Struggling to gain flexibility in your legs? Want to know how to get flexible legs? This post will address the lines needed in the body to get flexible legs. We also list a range of beginner to advanced flexibility stretches so that you can achieve a middle split. No matter where you are starting from. So let’s get started on improving your flexibility.
The middle split is one of the most difficult lines in the body to increase flexibility. This is because the deep front line is the deepest line in the body!
This does not mean that it is impossible it just means that it may take a little extra TLC to get that deep middle split or oversplit. Most people will find that their flexibility lies naturally elsewhere such as a front split. This is because the lines needed for a front split are much more superficial.
So are you ready to find out how to get flexible legs?
Let’g get started.
Increasing leg flexibility in the deep front line.
Muscles and connective tissues in the deep front line.
This paragraph is for all the anatomy geeks out there! So if you don’t need to know the anatomy of the lines and just want to get into the stretches then you can skip ahead. For those who like to understand the anatomy behind stretching then read ahead.
The deep front line runs through the lower extremity, through the torso, and up into the cervical region as outlined below:
Posterior tibialis > interosseuos membrane > Knee capsule > adductor hiatus > intermuscular septum > femoral triangle > psoas > anterior longitudinal ligament > diaphragm > pericardium > mediastinum > parietal pleura > fascia prevertebralis > scalenes
Yoga poses to
achieve your middle split.
Below are yoga asanas that focus on the deep front line. They are ordered in intensity starting off at a beginner level and finishing at an advanced level. It’s important not to push yourself and listen to your body when you are trying to increase your flexibility.
Leg Flexibility Test
Before you start any flexibility training routine you want to be able to measure your starting point so that you can see your progress. For measuring your leg flexibility in the splits read the complete guide here.
So are you ready to get started on your new stretching routine on how to get flexible legs?
Leg Flexibility Routine
Warrior 1 / Virhabadrasana 1
Benefits of Warrior I and II:
One of the greatest benefits of this pose is that it is a highly engaged asana. Meaning that it strengthens and lengthens your muscles. This is imperative as an aerialist as once we remove gravity we need to achieve a high level of dynamic flexibility not passive flexibility.
From Downward Dog, slightly/subtly turn your left foot out, lunge your right foot forward between your hands. Inhale, sweep your spine and your arms up into the sky. Bring your palms together, tilt your head right back and gaze between your thumbs
Pull your left hip forward, bend deep through your front knee and keep your back leg straight. Spiral the biceps out and keep the elbows straight.
Warrior 2 / Virhabadrasana 2.
From a standing pose, feet are about 4-5 feet apart, turning the back foot out parallel with the back of the mat. Bend deep through your front knee over the ankle and keep your back knee fully straight. Pull the arms apart and gaze forward passed your
Ground your tailbone, draw your lower ribs towards your spine, draw your shoulder blades down back and lift the front of your heart, bring your heart over your hips,
Ground down to your heels into the earth and squeeze your feet gently down and together, subtly lift your inner arches, and feel that you are drawing your energy up from the earth, through the feet, through your legs into your pelvis. Feel like you are filling up a bowl of energy there.
Kung-Fu Drop Stance / Skandasana
Benefits of Skandasana:
This pose is great for building strength and flexibility as it is an active stretch that bears your weight load. Another one of my
Take a wide stance, at least 5 feet apart. The feet are either parallel or slightly turned out. Cross your arms over your chest, place your hands on the opposing shoulders.
Bend deep through your left knee, keep your heels as flat to the floor as possible, get your hips as close to the ground as you can. Keep your right leg straight and move your heart centre towards your right leg.
Press down through your left foot and come back up to standing. Swap sides.
From your Skandasana, externally rotate your extended leg so that your heel meets the floor. Keep the foot flexed and continue to externally rotate the leg towards your posterior.
Inhale and sweep the chest open and take a bind behind your back.
Cobbler Pose/ Baddhakonasana
Sitting on the floor with your palms flat on the floor behind your back, lift your legs up in front of you and bend your knees, activating your hamstrings, squeeze your heels towards your groin.
