Middle Split Mobility and Flexibility Progression (Matthew Blair Davis)

Figure skating strength and conditioning expert Matthew Blair Davis shares an at-home off-ice mobility and flexibility workout that everyone can do in their homes during the coronavirus lockdown. He is joined in the video by his daughter who demonstrates the exercises. This video is focused on developing the mobility and flexibility necessary to easily perform a middle split that was recommended in this video.

The first exercise starts with a wide stance while bending forward and putting the hands on the floor, with the back flat. For people who have not worked middle splits, this stretch alone will likely be challenging. The next step in the progression is to do the same exercise but put the elbows on the floor rather than the hands with an even wider stance. Matthew calls this position a “road-kill split” and skaters should go as low as they can and just hold it. The next step is lying down on the back facing a wall with the legs up on the wall and the butt touching the wall. Let the legs drop open to the sides while touching the wall, so gravity can assist in the stretch. Matthew adds some shoulder mobility to this exercise by including an arm slide. He wants the feet flexed rather than pointed for these exercises.

Next, the skater should sit facing the wall with the legs split as far as possible, and use an object behind the skaters back to provide incentive to not lean backward. The goal is to be able to sit up straight or lean forward in this position (no leaning back) without an object behind. The final step in the progression is simply to do middle splits.


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