StretchIt App: Middle Split Challenge Progress
It’s Day 17 of StretchIt’s Middle Split Challenge and, as promised, I’m sharing my progress so far.
For those who don’t know, StretchIt is a mobile and web app that provides stretch tutorials for bendy backs, middle splits, front splits, and general feel-good, lose-weight movement. It costs $4.99 to $7.99 per training package per month, depending on whether you use the mobile and web version, or just mobile version.
I’ve been training my back and front splits with the app for months (which will result in a separate progress post soon enough), but always shied away from training my middle split. I just didn’t think my body was built for it. However, when StretchIt began to host a 30-day challenge for middle splits with tutorial guidance via its social media accounts, I decided to give it a try.
Here’s what I looked like on day one:
I’m trying to smile, but my god was this pose painful. I was meeting muscles I didn’t even know I had in that moment. As hurt as I was, it was good to awaken those areas, because I’m currently at the top training level in my studio, and at this point instructors warn you that if you don’t have basic flexibility, you really won’t be able to execute certain moves.
I’m also at this stage where I’m becoming much more comfortable exploring free dance and different movement styles, and I’m noticing how much active flexibility plays a role in things I want to try. (Right now I have a whole Instagram folder dedicated to Marlo Fisken moves, and even though she makes everything look effortless, I know better than to think that’s so.)
Anyway, back to the progress.
Day one was really hard. So was day two, plus a few days that followed (you’re instructed to have a few rest days in between, and some days are full-body stretches rather than everything being focused in one area).
A week in, I didn’t see much progress in my split, but it felt much more comfortable. I felt the biggest breakthrough a few days ago, when I tried the 45-minute, beginner-level Middle Splits Class 8.
My legs aren’t much further down from where they were when I started in the photo, but I could relax in the position longer, even resting down on my elbows (everything felt like it was breaking when I leaned over in the first picture).
So far, I’ve felt like I’ve had the best results when I’m able to stretch for a full 45 minutes instead of 30 (split classes range between that amount of time). The extra 15 minutes really helps me focus on just stretching and breathing, which allows me to sit deeper in poses.
I know the quest to my middle splits will be long and, at times, uncomfortable, but splits and overall flexibility wouldn’t be impressive if they were easy. Plus, after a long day, there’s nothing I loathe more than working on my flexibility, but afterward it feels so good to know I’ve done something special for my body and treated the areas that feel stiff.
Overall thoughts on StretchIt App
I really love StretchIt. It’s become my companion multiple days days per week and has helped me unlock parts of myself that I never paid attention to in the past. If you decide to begin your flexibility journey with the app, I’d advise you take a stretching class at your local studio first, so you can learn which muscles to activate in certain poses. Since I had never really concentrated on my middle splits in class before, it took a few tutorials to learn which muscles I should be minding at times. An instructor that is present while you’re stretching can make sure you’re keeping the right form, which the app obviously can’t do, but the sessions do provide some great tips to help you get there.
13 more days until the challenge is over! I’ll share another progress post once it ends. Meanwhile, how’s your flexibility progress going? Are you also participating in the challenge? Let me know in the comments.