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  1. Recently I made something I've been thinking about for ages - two boards hinged together to support the legs in the front splits. The pins of the hinges are level with the top surface, so that body parts dont get trapped (OUCH!) as you go down. It has a rubber mat glued on the top surface for comfort and to stop sliding. The hinges are arranged so that the range of movement is 270+ degrees, allowing bending both ways. A problem I have is that my front knee tends to hyperextend in oversplits, and this support means the legs stay straight. Once I got my splits flat, I was told I should move to oversplits, not for aesthetic reasons (I think they are unaesthetic) but to make the flat splits easier and to bring them into my normal repertoire of movements without much warmup. These boards have made that much easier. In the first of the attached pictures (top left) shows the boards raised if you're not yet down in flat splits. You can use a rolled up rubber mat as the middle support, so that you get partial support while still sinking into the stretch. The top right picture shows a flat split. My hips are level and nearly square. Note that I'm pulling myself down and slighly back with my arms. This locks the spine, and makes a strong backward bend at the front of the hip joint of the leg going back - the most difficult thing to stretch. This move has loosened up the front of the hips considerably. The lower left picture shows a 1-block each side oversplit. My hips are almost but not quite level, there is a small gap under the rear thigh, I'm leaning forward more which means most of the extra stretch is happening in the front hamstring. Not too good, but not too bad either - this position will make progress. The last picture on the lower right shows 2-blocks each side oversplit. Too far. Any extra bend in the legs has occurred because the hips have tilted, not because of an extra stretch. Not good - though I see lots of oversplits done like that.
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