Take your knees wide apart and place your feet on the floor as close to your groins as you can. Inhale and interlace the tips of your fingers over your toes, use your thumbs to pry open the soles of your feet, like pages of a book
Inhale, straight arms, flat spine, chin towards your throat. E
Press the knees down towards the earth, draw your navel towards your feet and your forehead towards to floor. Stay 10-15 breathes.
Relax the eyes, the jaw and upper
To come out of the pose, keep your hands where they are, inhale, straighten the arms, straight chest, lift the heart and release the legs in front of you.
Wide Angle Seated Forward Bend / Upavistakonasana
Benefits of Upavistakonasana:
I’m not going to lie, this is one of my favorite poses! I could sit in this all day. While this pose is not good for active flexibility its a great one for passive flexibility and breaking down myofascial tissue. Why because you can hold this pose for a long period of time allowing the stretch to go deep into your connective tissue.
Starting with your legs stretched out in front of you. Sweep your legs as wide apart as you can. See if you can gently push the hips further forward.
Flex the toes back, push the heels out, rolls the thighs out, they should externally rotate.
Keep your spine long, push your sitting bone down into the earth, place your hand’s palm down in front of you. Walk your hands slowly and touch your chest to earth.
Send your breath to the inner thighs and the groin.
To come out, lift your spine slowly and put your hands onto the floor. Slowly walk your hands back towards your torso as you raise your chest off the ground. When your upper body comes to an upright position place your hands behind your back, lean back and bring your legs together.
Yogic Squat/ Malasana
Benefits of Malasana:
From a standing position with the feet just slightly wider than hips width apart, slightly turn your feet out, bend your knees slowly. Keep your knees in line with the middle toe and squat as deeply as you can.
Push the hips forward, press the elbows against the inside of your knees, press your palms together, lift the front of your heart, breathe into the reproductive organs. There is always an option here to take a bind.
To get out of the pose, lean forward into your hands and slowly straighten out through knees, drop the knees down into kneeling position
Half Lotus or Full Lotus / Ardarpadmasana
Benefits of Lotus pose:
Lotus pose is great to get into Iliacus, a very deep muscle! It also can be held for a long period of time allowing the body to increase flexibilty in connective tissue and myfascial.
Sitting on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Bend your right knee and bring the lower leg up into a cradle: The outer edge of the foot is notched into the crook of the left elbow, the knee is wedged into the crook of the right elbow, and the hands are clasped (if possible) outside the shin. Lift the front torso toward the inner right leg so the spine lengthens (and the lower back does not round). Rock your leg back and forth a few times, exploring the full range of movement of the hip joint.
Bend the left knee and turn the leg out. Rock your right leg far out to the right, then lock the knee tight by pressing the back of the thigh to the calf. Next swing the leg across in front of your torso, swiveling from the hip and not the knee, and nestle the outside edge of the foot into the inner left groin.
Be sure to bring the right knee as close to the left as possible, and press the right heel into the left lower belly. Ideally, the sole of the foot is perpendicular to the floor, not parallel. Hold the stretch.
I hope you enjoyed my guide on how to get flexible legs in the deep front line. In order to increase flexibility on all planes of the legs make sure you check out my posts on the superficial front line and back lines to increase your leg flexibility on all planes.
WIDE STRADDLE STRETCHING VARIATIONS
- To stretch both sides simultaneously sit with your legs straight out in front of you with your back straight.
- Slowly work your legs apart as far as they will go.
- Hold this and relax for a few seconds.
- Now as you exhale bend forward at your hips until you feel more resistance.
- Be sure to keep your chest up and maintain a lumbar lordosis (normal inward curvature of the lower back)
- Hold this for the appropriate time.
- Most people will gain a benefit from 30 seconds.
- Bring both hands to the right foot.
- Place both hands on the foot or leg if possible.
- Resist the leg into your hands for three seconds.
- Relax the leg.
- Repeat four times.
- Repeat sequence on the sideline and behind the leg.
- Repeat the entire sequence on the other side of your body.
