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5 Straddle Variations of L Sit and V Sit

All poses are demonstrated by Sapphire Ng, guitarist, dancer, model and pioneer of Contortion Guitar.

  • V Sit 3
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1. Straddle L Sit


Essential skills

Straddle Splits, L Sit, Seated Straddle Leg Lifts, Seated Straddle Leg Holds

How to do

From L Sit, widen the legs into a straddle in a controlled manner

Remember to always fully straighten the knees and point the toes

Notes

Being reasonably comfortable with Seated Straddle Leg Lifts and Seated Straddle Leg Holds is important as they engage and strengthen the active flexibility muscles in maximally stretched muscles

Active flexibility muscles in the straddle can be trained in a variety of ways. Seated leg lifts and leg holds are amongst the simplest. Hanging leg lifts and leg holds not only trains the legs but also the upper body. Standing leg lifts and leg holds in the style of ballet engage the active flexibility muscles of the stretched leg, and work the stabilization muscles of the supporting leg

Straddle V Sit

2. Straddle V Sit


Essential skills

Straddle Splits, L Sit, V Sit, Seated Straddle Leg Lifts, Seated Straddle Leg Holds, Standing Straddle Frontbend, Seated Straddle Frontbend

How to do

From L Sit, lift further into V Sit

Slowly widen the legs into a V Shape

Lift the hips slightly further to tilt the legs further backwards if possible

Notes

Training the Straddle Sit (number 3 on this list) will strengthen tremendously the active flexibility muscles in the quadriceps useful for lifting and holding the legs position of V Sit and subsequently also the high V shape legs position

The Tucked Planche or the Advanced Tucked Planche are complementary poses to build strength

Straddle Sit

3. Straddle Sit


Essential skills

Straddle Splits, Straddle Pancake Splits, L Sit, Seated Pike Leg Lifts, Seated Pike Leg Holds, Seated Straddle Leg Lifts, Seated Straddle Leg Holds, Standing Straddle Frontbend, Seated Straddle Frontbend

How to do

From seated pike position, widen the legs to a V Shape and place both hands with straight arms shoulder width apart in front of the body, half palm distance away from the body

Engage the legs fully by engaging the quads, the calves, and point the toes

Push hands against the ground and engage the shoulders, arms, core and legs to lift the hips and legs off the ground

If possible, lift the hips and legs further so that the inner thighs of the legs are at the elbows of the arms, and not below the elbows

If you can, lift the hips and legs so that the inner thighs of the legs are above the elbows of the arms

Notes

If it is particularly challenging to maintain fully straight legs and to actively hold the legs up in the pose, leaning the legs slightly against the arms can help

If it is still difficult, holding the hips and the legs lower will be less strenuous

If this pose is out of reach, work on Seated Leg Lifts, Seated Hip Lifts, upper body strength and core strengthening

Straddle Half V Sit

4. Straddle Half V Sit


Essential skills

Straddle Splits, L Sit, Seated Straddle Leg Lifts, Seated Straddle Leg Holds, Standing Straddle Frontbend, Seated Straddle Frontbend

How to do

From L Sit, lift further to the halfway point between an L Sit and a V Sit

Widen the legs into a straddle in a controlled manner

Rotate the hips upwards and inwards to tilt the legs slightly backwards if possible

Notes

The greatest factors holding one back from this pose remain to be quads strength, followed by core strength, and certainly, flexibility if one is not flexible enough. Working on these target areas will dramatically increase the ability to access this pose.

Straddle One Quarter V Sit

5. Straddle One Quarter V Sit


Essential skills

Straddle Splits, L Sit, Seated Straddle Leg Lifts, Seated Straddle Leg Holds, Standing Straddle Frontbend, Seated Straddle Frontbend

How to do

From L Sit, lift slightly further into a slightly higher L Sit

Widen the legs into a straddle in a controlled manner

Rotate the hips upwards and inwards to tilt the legs slightly backwards if possible

Notes

If you’ve been training L Sits for a decent amount of time, lifting the L Sit slightly higher should not be much of a problem


Sapphire Ng

Sapphire Ng is a guitarist, dancer, model and pioneer of Contortion Guitar, an original and distinctive performance act which unites acrobatics and contortion with guitar playing.

She is also a 2-time scholarship winner, having graduated with a second class honours with upper division for her Bachelor of Laws, Law LLB at Queen Mary University of London in the UK, and also with a Summa Cum Laude for her Bachelor of Music in Music Business and Management degree at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, USA.

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