Entertainment Performing Arts Straddle Stretch Routine for Splits Share PINTEREST Email Print Performing Arts Dance Basics Styles Gear Singing Acting Musical Theater Ballet Stand Up Comedy By Treva Bedinghaus Treva L. Bedinghaus is a former competitive dancer who has studied ballet, tap, and jazz. She writes about dance styles and practices and the history of dance. our editorial process Treva Bedinghaus Updated April 02, 2017 01 of 06 Straddle Reach Straddle stretch. Tracy Wicklund When you're learning how to do the splits, you must try to stretch every day. Stretching will help increase your flexibility in order to achieve a perfect split. The following step-by-step guide is a complete straddle stretch routine. This stretch routine will provide a great stretch through your hamstrings, inner thighs, torso, shoulders, back, calves and feet. Try to sneak these straddle stretches into your daily stretch routine and you'll have your splits sooner than you think. Sit on the floor in a straddle position. Point your feet and straighten your knees. With your arms out to the sides, alternate reaching your rib cage toward your left and right sides. Try to keep your hips flat on the floor. Keep your back straight and neck long to feel a nice stretch through your torso and shoulders. 02 of 06 Back Stretch Straddle stretch. Tracy Wicklund Holding your back straight and arms out to the sides, lean your torso forward. Allow your chest to drop forward slightly in order to achieve a flat back. Lift your arms slightly to the back. While maintaining a flat back, move as close to the floor as possible. Keep your head up and your knees facing the ceiling. 03 of 06 Shoulder Press Straddle stretch. Tracy Wicklund With your hands flat on the floor between your legs, alternate pressing your shoulders to the front and back. Press your right shoulder to the front while moving your left shoulder to the back. Concentrate on pressing your shoulders to the front. 04 of 06 Stretch Down to Legs Straddle stretch. Tracy Wicklund With a flat back, stretch down toward your right leg. Grab the top or bottom of your right foot to help your stretch further. Repeat the stretch with your left leg. Focus on stretching straight down to your knees instead of to the floor. Try to keep your hips on the floor and your knees facing the ceiling. 05 of 06 Grab Foot and Stretch Straddle stretch. Tracy Wicklund While keeping your back straight, rotate your torso to the right. Reach and grab your right flexed foot. While holding your foot, reach up and over your head with your left arm. Try to lengthen your neck and keep your head up. 06 of 06 Lift Your Body Up Straddle stretch. Tracy Wicklund With your feet flexed, move your left hand in front and your right hand in back. Using the strength in your legs, try to lift your body off the floor. Lower yourself back to the floor, pointing your toes. Change hands and repeat. Source: Adapted from Frank Hatchett's Jazz Dance, Copyright 2000.