If you’re one of us that enjoys a temperate climate, it likely means you experience the less enjoyable winter months. Contortion training during this time is hard. It gets dark earlier, it’s cold outside and all you really want to do is burrito yourself in your duvet. But we want to train!
Take warm showers before you start your contortion training
While it may seem counterproductive to shower before you get good and sweaty after a training session, a nice hot shower and some lightly mobilising exercises can definitely help get yourself and your body into the right mindset for flexibility training. Make sure you towel off quickly though, else you’ll lose the benefit and just be cold and wet!
Invest in a heater
If the room you’re training in doesn’t retain heat well, or your heating isn’t doing the job, a small electric heater could be what you need. Small heaters can do the trick (unless the room you’re trying to warm up is giant!). Your best bet would be to start it running 10-15 minutes before you’re actually aiming to start training. Doing this will give the heater chance to work its magic and get the room nice and comfortable for you to start your flexibility training.
Get a back warmer (or layer up your clothing)
If you’re stretching your back, back warmers are a great addition to your winter-training wardrobe. These are usually made of stretchy, wool fabric that help keep your middle and lower back nice and toasty during your training. I find these work best when worn over something like a t-shirt. I find that if I just wear the back warmer and then take it off during the session my back cools down very quickly, which is exactly what you’re trying to avoid. If you don’t fancy a back warmer, the next best option is to layer your clothing so that you can remove articles appropriately as your session progresses and you get warmer. Wearing a vest under a t-shirt, with a hoodie on top gives you a good starting point to play with what works for you.
Modify your contortion warmup
Since it’s cold, your body might feel much less ready to just get into a heavy contortion training session it’s amazing how much the ambient temperature can affect your flexibility! Warm ups are always important and should never be missed, but you should be mindful of how your body is feeling especially in the winter months, you might need to start off lighter and less deep with your warmup and gradually build up as you would usually. Another approach might be considering some more dynamic warm up exercises that you return to throughout the duration of your session to keep your body temperature up.
Get some more lighting for your flexibility training space
For those of us much further north (or south) of the equator the days are much shorter during the winter months (and usually can be quite overcast so there is no sun!). Trying to motivate yourself is hard enough when it’s cold, but even more so if it’s dark too. Adding some extra lighting to your training space can be a great help to fight off the dingy feeling of winter when you’re trying to get yourself up and motivated to start your contortion training.