Do you want to get more flexible and start working on it with a challenge? Are you ready to do a 30 day splits challenge? Well you can watch the video below (and see me in pain!) or if you prefer reading, you can discover my stretching routine and how it went underneath it!
I did a challenge to work on the splits for 30 days and let’s check out what happened. We are going to see how the challenge went, what exercises I did and what were the difficulties that I had to go through.
You can either watch how to do the full splits routine in the video or you can find the list of all the exericses I followed in just a little bit, but first..
Why did I want to do this challenge?
Well, when I was training in tai chi in a temple, we did a warm-up routine every day in which we would try to do the splits. In my case, I felt super frustrated because even though I was doing these stretches for two months twice a day, I wasn’t able to do the splits, not even close and I saw hardly no progress at all during that time! So I decided to do a challenge where I would only focus on doing different stretches to be able to do the splits!
By the way, If you haven’t seen my video about the 1 year to become a warrior challenge that explains about why I am doing challenges, you can watch it below!
The 30 day splits challenge routine
I am not a fitness coach, the following routine is simply a mix between some of the exercises I learned at the temple with other exercises from friends of mine who already trained in the splits and some research.
I definitely advise to check out the video one time to see what all the exercises look like. They start at 1min31.
- Running, jumping or dancing : 1 min to a few minutes
- Leg swings from side to side : 10 reps per leg
- Leg swings from front to back: 10 reps per leg
- Leg up on a bed or against a wall, fold forward and stretch: 30 sec each side in the front, and same with the side position
- Wide leg fold: 1 min
- Pubu stretch: 30 sec each side
- Low lunge: 1 min each side
- “Triangle position”: start from your low lunge, put your hands on the ground and push your legs up until they form a triangle shape between them: 1min each side
- Low lunge with arms up: 1 min each side
- Pigeon pose: 1 min each side
- The frog stretch: 2 min hold
- The pancake stretch: 1 min
- The side split (use yoga blocks or piles of books to hold onto): 2 min each side
- The middle split (slide down a wall to keep stable in the beginning and use a cushion underneath you): 2 min
- Pike stretch: 1min
- Bring legs in against the chest (optional: wobble): 30 sec to 1 min
How did the challenge go?
Here, I am sharing about how I experienced this challenge and some tips that helped!
Week 1 of the splits challenge
So the first few days, I was making several mistakes, like my posture wasn’t good, my back wasn’t straight, I was changing positions or bouncing around without paying enough attention to my body, which led me to pull a muscle the following week. Please pay more attention to your posture!
4th day update
All I can say is ow! Ow!Ow! Because these past few days have been painful to go up and down steps or just walking right after finishing the stretches of the day. And I thought that when you do stretches, after a hard workout, it helps you not be in so much pain the next day, well I was sooo wrong, because just doing this challenge, I can definitely feel my body afterwards.
So I feel that for the side splits I am doing a little bit better. It’s still the middle split that is very difficult for me. But it’s only the fourth day, so I have time, I am just taking it slowly and we will see how it goes.
End of the first week update
I have noticed already a few benefits from the stretching exercises from these past few days. I have been having more energy at certain moments of the day when normally I am more in a tired mood.
Then another thing that is really great is that right before going to bed, lately I have been super creative and my brain was saying “ok this is the moment to recreate your whole life, so you cannot sleep!”. When I started doing the stretches, a week ago, well I noticed that when I go to bed, it’s just like a light comes off and I am asleep in just seconds.
Need tips on how to fall asleep quickly?
My extra tip: If you get tired while doing the stretches and you have time, do the butterfly stretch.
Week 2 of the splits challenge
Week 2 definitely had its challenges..
I noticed that for the side splits, I have made a little less progress than the first week. Well, I pulled a muscle in my upper back and neck area, so I was going much slower. I was really trying to not push too hard, so being uncomfortable made it more difficult to progress as much. So remember when I say, keep your back straight, don’t hunch forward and don’t push yourself too much! Because or not you will hurt yourself!
What helped with my back pain?
I used tiger balm. The next day, I went much softer and slower with the moves and I introduced a few warming exercises from the temple for my shoulders, upper back and arms. If you wish to see these warming up exercises for the upper body that I learned at the temple, leave a comment below!
Even though my progress was slower from my pulled muscle, that week, I still progressed in a couple exercises!!! The stretch with the leg against the bed and pubu got better.
What helped with the middle split?
One of the things for the middle split that really helped is to use a cushion. I use my zafu, a meditation cushion. I have stacked up two of them because I don’t go low enough yet. Also, don’t put your feet flat on the ground, you want the top of your toes to be reaching for the sky.
Week 3 of the splits challenge
By the third week, it was a question of discipline. I was way less motivated because I couldn’t see my progress, but when I rewatch the videos now, I totally see my progress over time.
So very important tip, film yourself when you do a challenge. Since you’re doing the training every day, you might not be able to see the change, but it’s definitely happening. With a video, it shows you your true progress, so you will be so much more motivated. Definitely look at them whenever you doubt yourself.
Extra tip: If you find it hard lately to be motivated, just put some epic music on to really boost your session.
Before/after the 30 day splits challenge
Now you must be wondering, was this challenge a success? Well, let’s check out the differences between the first day and the last day!
As you can see with these pictures, no I didn’t do a full split, but there was a huge progress, so for me this a total win!
Take your time but train regularly
I saw a lot of videos of people who were able to do the splits in just 1 week, but they weren’t beginners. For the common mortal, if you train regularly, maybe it will take 2, 3 or 4 months and that’s ok. If you’re also a beginner like me, just take your time and don’t push yourself too hard, it will come. Just be regular in your training.
And even though I didn’t touch the ground yet, I am super proud of how far down I have come because I have never been able to go down that low! So this is amazing!!! And since I am going to continue to work on my splits, but with off days to rest this time, I will definitely be sharing with you guys as soon as I have done the full splits, so keep an eye on my social media.
Start your splits challenge
I hope that you are inspired to start your own 30 day splits challenge. It doesn’t matter how flexible you are, just start right now!
What are your tips to be able to do the splits? Share in the comments!