How To Deepen Splits: Stretch the Back Leg!

hi Kathy Madeo here back with another video this one all about how to help you deepen your splits do your splits look a little bit like this there's this misconception with splits that it's all about having open hamstrings and while you do need some nice open hamstrings in order in order to do splits that's only half of the equation there's a whole other leg involved in splits that many people Overlook and forget to stretch before even attempting a split this video is going to cover the five yoga poses that I think will really help you stretch out your back leg to help deepen and access your splits for this video you'll need some wall space a cushion or blanket and something to prop up your back leg let's get started [Music] foreign [Music] we'll start with our first pose laying on our back and what you want is a pretty thick cushion you could also use a set of blocks or something that's going to go underneath your sacrum your sacrum is not your lumbar spine it's not the part that Curves in it's the flat part below that just before kind of the meat of your glutes begins so that's where we're trying to Target so you'll lay down on whatever prop you're using and take a moment to bring your shoulder blades in so that your chest is stretching and then begin to straighten both legs now if you feel any tenderness in the low back you could do one leg at a time like this and then switch and you want to completely relax your legs in fact you can have them a little bit wider than hips distance let the feet flop out and we're trying to stretch here the psoas muscle the deep muscle that goes all the way from our spine to our legs and so this is a passive stretch and now of course the higher you lift your hips the deeper the stretch so if you're not feeling much of anything then continue to elevate so we'll hold this for at least a minute and you can actually hold this a lot longer and one of the best ways to access this deep psoas stretch is actually to lay down on your bed and let one of the legs dangle off the side of the bed that way it really has some the legs has somewhere to go the soaz will stretch deeper and then you've also got the force of gravity helping weigh down the leg and stretch the psoas it's probably the single best stretch to stretch your psoas we'll be here a little bit longer so if you're doing one leg at a time you can switch and you can even just close your eyes here this is a great time to just calm your central nervous system let the prop support you and just do the work there's really nothing to do here but get out of your own way take a few more breaths just feeling this gentle stretch along the front body from here you'll bend your knees lift your hips and just slide the prop out from underneath you and we will come on to our belly so from this prone position we'll go into our next pose from Sphinx pose we're going to work into half frog pose we'll pause here in our Sphinx pose and just want you to notice that you are getting a stretch of your psoas and your front body here which is ultimately going to help that back leg in your split now without using your hands to start I want you to point your right foot and bend your leg try to keep your hips on the ground and straighten so we're warming up the hamstring a little bit the hamstring is the muscle that's helped bending the knee and sending your heel towards your hip now I want you to keep your right heel as close to your hip as you can reach around with your right hand see if you could grab the foot now if you need a strap or any prop just use that as needed so this is our half frog pose here you'll notice I flipped my fingertips to point and wrap over the toes so chest is opening and we're also getting into the quadricep here so the quads and the psoas here to help stretch that back leg for our splits one more breath and we'll switch sides so left foot is pointed engage the hamstrings send your left heel to your hip take a couple more of these and we'll reach around with the left hand I'm grabbing the inside of the foot turn the fingers forward if you can if not you just stay right here whole purpose really is to get the psoas and the quadricep to stretch lift up through the chest you can engage your glute muscles and you can actively press the top of the right foot into the mat you're gazing forward one more breath and we'll release bring both arms into crocodile pose and just rest Here For a Moment release the low back we'll bend the legs and windshield wiper your feet side to side and we'll move on to our next pose for our next pose you can come on to your hands and knees to start and we'll thread our right leg through we're setting up for Pigeon prep but we're not going to fold as is commonly done curl your back toes under lift your back knee in order to send the hips as far back as they go as you set your pelvis down now if you notice you're dumping into that right hip I want you to take your right heel slide it in a little bit and then Square your hips towards the front of the mat so your left leg is straight back behind you your hip points are facing forward and what I want you to do is actually stay upright the moment we begin to fold we're not really stretching the psoas at that moment we're getting into the piriformis and the glutes so I want you to stay upright so you can continue to lengthen the psoas as well as getting a nice hip opener of their front leg now I have a spine injury so I can't go back much farther but you can continue to walk your hands back so that your shoulders are stacked right over your hips and that will continue to increase the stretch now if your hip your hips are not on the ground at all you can also roll up a blanket or put that cushion under your hips we'll take one more breath and we'll switch sides so we can move back through our table top watch any cute puppies so we're heel toeing the left foot towards the right hand curl your right toes under lengthen the back leg behind you set your pelvis down you can uncurl the toes once you have that and again we're staying nice and upright looking for this deep stretch and you'll notice this is pretty much the back leg in our splits so the more you can get your shoulders to stack over your hips while your pelvis is down on the ground that is the direction you're heading several breaths here you can also engage your right glute muscle that sends signals to stretch the psoas we'll take a couple more breaths and we'll release back through tabletop you can take a quick child's pose if you'd like and we'll move on to our fourth pose our next pose will be a lizard pose with our back leg lifted you can use a cushion you could use a part of your couch or a low chair or a ottoman or anything like that will work will come into lizard so right foot is forward your arms are to the inside will stay up on our hands here and we're going to lift that back leg now you want to avoid having your knee on the prop whatever you're using so

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