Boost Your Flexibility in 30 Days
A favorite talent show on TV is ongoing when a contestant crashes to the floor, her legs pointing in opposite direction, and the audience going gaga over an act called the ”split.” There are two initial reactions to that: “I can do that!” and “I can’t do that.” Splits are special, they are ice breakers. Doing splits is an extraordinary talent which is either innate or developed through various forms of physical activities such as dancing, gymnastics, acrobatics, cheer-leading and ballet.
As mentioned, there are two initial reactions, which one is yours? If you are already capable of performing a full split, you may go with the first one. But if you answer the second one, then the 30-day splits challenge is for you.
What is the 30-Day Splits Challenge?
The 30-day splits challenge is a training program designed to boost the body’s flexibility, especially the ability to perform full splits with ease. The 30-day splits challenge is not for complete beginners however, and it is required that someone who plans to undergo this must already have minimal experience in doing splits.
The challenge is to remain in a “split” position for a specific length of time – 1 minute for the first day, adding 10 seconds for each succeeding days until it reaches 6 minutes on the thirtieth and last day. Sounds easy? Not so fast though – there are prerequisites before you can hop to the proper challenge.
The Prerequisites of the 30-Day Splits Challenge
- Perform a full body warm-up.
- Lie on the floor and in a perpendicular angle to the wall. Rest both your legs on the wall. Reach for the wall using your arms and go as high as you can. The stretch, which targets the back and the legs predominantly, helps to prevent muscle strains.
- Another way to stretch is to sit on the floor, spread your legs sideways, and try to touch your knees with your forehead. It looks like a daunting task but keep the faith and you’ll notice added flexibility the more you do this.
- The next step should be done slowly and with great care. Reminder: remember to stop when it starts to hurt.
- Launch into “split” position – one leg stretched and the other slightly bent. You have the option which leg to put in front. Go down slowly until you reach your maximum. (The maximum refers to the moment your legs start to hurt.) Hold for 30 seconds or as long as you can without any major discomfort.
It is advised that you repeat these steps until you learn how to do a full split. It doesn’t matter whether it takes a day or months to be able to perform a full split. Take the time. The important thing is to have a goal and the determination to the 30-day splits challenge however gradual it is.
Now you’re ready for the 30-Day Splits Challenge!
For day 1, you are required to remain in a split position for about a minute. Then as you go about the challenge, you will add 10 seconds for each successive day until the 6-minute mark is reached – which can be done in exactly 30 days, without rest. This means a minute for day 1, a minute and 10 seconds for day 2, a minute and 20 seconds for day 3, a minute and 30 seconds for day 4, and so forth.
The Benefits of the 30-Day Splits Challenge
There are a number of reasons why you should accept the 30 day splits challenge. The whole routine involves several aspects of training that are scientifically proven to improve one’s physical and mental health. Of course, we all know what exercise brings to our overall health, but what about stretching? Stretching is widely believed to provide healing to injured muscles and prevent injuries to healthy muscles.
Here are the most commonly known benefits of performing the 30-day splits challenge:
- Doing splits improves blood circulation – Just before you immerse yourself in the training, you do (and should always do) stretching first. This is very important so as not to hurt our muscles when we exert pressure onto it – just as a car needs to heat up before leaving for the road. And by doing so, you improve blood circulation. Well, what does improved blood circulation contributes to the body? There is better blood flow, which means sufficient amounts of nutrients are properly distributed to the muscles. Improved blood circulation facilitates healing in time for the next session, without disrupting your preferred schedule.
- Doing splits improves flexibility – Ever fell on the floor because you couldn’t balance yourself when you reached for a book stored at the lower level of a bookshelf in the library? The problem there lies on flexibility, and you know what? Doing splits can improve this overtime. When you regularly do splits, your flexibility improves, and now you can execute house chores with ease. Not only that, it also improves the range of motion which paves the way for better weight balance.
- Doing splits improves posture – When you split, your back is held in a relaxed, stretched, upright position which can significantly improve posture. When you have a bad posture, you are more susceptible to back discomfort because blood flow is restricted in that area.
- Doing splits reduces stress – Yes, doing splits also reduces stress and relaxes tensioned muscles. As a pleasant side effect, people who are experiencing insomnia can have better sleeps and better focus in life.
- Most important of all, doing splits (through stretching) prevents unnecessary injuries and muscle pulls which might be incurred when the muscles are not properly warmed up. This is important not only for athletes, but also for professionals who are working in a highly physical environment.
How can you avoid injuries?
- Warm up, warm up, and warm up.
- Stretch, stretch, stretch.
- Remember to stop when it starts to hurt.
- Give yourself enough time to rest before you engage on the next repetition.
- While flexibility is what you gain for performing splits, you should also focus on improving your back and leg strengths. These are crucial in maintaining enough support for the back and the legs. You may do squats or lunges using weights in the gym.
- Breathe properly so that the muscles do not become stagnant and tensioned.
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