The human body itself is a bundle of wonder and we all would agree with that. The way we have successfully come to the top of the food chain is no mean feat. However, the fierce magnanimity of our species need not be weighed in comparison to other species. Within the ambit of homo sapiens too, we find that there are a large number of ways in which one person is better than the others and so on. There are all sorts of activities- mental and physical, owing to which, we realise what the human body is capable of. They show us the immense qualities that some diligent, and passionate hard workers have acquired and leave us mere mortals gawking in awe. One such quality is that of flexibility of bodies. Yes, we all have been provided with a largely same corporeal frame but some of us can move, twist and turn our bodies in ways which very few others can. While some of us choose to go ahead with this wonderful quality and select our field of profession accordingly, some of us just indulge in certain activities for pleasure. Here, in this article, we are bringing to you a list of such activities which require insane flexibility. If you can do any of these, take a bow! If not, try your hands on some of the comparatively easier ones. But make sure you don’t end up hurting yourself!
Yoga is one of the most popular forms of daily exercise, something which is pursued almost religiously by many health freaks out there. Originated in India, it refers to a set of body postures which are designed to help keep the body and mind healthy. While some of the postures in yoga are quite simple and can be performed by almost anyone, the rest like head-to-knee forward bend, standing split and many more require insane flexibility and can only be performed by professionals. However, the good thing about yoga is that if done on a daily basis, it can help you increase your flexibility; so, start with simple ones and you will find yourselves twisting like elastic rubber in no time.
If you think dancing is easy, try this one. Quite different from the regular hip shaking that you do in clubs in the name of dancing, salsa requires huge flexibility and impeccable coordination skills with your partner. Originated in New York, it was made popular by its strong influences in Latin American culture. Performed in pairs, salsa requires a leader and a follower with the lead dancer setting the position of the dance. While the popularity of this dance form has made it adapt to a number of less sophisticated variations which do not require that much flexibility, doing the professional salsa will require you to move your hips and waist very fast and balance your partner while doing it.
Yes, it requires flexibility too! Some of the sexual positions do require a great amount of flexibility from at least one of the partners, sometimes from both that may seem like impossible to achieve. But hey, what do they say about life, no pains-no gains! The ultimate book of sex, Kamasutra talks about many such positions which couples can try on to spice up their sex life and gain more pleasure out of the act. But an advice, do not rush into doing anything and everything for the sake of fun, you might end up hurting yourself. Respect both yours and your partner’s body.
7. Pole vault
Up to this point, the acts that were mentioned could be brought down to a level to suit us mere mortals but this one and the ones coming up are hardcore, in the sense that they have no versions to suit those who can’t bend it like Beckham. First one of them being pole vault, a track and field event in athletics that requires the player to jump over a bar placed high above the ground with a flexible pole to their aid. A game such as pole vault can only be played by those who have a toned body and are capable of lifting and twisting it high in the air, more like swinging. Do try this sport if you think you are flexible enough but don’t forget to seek the supervision of a professional coach before doing so as it can prove to be quite dangerous if done wrongly.
6. High jump
High jump is another track and field event in sports that requires competitors to jump over a high placed bar that is placed about 1.5 meters high. It may not sound that difficult but try it once to see what it demands from you and then will you know what athletes keep toiling their day and night for. Just to give you an idea, the world record for high jump is 2.45m i.e. approx 8ft held by Javior Sotomayor!
For those of you who are James Bond fans, fencing may not need an explanation (Die Another Day, folks!). For others, let us tell you that it is an evolved form of martial art which involves two players playing each other with a sword like object known with different names such as foil, sabre and epee. Like a regular sword fight, fencing too involves a battle-like game between the two where both try to guard themselves against the other’s offensive. Fencing requires a quick reflex with an ability to bend one’s body to ditch an attack by the opponent and is thus, a game that demands a lot of practice.
4. Figure Skating
Figure skating was the first winter sport to be included in Olympics in 1908. Skating, quite common among kids requires a certain amount of flexibility but figure skating is certainly a level up because it is done on ice! Professionals involved in this sport can be seen to perform some majestic moves as they glide on ice and bend their bodies while doing so. Aesthetic attraction involved in figure skating has taken it out of being a mere sport as it now is also associated with show business. Do check it out and by all means, pursue if you have an insanely flexible body and a thing for skating.
A household name now, gymnastics is known to almost everybody unlike many other things on this list. It is a sport involving performing exercises that require a triad of talents namely, flexibility, strength and control. Usually performed with an aid like bars, swings or rings, gymnastics is usually taken by only those who have a body fit to be twisted like a rubber and stretched like elastic. Like yoga or salsa, this one here has no easy versions for you to try on so take this up only if you are capable of going all the way.
Another popular form of performance sports, acrobatics are usually performed in groups and involves the display of extraordinary balance, agility and coordination. They are a delight to watch and leave the audience struck with awe and wonder. One of the most important attractions of any circus, acrobatics fascinate many of us precisely because of the insane flexibility skills displayed by the acrobats, usually high above in the air. Like gymnastics, it too involves using props like ropes, trapeze, poles, cradles or hoop which just add to their visual appeal.
Finally, the number one item on the list, contortion! The reason why it is ranked so is because the very meaning of contortion is a performance which involves performers to showcase their skills of ‘extreme physical flexibility’. While acrobatics and gymnastics are classified under the category of sports as they require other skills as well to complement flexibility, this one rests all on the ability of the performer to bend their body to unreal levels in front of a live audience. Talk about pressure, eh? Contortionists usually leave their audiences dumbstruck with their abilities to twist their legs and hands often to the rhythm of some catchy beats. The skill they exhibit is one which remains unchallenged. And justly so!
So, now that you are well aware of the various activities that require you to bend and twist and turn your body in a way that you don’t have a legit bone structure, why don’t you try some of the basic ones? But yes, do make sure that you take some professional help, too. We don’t want you to get hurt!