Stretch Your Way To Your Middle Split

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Reader Question:

getting my middle splitsI have been trying to get my middle splits for about 2 months now.  How can I get them faster?  Is there any way?

Many students will find their middle splits a challenge due to their hip structure. They see their friends with perfect 180 degree turn out who simply sit in their middle splits like it’s natural. To them, it IS natural. There are some students born with this hip flexibility or bone structure.

If you were NOT born with this type of body, don’t let it frustrate you!  You CAN improve the flexibility and turn out. You should definitely hold your splits TWO WAYS.

  • A turned out straddle position where you hold yourself up so that your bottom isn’t touching the floor. Knees should be facing the ceiling, not rolling forward. The goal here is to one day get your bottom touching the floor, with your legs completely side.
  • A turned IN middle split, also known as a chinese straddle to some. Put your elbows down on the floor, bottom lifted. The goal is to eventually get your groin area completely flat to the floor. Be careful to not let your knees collapse in this stretch.

Another stretch that is helpful is to sit in a low second position plie and with your elbows down on your thighs. Use your elbows to push your thighs and hips open! One more stretch that could be helpful is to lay on your back in butterfly, and have a partner slowly (with ease) push down on the thighs. Have your partner push until you feel a deep stretch. Tell her to ease off if it is too much! You can also try this same partner stretch lying on your back in straddle!


Stretching is the way to your splits. You have to find what stretches work for you and you need to begin with those. Everyone is different and we can’t compare ourselves to others.

First make sure you don’t push too much, as you don’t want to pull or injure any muscles. You want to stretch so that you feel tension, but never pain. When stretching, don’t bounce. Stretch, hold, and, as you are holding, make sure you are breathing, but never hold your breath. All classes stretch before class, but when working on splits you will want to stretch after class as well. Your muscles will be warmed up and will resist the stretching less, allowing you to gain a little more flexibility (i.e. being able to stretch a little further). It is also important to rotate the stretches you are doing. Do not do the same stretches every single day. Mix it up. Also, make sure you are stretching both legs not just your stronger leg. And lastly, stay dedicated. On a day off from dance you can still stretch. Stretch while watching TV or talking on the phone!  In fact, it doesn’t need to be a day off from class – if you have a chance to stretch outside of the studio, do it!

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  1. Is it possible that there are people out there who can’t do the middle splits? Because their physical structure isn’t built that way?

    1. There are probably a few people who can’t do middle splits because of their hip structure, but I have gotten my split down much farther by using the exercises above and by using pillows. I know it sounds weird, but by stacking the pillows under you and gradually removing them you get your split farther to the ground. Many of the students at my dance studio have tried this and it worked for them as well.

    2. Well Yes it’s possible. I cannot do a middle split neither can I do a split. It takes a lot of time and I’m not the patient type but I try.

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