A Contortionist Created a Workout and I Somehow Didn't Break in Half While Doing It

Contorture takes stretching and strength to a new level.
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Publish date:
July 19, 2015
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exercise, workouts, flexibility

I’m writing this with two ice packs on my hips like an ill-fitting bikini, but I regret nothing. I stumbled upon a new fitness concept called Contorture, and I guess you can call me masochistic because, even though I haven’t worked out in literal ages, I decided that it was really important for me to try this out. You know, for science and xoVain.

Let me start out by saying I am not crazy-flexible. Even in my peak yoga days, I still had to get adjusted by teachers often. I have very very tight hips and shoulders, and someone usually has to physically force open my collarbones for me to feel any of that "heart opening" business that everyone else is so good at.

Well, what do you know? The leader of the class and founder of this technique, Jonathan Nosan, swears that he was barely able to touch his toes before training in the art of body contortion.

After 20 years in the game, Jonathan has decided to bring his powerful and unique workout to the masses. Classes are available in person in NYC at a few places, including the super-luxe Mercedes Club, and it speaks to his audience; but the best part of all of this is the forthcoming video series, which you can purchase and do at home.

I feel like being really out of shape and an absolute beginner made me an ideal tester. If I can survive the Contorture chamber, then anyone can, right?

Correct! This workout was actually so, so effective. You really feel not only an extreme stretch, but a burn in your core that I used to only feel after my workouts, not so much during. Jonathan uses forms and poses we might be familiar with from general exercise and even yoga, but puts them to the absolute edge of what you can handle.

I didn’t hate it! I felt my hips open a few extra inches, which is a serious improvement, and a burn you can feel from your toes to your butt and every muscle of the back and arms. I am sore as a mother right now, but I don’t think my lower abs and hips have ever felt this targeted.

Using back bends, modified squats, planks, and headstands, you begin to learn the minute movements and balances that Jonathan uses in his contortion performances. Essentially, if you consistently work on this, you can go from not being able to touch your toes to doing one-handed balances and advanced techniques. Plus, Jonathan has awesome energy and it is ceaseless. I love a good sense of humor, especially during a workout; it reminds you that life is better when you have a laugh.

This class was created for people who are not challenged by most of the hottest fitness methods these days. If you do pole dancing, yoga, or circuit fitness a la Crossfit, the additional challenge from Contorture can really make a difference if you are leveling out on even the most advanced classes. The benefits of this workout, aside from general flexibility and fun party tricks if you stick to it, are mostly in line with my desires: slightly less tummy, slightly more butt.

You firm up your legs and booty while really targeting your lower core, and this core is about to go sink into an epsom salt bath, so I highly suggest you check out the videos or pop into a class if you are in NYC! It was a trip!

  • What’s the craziest workout you ever did?
  • Any super-flexible babes out there?