The splits.. can anyone do them?

With the proper amount of training can anyone do the spits? Would age have anything to do with being able to do it?

Body mass would have a lot to do with it, all the people I have ever seen do it are slim.

Without trying to put Dopers down, I think you’d have more success in rec.martial-arts or alt.arts.ballet.

This is also an easy one to Google. One result was this, which effectively says that most people can, barring a disformity of the hip joint.

I have seen rather fat girls do the splits.

Weight has little direct consequence on flexibility. Sretching is exercise, so someone who is flexible often maintains and increases their flexibility through stretching. Anyone who is flexible and fat has to maintian their weight despite regular exercise. There are lots of us who do that.

I can about palm the floor even though I am obese, but my thin gf can’t even get within a foot of the floor with her fingertips.

In my younger days, although I could do a straddle sit stretch sitting on the floor, legs at a wide angle and bend forward until my chest and belly was pressed firly against the floor. Even then I was rather sturdily built with decent padding. I could never do the splits. I could nearly do so, but there was always a few more inches to go that I could not get through. My muscles and such seemed to have enough give, but it was like the joint itself would not allow me.

It looks as if most people can if they start relatively young and keep at it. Barring joint problems such as arthritis for example.

In any case, when you go to a baseball game you see lots of the players doing splits, or awfully close to splits, all over the place during their warmups.

I had much the same problem. I think it was a matter of diminishing returns more than physical capability–the first 90% of the split required a few months of training. The next 5% would require another year, the next 1% requires another year or so…etc…my rate of improvement seemed to bear this out.

A few other factors seemed to apply: attitude (some people subconsciously block attempts to gain flexibility, especially guys), a small amount of genetics, sex and age all seem to factor in.

I was a very good male gymnast when I was younger and could do almost every floor and mat trick except the splits. My instructor showed me how to train for them and I did for almost an hour a day. It never worked. I am fairly flexible but I cannot really sit Indian style to this day. Maybe I coud have eventually done the splits if I would have kept at it for years but, for me, it was close enough to impossible to give up on.

i can, but only front to back, not side to side. i had to practise and stretch a lot (i was in ballet for 10 years), but even though i haven’t danced (or seriously stretched) in 5 years, i can still do the splits.