The thoracic spine (upper back) is a tricky spot. The ribcage functions specifically to create a strong, rigid shield to protect our vital organs. Naturally, as we get older it becomes more challenging to soften and mobilize.
If you are practicing contortion, it is absolutely vital that you utilize the upper back. If you are not using the upper back in your contortion poses, chaces are you are putting extreme strain on the lower back, creating a severe hinge distributed over just a few lumbar (low back) vertebrae. Not good for long term outcomes.
A few of my favorite upper back and lat (latissimus dorsi) stretches:
These stretches are Intermediate-Advanced level stretches, as many beginner contortion students will require modifications and alternative options.
Your body has a unique history of physical activity, past injury, and genetic factors. While there are many people who enjoy being “self-taught” contortionists, recieving professional traning ensures safety, proper form, and individualized support to help you achieve your personal best skill level.
Disclaimer: Content is designed for demonstrational purposes. Those who choose to participate in contortion flexibility training do so at their own risk. Please consult your trusted medical professional for clearance to participate in any physical training program. If you have questions about safety and individual guidance, email firstname.lastname@example.org for consultations and rates.