Contortion (sometimes contortionism) is a form of physical display that involves the dramatic bending and flexing of the human body. Contortion is often a part of acrobatics and circus acts. In general, “contortionists” have unusual natural flexibility, which is then enhanced through acrobatic training, or they put themselves through intense, vigorous and painful training to gain this flexibility.
In some regions like Mongolia many people (mainly girls) learn contortion because it is considered a culturally important art form. Contortionists often start practicing at a very young age. The minimum acceptable age to begin contortion training is in many places is 5 years-old; it is believed bone deformities can be caused due to growth factors at a younger age.
Some sports such as Rhythmic Gymnastics demand extreme flexibility but the not necessarily the hand balancing skills or performance skills of a contortionist.
Above Chus Martinez demonstrates just how cool she is!