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Video:How to Do a Center Split

with Megan Klein

Center splits require extreme flexibility that all gymnasts need to work toward. But with patience and a few of these how-to tips from About.com Video, accomplishing a center split is well-within any gymnasts' reach.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Do a Center Split

Hi I’m Megan Klein and I’m with About.com here at Lowes Extreme Air Sports. And in this video Ill be teaching you how to do a center split.

Warm Up and Stretch Before Attempting a Center Split

Before you attempt a center split, you’ll want to warm up your muscles by doing some type of jogging or cardio. After your jogging or warm up, you still don’t want to go right into the center split. Instead, you need to do some stretches that will prepare your muscles. First what I want you to do is take a step out to your right, and your going to squat all the way down to the ground. And put your left leg out straight. And make sure that your toes are pointed up. And after you stretch this side for about thirty seconds, you’re going to want to switch over to the other side. And stretch out your right side.

Another stretch that is useful for a beginning center split, is just the butterfly stretch. So your going to sit down and hold your knees, and you’re going to slightly let them part and grab your feet. And you’re just going to pull them into your body as much as you can, while pressing your knees down to the floor. So this is called a butterfly stretch. The next stretch I’m going to show you is sitting on the ground, with your legs out in a V, and you’re going to put your hands forward as far as you can.

Slowly Move into the Center Split

Now that you’ve completed your stretches, you’re ready to get into the center split. What you want to do first is put your hands on the ground, and start walking your feet out as far as you can. And then you’re going to put your elbows on the ground. And when you first start out, you’re probably not going to be able to go much lower than this. So with your elbows on the ground, and just hold yourself out as far as you can. And gradually you’re going to push your hips down more and more, until you can get into the center split.

Sit Up in the Advanced Center Split

In a more advanced split, you would actually be sitting up, so if you can come sit up for me… you would actually be sitting up, and what you want to do is keep your feet up towards the ceiling. And you’re going to push your hips as forward as you can. So that you’re really in a 180 degree line. And this is the ultimate goal for the center split. If you have never done a center split before, it’s going to take some time. You can practice by standing in a wide stance. And gradually widen that stance until you feel a slight stretch. You should feel a good stretch while you do this, but make sure you’re not in any pain.

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