretch. If you don’t feel any stretch, elevate one leg on a stair, step, or phonebook. You can also try to split against a doorway. Hold the sides of the wall to keep your balance.

On the other hand, if you cannot do the splits, then go as close as you can and stay in this position for at least a minute. Don’t estimate, either. Use a clock, or else you might think it’s been one minute when it’s only been 20 seconds. Pain impairs your estimation!

Spread Eagle

There are a lot of names for this one. Basically, sit in a v-sit near a wall. Spread your legs out as far as possible and pull yourself into the wall as far as you can. This helps a lot in doing the middle splits.

Stretch with a Friend!

There’s lots of stretches you can do with a partner! Lay on your back–legs straight; point both toes. Have a partner elevate one leg as far to your nose as possible. Try resisting your partner’s push for ten seconds, relaxing and pulling your leg in for ten seconds, resisting, etc. You can also do this by yourself by simply pulling your own leg in.

Here’s another one. Place your leg on a friend’s shoulder (be careful!). If that is too high for you, tell your partner to lower it. Your partner can then hold your leg and raise it up as you get used to the stretch. You should lean on a wall so you don’t lose your balance!

These stretches all work, but the best way to stretch is to use a mixture of everything. Stretch every muscle in your body.

The most important thing to know when stretching is to focus. You can’t just stretch without focusing and expect to become more flexible. When you stretch, think about stretching and nothing else. This focus is really what is going to help you.

Comment and tell me if this helps!