Hello everyone! this new year we thought to propose you to challenge ourselves and to get going with our side split once and for all!
As some of you may know this is a skill that I have been training for already quite some time but in the end, I never managed to keep constant in this training and when I did I always pushed myself with very slow results.
Especially during my time in China, there have been periods where I worked brutally on my splits and I even had myself been pushed into a full split several times (which led to injuries and had me stop my practice or a while).
This winter I realized that in my training method there was a lot of space for improvement and that I could achieve much better results with much less efforts with more intelligent methods of training.
So I did some homework: I did a lot of research on the web and talked to practitioners from different disciplines on how they build flexibility.
In this way, I understood that my approach on stretching was very limited and that I didn’t need to push my splits to the limit every day (which always led quickly to soreness or injury and to interrupt once again my practice). A lot of the resistance we face in stretching is the natural contraction of our muscles and tendons to prevent injury if we continuously push our body it will perceive a high risk of injury and more and more it will tense to protect itself. Proper stretching is like building a relationship of trust with your own body: practicing with correct method and patience will have a beneficial effect on your body, in this way your it will have nothing really to protect from and it will “trust you” and relax allowing you to enter deeper in the stretch.
An other thing that I learned is that proper flexibility requires strength. This is also known as active mobility as opposed to flexibility. Flexibility is the ability to reach a certain position with the use of an external force, active mobility is the ability to move freely in that range of motion using the strength of the body. To improve our active mobility we practice to use strength in our end range of motion: for example, we can try to actively and slowly lift our leg as high as we can. This exercise will eventually build not only a greater range of motion but also all the muscular structure needed to properly support and move in that range. If this structure is missing we may lose strength and explosive power or even worse we may try to gain a greater range by “cheating” with readjustment in our position that may give space to injury.
I started implying these principles in my practice and I started to see great results and also I started to heal injuries that I was carrying with myself for many years of kung fu practice.
For this reason, I decided to create a video with the best side splits routine I could create now (that requires about 40 minutes two times per week) and invite you to join me in two months of home training towards the full split!
Obviously, you don`t have to follow this method to join us in the challenge and you can choose the method that most fits you.
This training applies to all levels of practitioners; the full split is not the real purpose of this practice but just an end goal to motivate ourselves.
The real aim of this challenge is to improve our kung fu (or whatever discipline you practice) by increasing our mobility in a healthy way and to learn more about our body!
Doing this together in a group will help us to keep motivated and persevere in our practice, besides the video, I will create also a whatsapp group where we can share the results of our practice and ask each other’s questions, I will be posting articles and videos about splits and flexibility every week.
The adventure starts on the 1rst of January, are you in?
Check out the new follow along workout video for side splits, pancake, low stances and kicks especially designed for martial artists!