We always made our splits better by practicing them. I know that's not a terribly enlightening answer. We would hold ourselves up and press gently as far as we could comfortably go, then hold for at least a minute. Or we would sit on the floor, put the front leg straight out in front of us and put the back leg behind us, bent at the knee. Then we would slowly straighten that back leg as far as it would go. Also, if one leg is less flexible, practice that one more. It is really tempting to spend more time stretching the side that is easier -- but then you become really lopsided. When called upon to show off my flexibility, I always used the same side as a demonstration, giving it the extra practice that my stiffer side really could have used. <P>For side splits I've been shown to lay on the floor on my back with my legs up at a ninety degree angle against a wall. Start with them both pointing straight up and then slowly lower them to the sides and stay there for awhile, just letting gravity do the work. Then you can read a book or something while you stretch. One girl said she fell asleep in this position. Then her mom came along and pushed her legs back up abruptly: not a pretty picture! Kids, don't try this at home!<P>And always make sure you are thoroughly warmed up when working on the splits! Don't be like me and pull muscles while doing them when you are cold. After class is a good time to practice them, because you are still very warm. <P>Please, moderators, tell me if any of these ideas are dangerous and not recommended. Thank you.
<p>[This message has been edited by katheryn (edited May 16, 2001).]