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Training

  When I first started training contortion, after years of dance, I thought I had some pretty badass splits. I was solidly on the floor, and oh so comfy. Then I learned the terrible truth, I was supposed to have my hip bones even with each other and not arch my back??? Oh the horror! Once I was in a squared position, I was about ten miles from a flat split. I couldn’t even feel the stretch because I was just working so hard to keep my hips in the right position

  The gradual, controlled descent from standing to bridge is a foundation of the contortionist’s basic repertoire. It is more than just a transition, it is a means to build your strength, improve your spinal control, deepen your flexibility, and warm up your back quickly and effectively without pain or compression. There are many approaches to the standing backbend, but our absolute favorite from a training perspective is the Waterfall Backbend (so named by our friend Jonathan Nosan over at Contorture). As a sequel to our post The Curse of the Bendy Back we wanted

  I like to say that with great flexibility comes great responsibility. Nowhere is this more true than in the case of the bendy lower back. I know that those of you reading this who do not have naturally flexible lower backs are grumbling that you would be happy to have this problem, but time and again I have seen how the bendy lower back poses difficulties for aspiring flexperts. First, a little anatomy. The lumbar spine (the part of your back between your sacrum and the lowest attachment of the rib cage)