Ballet Exercises - How to get in the Splits

by Yezera
(Tasmania)

Ballet Exercises - How to get in the Splits






Dear Odette,
I am a 11 year old ballet dancer and have been doing ballet since I was 2. I have great presentation but I cannot do the splits this is something that has held me back in my dancing. I practice my splits everyday they improve but there not flat. what can i do to make them flat.
THX Yezera

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Reply by Odette
To:- Ballet Exercises - How to get in the Splits

Hello Yezera,
Thank you for contacting me it's great to hear from you. The splits can hugely vary with each type of dancer and not everyone is able to get flat within your physical facility. However, it is possible to improve your flexibility even if you are not completely flat.

I feel that the splits is mainly to do with how flexible your hamstrings are, as well as how loose you are in your hips. I am not extremely flexible in my hamstrings, but my hips are loose so I can get flat in the splits but it is harder on the left side where my hamstring is more tight.

Therefore, instead of just focusing on stretching in the splits position I would make sure you are stretching your whole muscles especially your hamstrings. Focus on doing bigger stretches like shouldering your leg, where you hold your leg with your hand in the front or side to get a deeper stretch. Make sure you are very warm though, so I would stretch either during class or afterwards to really feel the benefit.

Best wishes,
Odette

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Ballet Exercises - Side Splits

Ballet Exercises - Side Splits

Odette,

I've been trying for about a year now to achieve box splits, and I stretch 3 or 4 times a week.
However, I'm not even close and in fact I've barely improved.
I am flat in frogs both ways and I sit in box splits for around 5 minutes each time I stretch.
But I'm still not there. Do you have any tips? And is it physically possible for everybody to do box splits?


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Reply by Odette

To:- Ballet Exercises - Side Splits

Hello,
Thank you for your message, it's great to hear from you. You ask a good question because I find that box splits is a position a lot of dancers feel they struggle to achieve or are always trying to improve to be more flat. There are professionals dancers I have seen who are not completely flat and they are still the most wonderful dancers.

Box splits isn't always a position everyone can feel they can naturally achieve, because it is more to do with your physical structure and hip facility. However, with gentle but regular stretching, you should be able to see a difference even if its just a fraction. You have to breathe deeply into the stretch, but be careful not to cause pain by stretching too far. You can lie either on your back or stomach to get a good stretch in box.

There is a professional ballet dancer in my class who has a regular routine of stretching in box splits everyday before class. She isn't naturally flat so the position is sometimes better or worse each day, but she holds the stretch and it is always a lot further into side splits afterwards. It is about maintaining the stretch and getting into a regular routine to allow your body to adjust.

Keep working at it but remember, it won't necessarily hold back your other dancing skills so keep all the other good work up too!

Best wishes,
Odette

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