defines the Chinese splits as the 'straddle splits, in which the legs are
parallel to eachother and extended in opposite directions. Most martial
arts schools use them in their training. But many schools do not safely
incorporate them into their classes. It is important to avoid doing these
splits when the body is cold.
flexibility is a better method of training for improving range of motion and
should be used as a pre-cursor to doing the splits. The body best way to
improve overall flexibility is to do a thorough warm up that includes several
exercises that use full flexion and extension of the joints. For example,
squats, lunges and push-ups. The goal is to get blood flowing to the major
muscles before lengthening them.
Many martial arts, ballet, gymnastics, ice skating programs drop down into the Chinese splits during the beginning section of their class. Do a static stretch like before a comprehensive warm-up can cause
damage to the muscles located in teh inner thighs like tears to the adductor muscles (or groin area). Although working
on these splits can increase the sport specific range required to excel in gymnastics, ballet and martial arts, it is better to perfrom these splits afteryour training session or workout. Another tip for preventing ijury due to exercises like the splits is to slowly remove yourself from the stretch.
Often when a Chinese splits leads
to an injury, it is called a 'groin pull.' It is an injury to the inner
thigh or adductor muscle group. There is actually a series of 6 muscles
that cover the inner section of the pelvis to the inner part of the
femur. When a 'groin pull' occurs, it is a muscle strain where the muscle
is stretched too far.