So about a year ago I took my first private with my contortion instructor Samantha Hall. She opened my eyes about two things:
- It’s not about the straight legs. I thought I needed to get to the point where my legs are straight before walking them closer to my hands. I kept working on pushing with my legs and eventually managed to straighten them, but my progress was not very fast overall. Sam told me right away that the legs are not important here, and walking them closer is essential for progress.
- It is about the shoulders over hands. Being able to lock out my legs in my very wide initial stance is all fine and dandy, but the whole point of pushing the weight toward the hands is to get the shoulders over them. It brings more bend to the upper back and shoulder and evens out the pressure throughout the spine. She introduced me to the chest to wall bridge which felt impossible that that time.
During the last year my back have been though quite a lot. I gained understanding in how to mobilize my upper back, started to actively put in work to open my shoulders, stretched my hip flexors while strengthening my glutes, dubbed into chest stands, and got serious about my bridges and getting more comfortable in them.
I addressed the two points I listed above by working on compacting my bridge and working on the chest to wall bridge. This, along with better shoulders and the ability to tap into my upper back more, are probably the biggest contributors to my progress.
I remember thinking that that’s as good as my bridge is going to be, and I now I feel the same way about my current picture. Silly, I know. Especially since I’m not planning to stop any time soon. I’ll get that chest on the wall, heels down, this year for sure.
Actually, I can’t imagine how is it going to look a year from now.