Stefanie Millinger is a thrillseeker.
The 30-year-old acrobatic contortionist, artist and athlete from Salzsburg, Austria, has broken nine records between 2020 and 2022 alone.
Every single one of her records demands intense strength and flexibility, as well as an incredible amount of training. Stefanie's routine goes up to ten hours a day, with no exceptions.
Some of her achievements include the longest time balancing on the hands (59 min and six sec) and the longest duration hula-hooping in abdominal plank position (female) (four min and 26 sec), but they certainly don't stop there.
Let’s discover some of Stefanie’s most iconic, incredible records!
Most consecutive L-sit straddle presses to handstands
Stefanie has achieved multiple Guinness World Records titles, and has broken this specific record twice:
- In September 2020, achieving 402 reps
- In June 2021, achieving 406 reps
She managed the incredible number of 406 consecutive presses to handstands without her feet touching the floor.
That means that, during the entire attempt, her body weight was supported by nothing other than her own hands.
Even more incredibly, she achieved this outstanding result a year after going through every performer's nightmare: breaking the scaphoid bone in her wrist.
Once again, Stefanie's hard work and will to push herself to the limit, all while listening to her body's needs, allowed her to make a big and early comeback.
The Austrian artist was performing (and breaking records!) soon after the injury.
Longest time balancing on the hands
As part of her attempt for most consecutive L-sit straddle presses to handstands, Stefanie also broke another record: the longest time balancing on hands.
The record requires incredible strength and focus, and Stefanie had to power through almost a full hour of physical and mental effort.
In the end, the contortionist successfully conquered the challenge.
She remained balanced on nothing but her hands for the incredible time of 59 minutes and six seconds consecutively!
It's mesmerizing to see the handstand artist create seemingly effortless poses balanced solely on her hands, be it on a horse's back or standing on the top of a mountain.
Longest duration hula hooping in abdominal plank position (female)
Stefanie achieved the longest duration hula hooping in abdominal plank position (female) while hula-hooping for four minutes and 26 seconds.
Not only did Stefanie hula hoop non-stop for over four minutes to achieve her record, she also broke her own record two times.
In 2021 she also broke the record for longest duration hula hooping in a single arm plank position (female).
She hula hooped while being balanced on a single hand for three minutes and five seconds consecutively.
"People think I was born hypermobile, but I wasn’t," Stefanie revealed.
"I’ve just always been very ambitious."
Stefanie holds several other titles, such as:
- Longest time to hold the dimbasana pose (yoga) - 30 minutes and three seconds
- Longest L-sit bar hang (female) - two minutes 14 seconds
- Longest L-sit bar hang with one arm (female) - one minute 38 seconds
- Longest duration to perform a single arm handstand (female) - one minute 22 seconds
Behind the records: Stefanie Millinger's training
Such an incredible result and nine world records are the product of a strong mindset and years of intense training.
Stefanie started vaulting when she was 13, and is entirely self-taught.
Although her passion for circus arts bloomed when she was young, she doesn’t come from an artistic background: her father works as an undertaker, while her mother is an employee at Telekom Austria Group.
First juggling school and training, she then had to find a balance between her passion and day jobs to pay rent.
"No one else in my family is an acrobat or gymnast," she reported to Redbull during an interview.
When she was 25 years old, the Austrian athlete also performed equestrian vaulting, and has been invited five times to perform with the world-famous Cirque du Soleil.
The gymnast would train relentlessly for six to eight hours a day, even up to ten hours in days of intense training, every day.
She seeks perfection, and now gives life to astounding forms and acrobatic routines with stunning natural backdrops: she seems beautifully at ease floating on a suspended bridge or defying gravity on the ledge of a tall building.
Despite the many challenges that life threw her way, from a wrist injury to general criticism and people dismissing her passion as something that would not pay the bills, she never stopped.
She persevered, training to improve strength and flexibility, turning her sweat and love for the discipline into medals, results and nine world records.
Over the years, Stefanie has created a niche for her many talents.
Now, her feats are a real-life work of art: the handstand artist blends strength and elegance while making her exercises seem fun and effortless.
Be it hanging off cliffs or dancing suspended on a bridge several kilometres aboveground, Stefanie is always capable of captivating her audience.
Today, watching this versatile contortionist and athlete break record after record is a mesmerizing reminder that passion and hard work truly pay off.
We certainly can’t wait to see what records Stefanie will break next.