How To Make Your Hips More Flexible
Stretching Out The Quads
In a standing position bend the knee and bring the heel to buttocks with your hands. You may need a chair to help you keep your balance. I like to perform this stretch with my leg against the wall in a lunge position.
Opening The Hips
Coming onto all fours slowly allow your knees and lower leg to extend in a horizontal motion away from the body while keeping the ankles in line with the knees and the foot flexed.
This is known as frog pose. From this position, you are going to gently rock up and down. After completing 3 rounds of 5 move your hips in a cat-cow position. That is rounding the hips away from the body and then depressing the hips forward.
What were some of your favorite leg flexibility poses? What ones am I missing? Have you been working on this sequence? Did it improve your flexibility? I would love to hear what poses you use too! If you want to follow a stretching video I have placed one below.
How To Get Strong & Flexible Legs Video Routine
This video will show you the best stretching exercises to improve flexibility in your muscles, and facia. If you have been wondering how to do the splits then simply follow along. This flexible program can be done every day and is aimed at stretching for flexibility in your front and middle split.
If you have been wanting to know how to get flexible this series of stretches for splits will get you there. I commonly get asked how to do the splits in 30 days and there are many videos out there on how to do the splits in 1 day, how to do the splits in 10 minutes, or how to do the splits fast.
Flexibility is a long term goal and unless you are almost in your split you won’t get it in a day. You don’t want to be doing a program that promises that for you as you can injure yourself and it takes a long time to recover. Dynamic flexibility is used in gymnastics, dance, cheerleading, aerial arts, and martial arts.
This series of exercises for flexibility will teach you, how to do a split as there is a lot of bad technique out there. This video will also show you how to train yourself to do the splits by simply following this stretch, tutorial. This will also work for those who are looking to do an overspilt.
How do beginners get flexible legs?
We all need to start at the beginning. You just simply need to practice beginner-level poses that increase your leg flexibility. Every exercise in this post can be modified to become easier or harder.
It is really important to create a flexibility routine and stick to it. Results come over time. Try and aim for conditioning your flexibility at least three times per week.
How Do You Foam Roll Your Hips?
I like to use a block for the front of the hips. Simply lay facedown with a blog along the hip line. Lift the chest up and support your upper body with your arms. Let your hips sink into the block.
Is It Better To Foam Roll Before Or After A Workout?
After a workout. The body is nice and warm and the muscles are pliable. Rolling and stretching postworkout is highly beneficial. It can help alleviate muscle soreness and prevent the body from tightening up. Thus contracting your range of movement.
How Long Should You Foam Roll For?
Foam rolling allows us to gain trigger point release. What that means is if you are foam rolling your calf. You would want to roll up and down the calf until you find a spot that is more painful. Then you hold that spot for at least two minutes. Then you continue to the next spot. This can be done all over the body. So the length of time would vary as to how many spots of tension you need to release.
Can You Foam Roll Too Much?
Yes. Foam rolling is great for breaking up the myofascial before stretching. If you over foam roll you can do more harm then good. While it can be normal to have some slight bruising from the compression you don’t want to be too bruised. This will inhibit your flexibility training regime. You may also find that you will have fluid in the leg for over rolling too. This should be treated with cold packs to bring down the inflammation. Here are some photos of me rolling too much! It was not worth it!
How do you get flexible fast?
There is no quick fix for flexibility. In fact, if you try and rush the process you will end up with torn ligaments and muscles. That will slow you down and inhibit your range of motion in the future as old injuries seem to flare up.
The fastest way to get flexible is to have a daily routine that you stick to.
How do you get flexible in a week?
You cant become inflexible to flexible in a week but you certainly can improve your flexibility in a week.
- Releasing muscle tension in the body.
- Daily stretching.
- Acupuncture is great for releasing tight muscles and connective tissue.
Now that you have started stretching you will want to be able to measure your results. You can measure your leg flexibility on my guide to the adductors.
Did you know that it is much easier to get your squared-off front splits before you middle? Find out how I use oversplit training to get deeper into my splits.
I hope you enjoyed my guide on how to get flexible legs. Have additional advice? I would love to hear it! Drop it in the comments below.
In happiness and health,