Wikepedia 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.
Adductor Anatomy - Location of a Groin PullDynamic 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 the major muscles before lengthening them.
Although it is a
traditional part of martial arts training, dropping down into the Chinese
splits can cause damaging tears to the adductor muscles (or groin area). Although working on these splits can
increase the height of a roundhouse or side kick, it will be most successful if
they are done after your martial arts training session. Additionally, allow the legs to cool
down after you've worked through a class and your splits.
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. It is a simple injury to avoid with
good training organization. So
remember to get your body warm and throw some kicks before dropping down into a