I'm 15 years old and I have just started getting into contortion (abit more than a week ago, I began stretching).
I have been doing alot of research to find new stretched to make myself more flexible, because I have just been doing this by myself, at home.
The other day I was showing my mother a chest stand and she and my step father said how it can be very dangerous for you and your back, if you rush it and if your doing by yourself (without a trainer etc). They then went on to saying I shouldn't be do any contortion by myself, because it can be very dangerous.
Yesterday, after they had told me this, i was very conscious about it all, and couldn't concentrate and I was scared when I felt my lower back a bit saw after doing back bends. But I thought it may just because I was only just getting use to stretching my back like that, because I started doing this just a bit more than a week ago.
So I was wondering if anyone can prove my parents wrong, and explain whether this is dangerous or not, doing it by myself and only a week after I first begun my stretches.
Also, any advice on good stretches will be much appreciated.
Thanks so much!

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Tags: Alone, Back, Dangerous, Doubt, Pain, Parents, Stretches


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Comment by Mark on August 4, 2010 at 10:35am
Two golden rules: 1. Don't do anything that is painful. 2. Never force yourself into a pose that you are not ready for. I broke rule two once...had my right leg down my back and heard my knee go pop. Wasn't that serious an injury, but it did hurt a lot.
Comment by Rhiannon Owen on August 2, 2010 at 3:03pm
Nothing is completely safe. just don't over do it and warm up before you do anything also make sure you are in a suited area for stretching where there is plenty of space and you will not hurt youreself
Comment by Daniel Hall on July 31, 2010 at 2:53pm
Thanks alot George and Matt!
Comment by Madeline Koller on July 31, 2010 at 2:51pm
Not very dangerous; you just need to care for and trust your body, and then it will serve you well. For example, two years ago I had spinal surgery. But once I recovered I was able to do routines again. The best advice I can give is to make sure and get a good warmup, push yourself and stop just before the discomfort becomes pain. Rest every other day to make sure your joints and muscles have time to recover. And in time your flexibility will improve without risk of injury.

Best of luck!
Comment by George on July 31, 2010 at 10:05am
Getting a trainer still can help. And it does not need to be a contortion trainer. Gymnastics, chearleeding, martial arts or yoga can as well be a good source of general training. As well as dance school, be it classic ballet or breakdance.
Comment by Daniel Hall on July 31, 2010 at 9:00am
Thanks so much Andrew, Big help! I will check out the forum.
Thanks again,
Comment by Andrew on July 31, 2010 at 6:55am
Hi there. It is quite common to have parents who are concerned like that so dont fear. Your parents are partly right but partly not. Contortion can be dangerous if you push yourself into stretches that you are not ready for. If you are understand the basics, are careful about how you stretch and dont try to push yourself to far too quickly then Contortion can be very safe and very rewarding. I went to a chiropractor once and told him that I am doing contortion and asked is it safe? he said he was very happy for me to keep do contoriton and said it is excellent for the back. Remember, Contortion is really just about exploring your body's full natural range of movement, and you should explain this to your parents.

The main thing I would emphasise to beginners though is to stretch regularly in moderation: To slowly train your muscles, not try to push them beyond what you can currently manage. Its very tempting as a beginner to try to copy the very advanced moves of contortionists straight away, but keep stretching often and you will get there. Years ago I was very gun ho and pushed myself much further than I should have and ended up straining a back muscle that has taken years to heal, so the moral of the story is aim high, but stretch in moderation.

Now, as mentioned above, there are a few basics you need to learn with contortion that once you get these you will be cooking with gas. The first is to learn to keep the bending evenly distributed througout your back, not just in one small part of your lower back. You need to build up strength in your back and learn how to use your core muscles to support you so that once again when you bend back you are not overly stressing one small part of your back. Its often the over stress on one small part of the back that causes many back injuries.

The best place to start searching for this information is the forums on this website. The information on this website is in my opinion the best on the web, it doesnt get better than this website, so youve done the right thing to join here! Read the forums. especially topics like the recent one about "Experiencing back pain". And finally, if ever you are unsure about anything or have any questions post them to the forum and someone will be able to help you!

I hope you enjoy your time here!

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