Hi guys! Haven't actually posted in the years I've been here but I'm trying to get a needle (standing splits, holding the leg behind you above your head with both hands) and I need exercises and tips for a more flexible back.
I'm naturally quite flexible (& thanks to ballet ) and can easily do splits. It's not that I'm not flexible in my back, I just need to be able to touch my head on my back split leg and I'm having trouble!
If you can do front (forward) splits, you should be able to do a needle. Have you tried practicing it next to a wall? Could help.
Is your spine naturally straight? I have trouble with back bends..the kind you're saying where you have to touch your foot to your head from a hyperextension but that's because I have a slight scoliosis. I'm looking at your picture and your waist seems slightlyy tilted to one side. It's with me too. But in my case I can't straighten it. You might just be standing naturally that way, anybody can.
A simple 'Adams test' for scoliosis will rule that out. Google it if you can :) . Just trying to help.