Hello! We're Farrah, Daniella, Shelby, and Krista, and I guess you could say we've been a little bit bored these past few weeks!
We believe the first signs of our boredom can be traced to week one of quarantine, when the following conversation happened via Slack:
The TikTok video we had all stumbled upon was a splits tutorial by user @maddikoch. In the video, she claims that if you practice the following four stretches, "you will be able to do the splits in, like, two days."
Now, not a single one of us would call ourselves ~super flexible~, so we predicted we wouldn't actually be able to do the splits in two days. We agreed to give ourselves a full week to attempt them by following the TikTok video — while documenting our progress. Then, to make our experiment more thorough, we decided to do a second week following a more in-depth video to see if one video worked better than the other. We found this YouTube video that includes more than 13 minutes of stretching:
I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty skeptical when I first saw the TikTok. As someone who considers herself VERY inflexible, I found it pretty hard to believe that those four stretches could take me from miles off the ground to doing the splits in two days. And I'm sad to report that I was 100% right! The stretches were A STRUGGLE and although my hips felt a little more open after seven days, they didn't touch the ground at all.
I was pretty optimistic about learning how to do the splits with this TikTok tutorial because the girl made it look so easy. Well friends, IT WASN'T. My hamstrings and hip flexors were incredibly tight, so it was a journey just trying to do these stretches. Moving into the practice splits was pretty painful, and I never did get all the way down!
I've been doing yoga for about six years now, but I've never put my focus into learning the splits. So maybe that's why I felt kind of cocky after watching the "splits in two days" TikTok and thought I'd be able to do it. Spoiler alert: mission was not accomplished. I did improve by two inches after the week was up, which I think had to do with me FINALLY being able to straighten my front leg.
As someone who consciously tries to not be TikTok gullible (there's a lot of fake stuff out there, OK?), I didn't have high hopes for these stretches to actually work. ESPECIALLY AFTER JUST TWO DAYS! I've never been able to do the splits, though, so I figured this would be something to keep me busy during quarantine. While I did lower one inch closer to the ground after a week, I was still eight whole inches from even touching it! Sadly, the stretches just made me super sore.
While the TikTok stretches seemed like they'd help us achieve the splits, none of us were successful. We did, however, learn a lot more in the following week.
The four of us really loved the YouTube tutorial. It contained a warm-up, quite a few different stretches, and a step-by-step way to ease into your splits.
Here's how it went for us:
I really liked that the video started out with a dynamic warm-up to get your muscles ready. Another aspect I found really helpful was that the video offered guidance on how to work your way into the splits, which I think really helped my posture and my ability to keep my hips forward. I definitely preferred the stretches in the tutorial to the stretches in the TikTok, and at the end of the week my splits felt a lot more comfortable!
Honestly, the YouTube video made wayyyyy more sense to me because it warmed you up before going into the stretches, then into the splits. The steps she had you take to get into your splits were extremely helpful as well, which is why you see me using a stack of books as "yoga blocks." They helped to make sure my hips were even. I'd say this was the better video out of the two!
Let me start off by saying that I made no progress inch-wise after seven days of doing the video...BUT the stretches felt a lot better than the ones in the TikTok. I think the warm-up she does in the video is crucial to helping your flexibility. Also, after following her advice about posture, I was finally able to have my back straight up by the end of the week!
Even though I found the YouTube video more helpful and thorough, I didn't see better results than I did with the TikTok video. I think this happened for two reasons: my body was extremely sore from the past two weeks of pushing it to the max, so my muscles were refusing the position and I just don't think my body is built to do the splits. I was hopeful to achieve ~horizontal leg status~, but I have learned to appreciate my legs in their vertical position now.
Overall, the YouTube video was way more helpful and we learned that warming up is EXTREMELY important. So, while we ideally wanted to look like this guy by the end of quarantine...
...we at least made a little bit of progress in 14 days! It all comes down to stretching every single day, practice, and patience. Also, every body is different, so there definitely isn't one standard for how the splits "should" look or how long it "should" take to get them down.
If we continue to do this for the next month, we'll update you on our progress! If you're able to do the splits, tell us: What's the ONE thing that helped you the most?
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