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Split Tips

In the aerial and fitness realm, we often talk about splits, but what are splits and what can we do to achieve them?  First of all, splits are the physical position in which the legs are in line with each other and extended in opposite directions. When our legs are in a split position, they are either in a 'side split' (also known as straddle splits, middle splits or box splits) which your legs are extended to the left & right of your torso or they are in a 'front split' where one leg is extended forward and the other is extended to the rear of the torso. Other names or variations you may have heard are: over-splits, suspended (or aerial) splits, split leap (as in dancing), standing splits and twisting splits.


Often, we hear from students that they aren't very flexible or that they need to work on their splits.  In a blog from Womack & Bowman, flexibility guru Kristina Nekyia of Fit & Bendy commented that  "So many people struggle with this very intense, emotional stretch. The problem comes from tight, stressed out inner thighs and hip flexors. The only way to make middle splits better is to help those hip flexors/adductors feel safe”. Kristina suggested that "strengthening the hip flexors and adductor muscles in order to reduce muscle imbalances in the hips for more relaxation and range of motion." For aerialists, Kristina stated that "It is important (for aerialists) to develop their active flexibility. One method for doing this is resistance stretching where you passively stretch your body and then work on engaging your muscles in that position by squeezing into whatever is pushing on you." In an article from Healthline, active stretching is "a method of improving flexibility, where strategically contracting your own muscles provides the pull needed to stretch opposing muscle groups.  Active stretching is also often referred to as static active stretching — which means nonmoving — because the end position of the stretch is held for a set amount of time." The article continues to discuss different kinds of stretching and how they differ as well as some example stretching exercises. Not only will these stretches help with your splits, but will help with your flexibility and mobility in other parts of your body. 


While there are many resources online that have great flexibility programs to ramp up your ACTIVE split flexibility with some tips to obtain and work on your splits, here at Fly Circus and Aerial Arts, we have some in-person classes that will help you out.


Stretchy 'n Flexy (also known as our contortion class): features a mix of yoga and stretching using equipment including foam rollers, peanut rollers, and Therabands. This class is designed to help you gain flexibility and keep your muscles supple. Work out "the kinks" and relax!


Yoga: Balance your fitness routine with a 60-minute flowing yoga class. Lengthen and tone your muscles while increasing your flexibility. Add mindfulness and focused breathing to your fitness practice


Conditioning: Our conditioning classes are designed to aid your development in the aerial arts by building targeted muscle groups. Each 60-minute class focuses on a warm-up, super sets or compound movements, and circuits and intervals. You'll love the results!


And don't forget, you don't have to be, or have flexibility to take any of our aerial classes. You will get stronger and flexible by coming to aerial classes each week! Check out our SCHEDULE of grounded as well as aerial classes and get your splits on! 


Written By Alicia Schroder 

Fly Circus and Aerial Arts 

Group Fitness Instructor and Aerial Coach


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