Teaching Tips

Ask Deb: How Can I Improve My Middle Splits?

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Q: How can I improve my middle splits?

A: Middle splits can be quite challenging depending on your hip structure. Sitting in a straddle and leaning forward, as well as having your legs in a straddle against the wall, are both stretches that dancers can do to lengthen the inner thigh muscles.


I find that dancers often get a deeper (and safer) stretch when they focus on one leg at a time.

Start by first sitting in a straddle and bending forward. Note how it feels and how far you went. Next, stand and place your right leg on the seat of a chair. Your leg will be on a slight forward diagonal from your pelvis. Drop your weight into that right sitz bone as you bend the left knee and flex your spine forward.

Now tease out your tight spots by slowly changing where your torso is facing, as well as how much inner or outer rotation your right leg is in. Try engaging the quadriceps on the right leg to alter the stretch. There isn't one right spot—just explore. If you feel strain on the inside of the knee, slightly bend the knee.

After doing both legs, go back and check out your flexibility in the straddle stretch. Did it improve? If so, try doing this stretch daily, especially after class when the muscles are warm and loose.

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