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I am 1.78 metres tall, weighs 125 kg(last I checked) and had a gut size of 46'. Is it possible at all for me to do the splits, and if yes, are there any good methods/advices for me on how to do the splits?

I've never done anything that requires me to be flexible, so I guess I'm pretty rigid. So far, what I've done are leg stretches; basically I stand up and bend down trying to touch my toes. I also have done similarly while sitting down.

Why do I want to do splits? No concrete reason, I guess I just want to be more flexible. As for fitness level, I'm leading a pretty sedentary lifestyle and out of shape. I'm 23 btw.

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Care to explain what you've tried so far? And why you are focusing on doing splits or how is your overall flexibility? Please edit this information into your question! –  Ivo Flipse Aug 6 '11 at 10:30
    
Also tell us why you want to do the splits. Preparing for a part in a movie? Joining the gymnastics team? –  JoJo Aug 6 '11 at 22:33
    
Current levels of fitness and previous activities would also be useful to know. Age is also a factor too. –  Matt Chan Aug 8 '11 at 11:53

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Yes splits are possible, but it's a question of how comfortable you are whilst doing the exercises. Sumo wrestlers in Japan (and across the world) can usually do the splits, as it's predominantly the underlying muscle that needs stretched for splits.

The most useful link I ever found was here and I've used it successfully through martial arts training. The main thing to be aware of is when you're stretching for splits you're also stretching joints, ligaments, skin, tendons, etc.

I'd recommend doing splits on your knees, similar to Taekwondo practitioners, to avoid [major] joint problems later in life. Whilst not a complete deterrent to joint problems, the weight distribution will not be on your knee and ankle joints, and mostly focussed on the parts that need stretched (initially).

Some final points:

  1. Always warm up
  2. Do not push through the pain
  3. You will also need to strengthen and increase flexibility in your supporting muscles
  4. Use breathing to relax, by breathing out whilst 'applying' the stretch

On point 2: Initially your muscles need to learn to relax before the stretch (I believe this is referred to as the stretch-reflex in the link where the body tightens prior to stress/impact).

If you have any pains or problems other than a bit of stiffness in your stretched muscles, check with your doctor. People that are considered 'fit' have done more damage to themselves by ignoring what their body tells them.

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Yep, like you mentioned, I'm aiming to do knee splits, at least for a start. That link is more comprehensive than I thought; it covers much info about stretching and not just splits. Not that it's a bad thing, but do you have any simpler guides on how to just do knee splits? –  Sodrohu Aug 9 '11 at 0:37

This is what I was using when I was learning how to do the splits http://howtohacklife101.blogspot.com/2012/02/how-to-do-splits.html it helped me so much

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Hi @Lauren, can you summarize the key points from the link and edit your answer? If the link changes or is removed, then any information will be lost. –  Matt Chan Feb 7 '12 at 15:18

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