How To Do Seated Straddle Splits

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

Chloe Freytag demonstrating Seated Straddle Splits in a black tank top and yoga pants

Seated straddle splits is a yoga pose designed to help stretch and open the inside and back of your legs. If you are experiencing tightness in the hamstrings, inner thigh or groin area, you should learn how to do seated straddle splits. In addition, if you have any trouble with sciatica, seated straddle splits may provide some relief if practiced regularly.

The extent of the stretch that you feel in seated straddle splits will be determined both two things. First, you will get a deeper stretch if your legs are farther apart. Second, the longer your spine is as you lower your torso down, the deeper and more true to form your stretch will be. In addition, you will want to keep your legs flat against the ground to help achieve proper form. If you have trouble getting into this pose properly or if you have any problem with your lower back, it may be beneficial for you to sit on a folded blanket or towel to help boost your hips up slightly.

Even if you boost you hips you still may have difficulties achieving this posture. If so, you can practice other poses first and work your way into seated straddle splits. According to Yoga Journal you could start by practicing a standing forward fold or standing forward splits both of which will help you develop the proper movement in the hips and extension in the hamstrings. Once you are comfortable with those poses you can work your way into seated straddle splits pose.

When it comes to yoga, remember that you should not look for perfect, but rather look for progress. Your seated forward fold may not look the way you want it to at first, but with time and repetition you will get better at this posture and see great improvement in the length of your legs and spine.

1) Begin in a seated position with legs stretched out open to the sides as far as you can and toes pointed up.

2) Place hand on the floor in front of you and slowly walk your hands forward until forearms are resting on the floor.

3) Keep chest lifted and spine long as you breathe and hold for 30 seconds.

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