Over the last year and a half of training to increase my flexibility, I have been neglecting the side splits. Why? Because I have been finding it hard to find a routine that I actually enjoy. Until now! After experimenting with various stretches and routines, I came up with some of the most pleasant and effective side splits stretches I could find and put them all together in one quick routine.
Side Splits Stretches You Will Actually Enjoy
One reason I struggled with enjoying my side splits stretches is that many stretches I tried required to get into various demanding yoga poses that didn’t seem to yield good results to get me into the side splits. I can appreciate the benefits of all the yoga poses for themselves and I still do these poses for other purposes, but I would also like to progress into the side splits. That’s what this routine is all about. As you will see, most of the side splits stretches in my routine are pretty passive.
Moreover, the video routine includes variations of the same stretches. I think that’s what will make it more enjoyable. You get to rest into your stretches and feel the improvement as you progress throughout your routine.
My 6 Favorite Side Splits Stretches
Here we go! Check out this quick description of these simple side splits stretches and jump in by following the video routine.
1. Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend
This is by far the most effective side splits stretch. As you will see in the video routine, I like to take advantage of it in different ways by starting with weights and compression for mobility and a more active stretch. Later in the routine, we get into a more passive stretch both facing forward and then facing a wall for added resistance.
2. Legs Up the Wall Pose
Again, I love the restful aspect of this stretch. I also like to use some variations like using ankle weights to work or mobility by lifting and lowering my legs at first. Then, just take a minute or two to enjoy the passive stretch.
3. Happy Baby
The happy baby is the first stretch of the video routine because it’s an excellent side splits stretch when you are just getting started. It’s nice and relaxing, not too demanding but you do feel it in your inner hips.
4. Butterfly Stretch
After the happy baby, you are ready for the butterfly stretch. It is a bit more intense on the inner hip, particularly as you tilt your pelvis back and hinge forward at the hips.
5. Frog Stretch
The frog stretch is perfect to get right into your inner hips as you eliminate the need for hamstring flexibility (like in the wide-angle forward bend).
6. Wide Angle Elephant Walk and Forward Fold
The forward fold is one of my favorite front split stretches so it’s no surprise that a wide-angle version of it made it on the list of my favorite side splits stretches. Doing a wide-angle elephant walk first will help warm you up into the stretch.
Side Splits Stretches Video Routine
Need More Help With Your Flexibility Training?
I started working on my flexibility after the age of 40 and it has transformed my fitness. The benefits are like nothing I had envisioned. I just wanted to do some cool yoga poses! What I discovered is that it allowed me to do my workouts with better form and control, gave me more energy and confidence, and improved my posture.
I created many free flexibility resources including a full-body stretching routine PDF and various stretching video routines.
Lastly, if you like my routines and my teaching style, you will love my Moving With Intention Program, which is a 3-phase full-body flexibility program that is accessible for beginners yet challenging for those who are more advanced. It will help you train with intention and purpose as you learn bendy poses like the splits, the king pigeon, and the king dancer.