The Importance of Square Hips on Silks

Posted on Aug 11, 2014

“Square your hips!”
Ok, so why? The tension of the silks is strong. Once you have “sunk” down in your
splits, your back is compressed, your shoulders are up, your spine is twisted, and your
body is angry.

Your splits may look good to the uneducated eye, but this is a post about
technique, which as we all know comes with awareness. Only those who know what to
look for are going to appreciate squared hips. But let me tell you, after having weakness
in the form of hypermobility in splits for many years, I can attest that a back open hip will
inhibit your strength and eventually cause pain.

So what needs to strengthen, and what needs to stretch? Stretch: psoas, hamstrings.
Strengthen: hamstrings, glutes, internal and external obliques, transverse abdominus.
Of course, so many muscles in the body can fire because this is such an extreme position.
The muscles along the spine are lengthening. The body is open and strong.

When I do splits, I need to stay strong. I need to keep my muscles firing, because if I
donʼt my body will relax, come out of alignment and create compression. Not to say, you must
stay in perfect alignment all the time. Sometimes we contort for choreographic purposes,
but I try to keep my muscles active in these positions. I could go off on a tangent here about
using contortion wisely, but Iʼll save that for another post. Bottom line, square your hips
in splits on silks to create strength, flexibility and prevent injury.

Straight spine with feet pointed, both hands on the front panel. Also try flexed feet.

photo 1 (1)

Straight spine with feet pointed, both hands on the back panel. Also try feet flexed.

heather 2

Straight spine with feet pointed, hands crossed (holding opposite panels). Also try feet flexed.

photo 3 (2)