John Cena Demonstrates How to Use the ‘Van Damme’ Split Machine During a Workout

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Celtic Warrior WorkoutsYouTube

It’s vitally important to cool down properly after a workout, and that includes stretching out your muscles after putting pressure on them: this can help to restore blood flow, increase mobility, and increase hydration in the muscle fascia.

Following a gym session with WWE Champion Sheamus, a.k.a. The Celtic Warrior, wrestler-turned-actor John Cena showed off the “last stretch, best stretch” portion of his workout. This involved demonstrating how to safely use the “Van Damme” split machine, a crank-operated piece of equipment which technically does the stretching for you by slowly moving your legs into a split position.

The correct form is very important when using this machine: remember to sit as far back in the seat and as straight as possible.

“Get into that mode where you can feel it, then just relax through it,” advises Cena. He repeats this, breathing through the discomfort and then turning the wheel a little more, over and over again, until he reaches his maximum and slowly releases the crank.

Unlike other gym apparatus, there’s no dial on the split machine to tell you your progress. As Cena tells Sheamus when it’s his turn to use the machine: “Don’t worry about it. You know when you know.” Sheamus soon begins to feel when he’s reaching his limit, joking: “Is this what childbirth feels like?”

If you’re curious about trying the split machine but think you might need to work your way up to it, try these 5 stretches that are ideal for loosening up your hips.

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Philip Ellis is a freelance writer and journalist from the United Kingdom covering pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ+ issues.