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I have been reading there is no physiological reason why everyone cannot do a split. Each leg can form a 90 degree angle with the torso independently so there's no reason you can't do a split. The inability to do a split is purely neurological.

I just saw a video of a girl being forced into a split. Obviously there have been no studies on this but I ask you: would it produce any actual physical injuries? Has this ever been tested?

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    "there is no physiological reason why everyone cannot do a split" — This is not precisely the claim. Thomas Kurz claims that anyone who is able to make a 90 degree angle with one leg at a time has proved they do not have muscle, ligament, or bone structure preventing them from developing a side split. – Dave Liepmann Mar 31 at 12:42
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    "Would it produce any actual physical injuries" -- did we watch the same video? – C. Lange Mar 31 at 13:51
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    "But the high school freshman suffered from torn muscle tissue and a pulled hamstring and is receiving physical therapy." - cbsnews.com/news/teen-cheerleader-forced-into-splits-speaks-out - "The doctor said 100 percent that the injury that she sustained was directly caused by the coach's knee on the back of her thigh forcing it the floor. She said that it could possibly fracture the pelvic system and reproductive organs as well". I don't know about you, but that's a hard pass for me. – Alec Mar 31 at 17:38
  • There is the interesting question of whether the injuries were due to physical impingement, or her body resisting the split, but frankly, I see that as a semantic point with the same result of physical injury. – Sean Duggan Mar 31 at 18:53
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    Side note to this, the usual argument about everyone being able to do splits is based on side-splits, not front splits, as depicted in this video. – Sean Duggan Apr 2 at 15:23
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I'm not aware of any testing being done, and there is no guarantee that it would produce injuries, but it certainly could produce injuries. Some possible examples are:

  1. Torn/strained muscles
  2. Torn tendons
  3. Stretched/torn ligaments
  4. Avulsion fractures (Tendon tears away taking a piece of bone with it)
  5. Actual fractures/dislocations

That is by no means an exhaustive list, but yes there are a myriad of injuries that could be caused by forcing a range of motion beyond what is "normal" for the person involved.

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