How to do the Full Splits safely

From a banana split to a full split, priorities change when you make fitness a part of your life. The full-split or Hanumanasana is the biggest indicator of a super-flexible lower body but it also takes a lot of practice to get there. Here are some tips to reach that sweet spot!


Did you know how the Hanuman asana got its name? It is derived from the Hindu God, Hanuman who, in the process of rescuing Sita had to take big step across the straits, which separates the island of Sri Lanka from the mainland.

The Hanuman asana or the full split not only helps with stretching legs, but also works in stimulating your abdominal organs, and also helps in overcoming stress and tension in your daily lives.

Did you also know that it is a great pose for women and has known to show benefits in treating or preventing sexual problems and also helps with the easing the process of…CHILDBIRTH?

The pros associated with it are numerous and no matter how old you get, you can still achieve the split with continuous practice. Flexibility improves with every practice and stretching a particular muscle every day, makes that muscle work like elastic for you.

Hanuman asana or the full split is enjoyable for activities such as running, cycling and even skiing because it helps maintain the flexibility in your body. Full splits can be applied to various forms of exercise; straddle splits that are used in dance and yoga and Chinese
splits that are key for martial arts.

What is Hanuman asana/full split?

Beautiful young woman dressed in bright sportswear enjoying yoga indoors. Yogi girl working out in grunge interior with blue wall. Ardha Hanumanasana (Half Monkey God Posture). Full length

Full split or Hanuman asana is an advanced yoga posture. It is an intense hip opening asana and requires mobility in the hip and the hamstring. It works on strengthening your thighs, hamstrings and groin. Hence, this pose is an excellent test of leg flexibility at the hip level.

People who are new to this pose may struggle with keeping their leg and pelvis down completely on the floor. This is usually due to tight hamstrings, quads or the complete pelvic region. The good news is that various steps are provided to achieve your goals.

In order to achieve the pose, regular progressive practice involving the complete hip, inner thighs, quads and hamstrings is needed.

Attractive young woman wearing white sportswear set and smartwatch working out against grey wall, doing yoga or pilates exercise. Monkey god, splits, hanumanasana. Full length

These drills help in opening up the lower body as are listed below:

  • Lizard Pose – Helps in opening up your hips.
  • L stretch or Pigeon Stretch – Helps in opening up your thighs, groin and back as well.
  • Low Lunges – Helps to stretch the hip flexors.
  • Ardha Hanuman asana – Half monkey pose works quite well as a preparatory pose.
  • Baddhakon asana or Butterfly – Works the best for opening up your hips and is great for your knees.

Need a modification?

Props like bolsters or small cushions can be used under the hip region to ease the pose for beginners. A common mistake that people make while practicing this pose is the
understanding of the open versus closed position of the hips. If your alignment is off and your legs are flat on the floor, the positioning needs to be reworked. If you can get that right, the whole process would become a tad bit simpler for you. It is usually recommended to
have someone coach you or guide you through this process.

Human leg Osteoarthritis inflammation Of bone joints

There are also certain safety measures that need to be considered before making yourself comfortable with the pose. Firstly, people with groin injuries or hamstring injuries should
definitely avoid the post. Secondly, people with any major knee injuries should definitely avoid this asana.

Fit girls preparing legs workout. Leg stretching exercise fitness woman doing warm-up, hamstring muscles stretch standing at home.

Remember, never force yourself to reach the pose as it can lead to major injuries like hamstring tears. Following the drills everyday to open up the involved muscles is the only way to reach the pose. And even if you achieve the pose after a few months, always do a proper warm up before going for the split. This will ensure that you do not injure yourself.

Referred to as the ‘Greatest Leap Ever Taken’, this posture is one of the many postures in the Yoga practice that helps your body physically, but also helps develop the mind at the same time. While they are no substitute for medicines yet, the advantages that one gains through this natural and consistent practice work well for the rejuvenation of the body and the soul. Our legs are the foundation of our body and once you work on strengthening them, the whole body contributes in sync.

INFS is also running the #INFSFULLSPLITCHALLENGE in which we’re putting out weekly drills for you to practice in order to achieve the full split in 30 days! If you haven’t already participated, check out the first drill here, for instructions and details!

Also, follow our Instagram & Facebook Pages here to become a part of this and more such challenges!

About the Author : Saakshi, A psychologist by education and a fitness enthusiast by choice, she dreams to combine these worlds. Content writing and social media management is a passion that keeps her in the constant learner mode.

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