So, after just under two years since it last happened, this bitch right here finally got touchdown on her good side front splits. As old Ric Flair would say… WOO
To say I was chuffed to fucking bits would be a massive understatement. I have always, like most of us pole dancers, dreamt of having splits as flat as pancakes. I think splits tricks are absolutely stunning and don’t even get me started on how badass drop splits look. However, if I’m going to be brutally honest (and slightly big headed, but fuck it, it’s my blog and if I’m not going to hype myself up, then who the hell will) I am very bloody proud of myself for achieving touchdown on my good side at last.
If you have read any of my previous flexibility related blogs, you will know that I am naturally as flexible as a dog shit that has been left out in winter and frozen overnight. I couldn’t get my calves down in my splits in any directions and do not even get me started on my lack of back and shoulder flexibility. As the mighty Dr Dre once said, I was moving like a tortoise, full of rigor mortis. But with decent instructors (cheers Eloise, Patricia and Anna!) and a consistent training schedule, I can officially say I am not embarrassingly stiff anymore. Yes a flat split on my bad side and a middle split touchdown are still a long way off, but I’m a firm believer in celebrating life’s little wins when they happen.
I believe that if my rigid old self can get their front splits (middle splits on the other hand are an on-going quest) then anyone can. Therefore, I thought I would share with you all my top tips for how a non-bendy Wendy finally got her front splits. Please note however one very important piece of info – I am not a qualified flexibility instructor. The tips below are more along the lines of slight lifestyle changes and training tips that I found helped me get that elusive touchdown.
I’m pretty sure anyone who has been on a flexibility quest has heard this phrase a thousand fucking times, but it’s true. The more consistently (and correctly, but we will get onto that in a sec) you train, the easier you will find your splits journey. Ideally training a few times a week is a good shout, but in the long run it’s best to find a schedule that you can confidently commit to. At the moment, I only really have time to commit to a decent, hour long splits class once a week, and thankfully I have found that just training properly once a week has been enough for me to get touchdown. However that once a week stretching I have been doing has been far from easy, which brings us nicely onto point number two…
First off, don’t do what I did in the past and have a shitty technique (I was a right passive Pauline when it came to my stretches) which may result in you not only injuring yourself, but you’ll also waste weeks and potentially months spent stretching with no real progress being made. When I first re-started my flexibility quest back in 2018, I would spend anywhere between an 60 – 90 minutes a few times a week trying to stretch everything. As much as I did see some progress doing this, I found my progress sky rocketed after opting instead to spend my stretching sessions focusing on training specific areas instead of trying to stretch everything all at once. My ultimate top tip is to find yourself a decent front splits class and stick to going. I cannot recommend enough my pole and front splits instructor Eloise Comer and her weekly front splits class.
Warm up properly!
This one is a bit of a no brainer. Obviously if you don’t warm up properly you’re going to be cold, so you won’t be able to stretch as well and it’s highly likely you’ll do yourself an injury. I fucking hate squats, leg kicks and all that evil malarky, however Eloise makes us do it at the start of every splits class – and you do get a good sweat on and your legs nicely activated in the process. Don’t be a tit and do a sufficient warm up.
Invest in some yoga blocks
Shit the bed these were an absolute game changer for me! When lockdown one happened and all classes moved online, it took forever for me to get off my arse and actually order myself a pair of yoga blocks. I was using whatever I could find in the house to make do, which even included a set of dumbbells at one point – a very stupid and painful thing to do! Since getting my own yoga blocks, they have helped me no end in getting my touchdown. I have been able to use them for balance to get deeper into certain stretches and resting them underneath my legs when I was in my splits (or under my foot to get an oversplit on the go) really helped me get those last few centimeters down. If you’re not already using yoga blocks hurry up and get yourself a pair, they make the hell that is stretching so much easier.
Accept that it may well take fucking AGES
Ugh. I think the biggest pain in the arse about starting your flexibility training as an adult is that everything takes fucking ages. As previously mentioned, since re-starting my flexibility quest three years ago I have managed to get touchdown twice. Yes in that time I took slightly longer breaks than I should have and had a few regressions as a result of said breaks, but there were months where despite consistently training I was stuck at the same point and felt like I would be forever. The moral of the story is that yes, stretching does work, but unless you’re naturally flexy, it takes a bloody long time.
…But do not give up!
Yes this is another cheesy inspirational quote, but once again it’s the damn truth. DO! NOT! GIVE! UP! Even if you have had a massive break from stretching, are seeing hardly any progress or are experiencing an absolute fuckhouse of a motivational slump, do not give up. I have on many occasions ended up not stretching for weeks, if not months before now. In fact I am currently in this position with my perpetual back bending quest. However, I know how important it is to get back on the horse. Yes life gets in the way of stretching at times and yes results do take what feels like an age to show, but please do not ever permanently throw in the towel. My biggest regret in my flexibility quest has always been how long I left it to get started and the breaks I took which halted the mission, so don’t make the same mistakes I did and hop back on the bendy horse sooner rather than later.
As much as it’s a shit juggling thundercunt, one must train their active flexibility.
Oh lord it’s fucking horrible but it has to be done. Whilst my passive flexibility isn’t too bad, my active flexibility needs some serious work. Unless I’m pushing into the floor with all my might, my legs do not just flop open effortlessly into the splits. So many splitty pole tricks require a decent amount of active leg flexibility, so if you’re after the world’s flattest Jade, you better bite the bullet and get working on that active flexibility. As mentioned previously, getting a decent splits teacher will help no end here, as they ought to cover active flexibility in their classes. My teacher Eloise fits in plenty of active stretches (the bloody sadist) and ends every class with some active flex exercises. My legs may be screaming and my soul slowly dying inside, but it’s worth it.
Do you have any tips for how you got your splits? If so please drop them in the comments below!