So I came home from my kung fu class or warm and rejuvenated today and I thought I would use the energy to go straight for some long holds. Long holds really show where your problem areas are. They light up red hot while your more relaxed muscles are only warming nice and evenly.
I started with a 3 min frog straddle. About a min in my problem area lit up. I have a particular problem in my left hip and down my TB Band into the side of my left knee. The same are is problematic on the right hand side but not as bad. So I can kick significantly higher on the right than the left but not very high on either side. After 3 min I came back to sit and did an elevated, half butterfly straight stretch on each leg for about 30sec. This help to release some of the pain in the knee.
I then did a 3 min hold in half side splits on each leg. Breath into the pain, I constantly readjust myself to make sure my form is correct. I followed this with a 30 sec extended pigeon stretch (front leg at 90 degrees) and a normal pigeon immediately after to release the lower back. Obviously repeat for each leg.
I concluded with a 5 min butterfly sit. Alternating between leaning forward, sitting up, rubbing my legs and gently applying pressure to my knees. Always with the right breathing attached. Using the inhalations to lengthen the muscles and the exhalations to sink deeper into the stretch. The final butterfly felt really good, it felt really like my shins were reaching for the ground and that there was progress in opening up in my pelvis.
You will notice I didn’t actually do a any splits today. I think, I know, that the best way to get the middle splits is to practise over and over but I also know my own mental limitation. Today it felt good to end on a positive butterfly rather than a painful split that feels like no progress is being made. I am more likely to come to the matt tomorrow because of it. SO yes, the only way to get a middle split is to practise it and I will definitely be back to persevere tomorrow.