Anatomy of Standing Split Pose

The Standing Split is a challenging pose to perfect as it requires a large degree of flexibility, balance and technique. This pose does not, however, require a high level of strength, enabling beginners to practice the Standing Split position. The exercise can be made easier by the use of blocks for the hands to rest on if the individual does not have the flexibility to reach the floor with their hands. Being unable to reach the floor with your hands means, unless you have the blocks in place you have only one point of contact with the floor instead of three, therefore reducing the amount of balance. A fourth point of contact can be added if the elevated leg is rested on the back of a chair. The stretching element of this pose is on the glueteals, hamstrings and calf of the standing leg, with the groin, hip flexors and the quadriceps of the elevated leg. In terms of strengthening, the gleuteals and hamstrings of the elevated leg will be working hard as well as the quadriceps of the standing leg.Technique is vital in all poses, but there is one very common mistake which can creep into the Standing Split. External rotation at the hips of either leg will put the stretch onto the adductors of both legs and alleviate the stretch put on the muscles mentioned in the previous paragraph. The temptation to externally rotate at the hips is due to it being a cheat mechanism allowing the legs to reach into a split position easier. Therefore emphasis must be on keeping the hips only moving into flexion or extension, this is known as the Coronal plane. The entire Standing Split position is achieved by moving in the Coronal plane.

A high level of Core stability is vital to keep maintaining the position for a length of time. This core stability will also reduce risk of injury during this pose, especially to the back.

Large sustained stretch put upon the gluets, hamstrings and calf muscles. Also a large neural stretch will be put upon the sciatic nerve of the leg. Both of which will increase overall flexibility

The gleuteals and hamstrings of this leg must be well conditioned to maintain this elevated position.

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