Balancing act

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A balancing act (from Italian : spaccata "straddle" or spaccare "splitting") is an acrobatics exercise in which someone spreads their legs so far that they form a straight line. The exercise occurs in various martial arts , in fitness and dance sports , in gymnastics , yoga as well as in ballet , vaulting , limbo skating and show dance .

to form

Side splits
Irina Tchachina on the overspagat

There are two forms of the balancing act:

Cross split (longitudinal split / women's split)
the leg is as straight forward as possible, i.e. spread away from the body; that is, with the left or right leg pointing forward and the other one pointing backward.
Side splits (men's / men's split)
in which both legs are spread sideways from the body; this species is similar to the straddle.

Each of the two forms can be performed standing on the floor, on one leg or in an inverted position ( handstand , headstand or forearm stand ). In the reverse posture, the legs are passively spread by your own body weight , in contrast to an active spreading through the strength of the leg muscles .

An overspagat is understood as the fact that the legs are spread even wider during the cross-split so that they form an obtuse angle . This can be achieved, for example, by resting the feet on objects, such as doing a split between two chairs.


In German, the term is often used in a figurative sense to express that someone tries to bridge two (mostly argumentative, but also spatially) opposing positions. Example: A manager manages / tries the balancing act between his family in Hamburg and his overtime at the company in Munich.

See also

Web links

Commons : Balancing act  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Balancing act  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Training instructions cross balancing act

Wikibooks: parallel split  - learning and teaching materials

Training instructions side splits

Wikibooks: Seitspagat  - learning and teaching materials