Video:How to Teach a Center Splitwith Leon Williams Jr.
Teaching gymnastics requires patience balanced with encouragement. Watch this About.com video to learn tips for teaching a center split to a gymnast and the warms up to achieve the skill.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Teach a Center Split
Hi, my name is Leon Williams Jr. and we're here at Five Star Artistic Sports and Entertainment Academy located in East Rockaway, NY for About.com. And what Jessica and I are going to teach you is how to teach a center split.
Show the Proper Warm Up for Splits
When teaching a gymnast a center split you want to teach the gymnast how to warm up the muscles that are actually involved in the middle split. First Jessie's going to stretch in a butterfly position. Now the butterfly position is done with the bottom of the feet together. And Jessie's going to pull her feet together also as far as she can get them. And then she's going to extend her chin towards the floor and reach her hands forward. We do this for about 30 seconds.
After doing that you're going to teach the gymnast how to stretch forward in a pike position. So Jessie's going to extend her legs forward straight, reach her hands past her feet and stretch her chin towards her knees. Now you want to do this stretch again for about 30 seconds.
Use the Middle Split Position
Now after teaching the gymnast how to stretch in a pike position you want to teach the gymnast to stretch in the middle split position. So Jessica is going to separate her legs into a center split position and she's going to stretch her hands forward and bring her chin as close to the ground as she can. Again, you want to do this for about 30 seconds.
After doing this, now Jessica is going to stretch towards her right leg, one hand on either side of the leg and try to get her chin to touch her knee. After doing that for about 30 seconds you want to have her do the identical stretch on the left leg.
Deepen the Stretches and Move Toward a Center Split
What you want to do next is what's called a frog stretch. So Jessica's going to rest on her knees, she's going to extend her knees apart - and we call this a frog stretch position and what this does is it stretches the hip flexors before you actually do the straddle split. And after doing this for about 30 seconds, now Jessica's actually going to stand in a squat position and then she's going to extend her legs into a straddle split.
And those are some tips on how to teach a center split. For more information, please visit About.com.