Top 5 Stretches For Front Splits

Top 5 Stretches For Front Splits

By Gwendolen Nelson on 13th Mar 2023

Hello, lovely readers of Move Dance! Gwendolen here; I’m a ballet and contemporary dancer, choreographer and flexibility coach and I’m so excited to be sharing with you my Top 5 Stretches for unlocking your FRONT SPLITS!

This is a flexibility goal for many of us, not just dancers. With the right stretches and strengthening exercises and consistency anyone can improve the muscle flexibility needed and get amazing results. Unlike middle splits, most of us can achieve a flat front split. Woohoo!

So, keep reading as here I will show you how to unlock the muscles needed for our front split combining a mix of active and passive stretching. It is so important to build in a mix of stretching and strengthening into your flexibility routines and I’m sharing with you my top 5 favourites that everyone can give a go. Aim to do this routine 3-5 x per week when you are warm, such as after a movement class or a workout. Have fun!

Exercise 1 – Flowing Lunge

Start kneeling and place one leg to the front keeping hips and legs parallel.

Lower your pelvis towards the floor, bending into the knee of the front leg into a deep lunge, arms reaching upwards. IMPORTANT! Make sure your knee is over the ankle and not going past your toes when you lunge. Your heel must stay rooted to the floor. You will feel a stretch in your back leg hip flexor.

Now push back up, through the heel, using the strength in your hamstring and glute of the working leg, straightening that leg into a hamstring stretch. Flow the arms down and back behind you as you bend forward hinging from the hips. Make sure the foot is flexed and the back stays straight.

Keep hips square. You will find more range the warmer you get. Work with the breath and make this movement fluid.

Repeat 10 times

Exercise 2 – Deep Lunge Hold

Now lower as far as you can in your forward lunge and hold for 1 minute. If it feels good to you, add a little pressure by placing your hand at the small of your back to deepen the stretch.

For an even deeper stretch, add in the backband. Slowly walk your hands down your glutes and to your thigh. If you can go even further, walk your hands to your calf or ankle. You will feel an intense stretch in the hip flexor. Drop the head back and breathe.

Exercise 3 – Turnout Single Leg Forward Fold

Place one leg forward fully straight and foot flexed. Your hips are over your supporting knee. Now rotate that front leg to your maximum turnout. Remember to rotate the leg from the hip, it’s not just the foot turning out. It’s helpful to think of the knee facing sideways as much as possible, and the little toe reaching down to touch the floor.

Hinge forward from the hips, lowering your torso towards the front leg. It’s a good idea to use yoga blocks for support until your hands can reach the ground. Make sure the back stays straight and you don’t curve.

Once you’ve found your deepest stretch, hold for 1 minute.

Exercise 4 – Seated Hamstring Twist

Okay, this is an intense one but trust me, it is brilliant for total leg flexibility and hip mobility! It works the hamstring, calf, hip flexor and ITB! As your body gets more supple you will be able to deepen further into this stretch, gradually bringing the leg higher and closer to your torso and all in a turned out position.

Sit and extend one leg out for balance, knee bent and foot on the floor. Place the same arm as working leg behind you for support. Bend the knee and thigh of the working leg up towards your chest and wrap the opposite arm underneath the calf, around the top of the shin and hold your flexed foot with the hand. The working leg should be turned out.

Sitting upright and keeping the back straight, extend from the knee, trying to straighten the leg. You will feel a very deep stretch, particularly in the hamstring. The aim is to eventually bend and extend the leg to fully straight and touching the torso.

Repeat 10 times (bend and extend) and then try a 30 second hold.

Exercise 5 – Lunge Extensions

Come into a lunge, one leg forward (front knee over ankle remember!) and the other leg behind you, knee on the floor and on your tippy toes (demi pointe). Place your hands either side of the front foot on the floor or blocks if you need them.

Extend the back leg fully straight, the knee coming off the floor, then gently tap the knee back down.

Repeat 10 times, straightening and lowering the knee. Keep the hips down and think of lengthening the back leg away from you. Try not to bob up and down too much.


Thank you so much for reading my Top 5 Stretches for Front Splits. I hope you have fun with this flexi routine and that these stretches inspire you to work on your front split and hamstring flexibility.

I’d love to see your progress and know which stretch was your favourite! Share your results with me on Instagram ?

Gwen x

You can find Gwendolen on Instagram: @gwendolennelson