In this post i want to explain how you can achieve a split in seven days. I found myself in a situation where i had to do a perfect split or else my study in Wudang would have come to an abrupt end. Achieving a split is absolut necessary if you plan to be a longterm student in Wudangshan Sanfengpai.
Definition correct split
There are two kinds of splits:
- One is while sitting and spreading your legs with the toes looking upwards. This split is not so helpful in what you need in Wudang and is not really needed.
- The split we need is done while standing and you go down slowly (shown in the header picture). The feet stay on the ground as much as possible, this is very important to reduce pressure on your knees. If the toes would look up it is definitely not good for your body.
To make the split training easier try to find shoes with a very thin and flat sole!
Is there a secret?
There is actually not really a secret behind it, but i found many foreign students in the Wudang schools who already practiced split over five years and could not achieve it. The problem here lies in the discipline and the intensity of the split training. I managed to do a perfect split in seven days. (picture on the right)
Before starting your split exercise you should be mentally prepared. You will feel a lot of pain in your hip and you might not be able to sleep because your hip still hurts. Is that healthy? Well once you achieve the split you will not feel such pain anymore. What is more healthy? Once go all out and do it, or practice split in pain for the rest of your life? You decide.
How to do
First we need determination. I had a lot of it since my whole future would have collapsed. Split is absolut basic exercise and is required if you want to take Wudang martial arts seriously.
We want short and intense practice, instead of long and continuous. When we talk about mastery the opposite is much better. But when you try to break a barrier in yourself you have to train very intense.
Before you start your intense practice you should make sure that you can reach a standing split height of around 15 cm or 5,90551 inch. Reaching this height is quite easy and not hard at all, but to reach lower every cm becomes a lot harder than you are used to.
Achieve split in seven days
First decide a training place. Your shoes should be a little slippery to make practice easier.
- Intensity: Everyday two hours split training, one hour in the morning and the second hour in the evening. Morning should be a little more intense.
- Make sure you practice always at the same time and same place. This is important since other places might feel different and you should get used to your place.
- You should not warmup before split practice! It is in Wudang required to do split with cold muscles. As result you can do split anytime without hurting yourself
How to exercise:
- Relax and slowly go down in your split posture, use your arms or elbows to stabilize your position. Don’t overdo it in the beginning and try to do it slowly.
- When you reach your lowest point try to seesaw in your position. By seesawing you reach a split position which is over your limit for a few seconds. This is what you need to achieve more. Seesaw for around fifty or hundred times before relaxing a little.
- Try seesawing again for 100 times and then relax a little in split position again.
- Repeat this till 15 minutes is over.
- After 15 minutes stand up and turn your hip, take a deep breath and repeat this three more times. After this your hour is over.
- Repeat the same practice again in the evening.
Before you know it you should be able to do split perfect in seven days! You will be in a lot of pain tough. Eat a lot of magnesium (bananas) during this time to help your tendons relax.
During the 3rd or 4th day you should come to a strong mental barrier. Your body is scared of reaching the split position. This is natural and i simply needed someone to push me down for a second. Ask your friend to hold you on your hip and push you down. When you reach around 7-10cm height for two days you should be able to touch the ground soon. Your body can do split already but your mental barrier is preventing you to do it.
During the day try to walk a little to help the hip relax. Don’t sit around for too long. On the seventh day you should be able to do split. I felt like my life depended on it and under a lot of pain i was able to do so. Always focus on your tendons, you don’t want to injure them, but they can stretch a lot more than you think. With seesawing in your final mental position you get a lot more accustomed to break your borders. To prevent injury please take the requirements above seriously, if you cannot reach the 15cm height before starting this practice you really might injure yourself since your body is not used to this stretching. Jiayou 加油!