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Which front split is more challenging?

Posted by Paul Zaichik on

Most people would say that the hips squared front split is more challenging although some people would say that the open front split it more challenging.
Of course everybody goes by their own personal experience and for most people the True Front Split would be more challenging but not for everyone.
In my approximation about 8 out of 10 people who can do a True Front Split, can do an Open Front Split and if they can’t they can master it very quickly.
On the other hand there's a lot of people who can do an Open Front Split and cannot do a True Front Split.
While what is more challenging depends on an individual person in general overall more people will find a True Front Split more challenging than an Open Front Split.
There’s several reasons for this. The hips squared front split requires the flexibility of the lateral hamstrings (Biceps Femoris)
Most people have medial hamstring a lot more flexible than the lateral hamstrings, and this favors an open front split.

Below, an exercise of Zaichik Stretching Method to stretch Biceps Femoris
An open front split relies more heavy on the medial hamstrings, the semitendinosus and the semimembranosus as opposed to the latter hamstrings which is biceps femoris.
On the right, an exercise of Zaichik Stretching Method to stretch medial hamstrings
I have met people over the years not frequently whose lateral hamstrings were more flexible than the medial hamstrings. For these people and of course for everybody else, even if the latter hamstrings are more flexible the challenge is now in the back leg.
Open front split relies more on the adductors.
True Front split also needs flexible adductors, but on the top of that it needs flexible hip flexors.
Below, an exercise of Zaichik Stretching Method to stretch Psoas muscle, one of the hip flexors
If the hip flexors are not flexible, then the person can rely on the hamstring flexibility and then arch their back and in this case they need to have flexibility in their lower back to extend the body up with a deep hamstrings stretch and make it a functional front split.
A lot more people have flexible adductors than flexible hip flexors, or flexible back for that matter. This discrepancy in flexibility between those muscles of course once again favors an open front split for most people.
If you want to work on your true front split find an appropriate level for you and try one of our programs.
Choose your program
If you have flexible lateral hamstrings, in other words for example you can bend forward and touch your head to your feet with your legs together then and you cannot do a squared front split then you need to work on your hip flexors, your hamstrings are already good.
You should try our hip flexors program.
Choose your program
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