Exercise! - Any aspiring contortionists here?

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04-10-2011, 03:27 AM
I recently took up stretching, because I heard that contortionists can manage to avoid fibromalgia and arthritis. My mom has both, and her doctor told her I would probably inherit them. I've been going to a site called contortionistsunite.ing.com, and have come up with my own stretching list (if anyone is interested I'll post it), and am posting blogs on the days I am able to stretch. Already I've increased flexibility, and I've only done it off and on for 18 days. I'm going to go back to stretching every day as soon as my TOM is over this month (sorry if that's tmi).

So, I'm just wondering if anyone else is doing this.

04-10-2011, 04:01 AM
Sounds cool. I stretch after ever workout and its really helped. I'm going to check out that site. Thanks!

Ana Chambers
04-10-2011, 06:55 AM
I'm naturally very stretchy, but never considered working toward contortion... seems interesting!

04-10-2011, 07:57 AM
Whether naturally or because I did a token amount of gymnastics when I was a little kid, I'm very flexible and have always been -- hyperextended joints, very flexible hips / hamstrings, etc -- and my physical therapist has advised me against excessive stretching or contortionist aspirations.

Just be careful when you do this, because sometimes stretchy joints come along with muscularly weak joints. My current project is to strengthen the muscles around my loose, flexible joints so that I avoid injury and wearing out the ligaments later in life. Obviously my advice isn't medical advice, but you should probably double-check with a physical therapist to make sure when you do contortion you aren't hurting your body more.

04-10-2011, 09:28 AM
i highly highly highly recommend bikram yoga ("hot" yoga performed in a room heated to ~105 deg/40% humidity). it will increase both your strength and flexibility (and under the guidance of a trained instructor vs. following off of website). there are also numerous benefits (copy and pasting from a studio site):

Works every organ, gland, nerve, tendon, ligament and muscle in the entire body
Expands your capacity to breathe fully and deeply
Prevents injury and improves symptoms of chronic illness
Promotes better sleep, regulating sleep/wake cycles
Rapid body toning
Weight loss or gain, depending on you body’s needs
Improvement in body posture and body awareness
Improves the healing and regenerative powers of your body
Improvement in T cell function and your immune system
Improvement in your lymphatic system
Lengthening and strengthening of muscles
Increased flexibility
Improvement in peripheral circulation
Improvement in metabolism and digestion
Gives the body a cardiovascular workout without impacting joints
Endocrine and exocrine glands are massaged and stimulated
Weight bearing exercise helps to prevent osteoporosis
Improves heart and lung functions
Improves back conditions, manages pain and misalignment
Improves the flexibility of your spine within its range of motion in all directions, allowing improvement in the function of your central nervous system. Better nervous system communication leads a better body and mind connection
Helps cultivate a sense of well being and a more peaceful mind
Integrates both sides of the brain to improve memory, learning, body coordination and balance
Builds mental strength and trains your mind to maintain a focused and meditative state

google it to learn more. not gonna lie--it's not your normal run-of-the-mill yoga class, it will most likely kick your *** the first few times. but if you stick with it, it will change your life :)

feel free to PM me if you have any questions! :)

anna ng
04-10-2011, 11:30 AM
Hot yoga may be something you work up to, but regular yoga can be done by anyone at any stage of fitness and flexibility. A good instructor should give you modifications for the poses to make them easier or more challenging so that your body is working to its highest potential. Plus, you'll be strengthening the muscles that support your joints, so you reduce your risk of injury in other activities.

04-10-2011, 11:56 AM
totally agree that reg yoga is great too--and bikram is beginner friendly as well. the heat does pose an extra challenge, but it's do-able. i've seen many people try bikram as their first form of yoga--i actually dragged a friend with me yesterday, and he had never taken any type of yoga class in his life. he was shooting me looks during the class that looked like a combination of "i'm going to kill you for making me do this" and "please tell my family i love them, because i'm about to die" (kidding kidding... ish), but after we walked out of the class and cooled off for a bit, he asked when we were going back! WIN!

wow... i think bikram should pay me for plugging his yoga. i sound like an advertisement.


04-10-2011, 05:46 PM
Bikram Yoga sounds wonderful, but I don't think there's any classes around here. I could also just turn the air conditioner off, and stretch. lol. Sometimes I soak in a hot bath or shower before stretching. All of my stretches are VERY beginner-friendly, so I haven't had any complications yet, though when I first started I had a reoccurring ache in my lower-back, but I think it was from using a muscle I don't really use, and it has gone away.

04-10-2011, 05:57 PM
Cool site! Thanks for posting. I'd actually forgotten about this for a while but I used to be uber flexible...I really need to start stretching again too.