How to Do Bruce Lee's Alternate Splits Exercise


Alternate splits require speed, agility, strength and balance. They were developed by martial arts legend Bruce Lee as part of his personal discipline, jeet kune do, which roughly translates as "Using no way as way, having no limitation as limitation." While that may seem to imply a very free approach to training, Lee's workouts were precise and intense. Alternate splits are a high-impact move, so it is crucial to keep your knees aligned over your toes to avoid injury.

Things You'll Need

  • Workout clothes, non-binding
  • Cross-training or martial arts shoes
Step 1

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, making sure that your knees are aligned with your toes. Turning your knees in or out when executing this move can twist or sprain them, so form is important.

Step 2

Place your hands on your hips and pull your navel in toward your spine, contracting your abdominal muscles.

Step 3

Step forward with your right foot, keeping your legs nearly straight. Bend knees just enough to allow you to jump.

Step 4

Jump straight up and switch the position of your legs in the air. Keep your abs tight and your shoulders level to help maintain your balance.

Step 5

Let your knees flex slightly when you land to absorb the shock. Repeat, switching legs again so that you land with your right foot in front. This counts as one repetition.

Step 6

Take a second to tighten your abdominals and set your balance, then repeat. Start with one set of eight to 10 repetitions and keep increasing the number of repetitions and sets until you can do three sets of 10 to 12 reps each.

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