Stretch the Front Splits

How to Stretch the Front Splits

The front split is a stretch where you spread your legs 180° and extend both legs. One leg points straight forward and the other leg points back. It should not take you much more than 3 month to learn the front splits. In most cases the biggest hurdle is the flexibility of the rectus femoris and the quadriceps of the back leg (not hamstring flexibility). Use PNF to get your front splits down faster. Find more stretching instructions, exercises and training methods at stretching main.


  • When you do a front split, you should not extend your hips.
  • Keep your upper body upright and straight. If you lean forward, you only stretch the hamstring of your front leg and not the front splits. The reason why most people can't do the front splits is that the rectus femoris and the quadriceps of the back leg are not flexible enough. The rectus femoris is the thin muscle that connects the hip with the knee on the front side of the leg. You stretch the rectus femoris when you do lunges.
  • The back leg has to be flat on the ground (see illustration). Don't twist your back leg out. Don't do a side split with your back leg and a front split with your front leg, which is a very common mistake.
  • In wushu the toes of your front leg point straight up => more intensive variation of the front split. In wushu you also have to be able do to front split landings after acrobatic jumps.
  • In gymnastics the ankle of the front leg is extended and the toes point straight forward => Less intensive front split variation. In gymnastics you should always extend your ankles so that you get used to postures with extended knees and ankles.


  • If you are still far from achieving your front splits, it's often difficult to keep the upper body vertical (also because you have to lean forward in order to support yourself with your hands). In this case it would be a good idea to have 2 chairs on your sides, so that you can support yourself when you go down. Keep your upper body upright.
  • To make the front splits more intensive for the hamstrings, lean forward and grasp your foot.
  • To make the front split more intensive for the back leg, raise your arms and lean back. Advanced athletes are able to touch their back leg (typical rhythmic gymnastics stretch).