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)

  Injuries happen. Sometimes it is from some kind of trauma, sometimes from chronic overuse. Pretty much everyone eventually ends up with some kind of bodily complaint that restricts their training. It sucks, but it is also an opportunity. Think of an injury as your body’s way of communicating, in no uncertain terms, where you need to focus your attention. Often our bodies break in the areas where we are weak or imbalanced. If you have tight, hunched shoulders you may get a shoulder impingement. If you have weak abs you could get