Stretching Exercises For Cheerleaders: Cheer Stretch Routine
A staple of cheerleading and gymnastics is flexibility and range of motion in the hips, legs, and low back. Dedicated time must be set apart in each training session to help cheerleaders stretch, prepare, and enhance their range of motion.
Proper stretching and flexibility can lead to major improvements in stunts and routines for cheerleaders. Improper stretching can have a detrimental impact on a cheerleader's body. Cheerleaders may experience injuries and setbacks if proper amounts of flexibility exercises are not performed. Due to the constant long range of motion movements performed by cheerleaders, stretching exercises for cheerleaders must be performed regularly to help improve results and reduce injuries.
This video will take cheerleaders, dancers, and gymnasts through a selection of static stretches that should be performed before training sessions to help improve range of motion. Static stretching should not be the only flexibility exercise performed before training or competing because static stretching only increases range of motion and does not actually prepare the muscles or body to perform the stunts regularly seen in cheerleading training sessions. Stretching exercises for cheerleaders should include active and dynamic stretching, which involves cheerleaders performing movements which mimic the motions they will be performing during their training session or competition.
Best Stretching Exercises For Cheerleaders: Hamstring Stretch
Flexibility in the hamstrings and upper legs is critical to have success in cheerleading. Stretching exercises for cheerleaders that emphasize a longer range of motion should be executed regularly in a cheerleaders training session. The flexibility exercise for the hamstrings will require a Kbands Stunt Strap to aid in this stretching exercise for cheerleaders.
To begin the hamstring stretch cheerleaders will lie flat on their backs and attach the Kbands Stunt Strap securely around the foot of the leg being stretched. The flexibility exercise will begin as the participant is lying flat on their back and with a completely straight leg begin to bring the leg to the chest area. Cheerleaders performing the flexibility exercise need to keep the leg completely straight throughout the stretching exercise. Allowing any bending of the knee will take away from the range of motion the flexibility exercise is attempting to promote in the hamstrings.
Hand placement is a key component of the flexibility exercise being performed correctly. Cheerleaders will take the hand on the same side of the body as the leg being stretched and place it on the Kbands Stunt Strap. During the flexibility exercise the hand holding the Kbands Stunt Strap will be extended as far as necessary to properly stretch the hamstring.
Correctly performing stretching exercises for cheerleaders is important to achieve maximum gains versus the time taken out of training to work on flexibility and range of motion. Cheerleaders will become more dynamic and competitive in their training by taking advantage of increased range of motion.
The hamstring stretching exercise for cheerleaders should be performed for 15-20 seconds depending on the cheerleaders skill level and flexibility. Cheerleaders will perform all 4 points of the cheer stretch routine on one side of the body before performing the same stretching exercises for cheerleaders on the opposite side of the body. Perform the hamstring stretching exercises for cheerleaders 2-3 times per week to help cheerleaders gain flexibility and range of motion in the hamstrings.
Best Stretching Exercises For Cheerleaders: Groin
A properly stretched groin and hamstring area will help cheerleaders execute moves involving straight leg raises and hold, such as the heel stretch. The flexibility exercise for increasing range of motion in the groin is very similar to the hamstring stretch discussed previously.
Cheerleaders will begin by lying on their back with the Kbands Stunt Strap secured around the foot. Cheerleaders will keep their legs completely straight pulling the foot and knee slightly outside the body, toward the chest and head area. Once the leg cannot be kept straight, pulling should be stopped. Getting a good stretch should be emphasized until range of motion can be increased. This stretch is similar to the hamstring stretch, hand placement will remain the same as in the hamstring flexibility exercise. The leg will be pulled slightly to the outside of the body versus straight down the middle of the body. A slight stretch in the hamstrings will be felt during the groin flexibility exercise.
The stretching exercise for cheerleaders, emphasizing the groin, should be performed for 15-20 seconds on the desired leg. Perform all parts of the 4 point stretching routine on one side of the body before moving to the opposite side of the body.
Best Stretching Exercises For Cheerleaders: IT Band
The previous stretching exercises for cheerleaders emphasized the muscles of the upper leg. However, during a good stretching routine for cheerleaders hip flexibility must also be emphasized.
To begin the groin stretch cheerleaders will assume a position lying on their back, placing the Kbands Stunt Strap around the foot of the leg performing the flexibility exercise. This stretching exercise for cheerleaders involves different hand placement than the previous flexibility exercises. Cheerleaders will place the Kbands Stunt Strap in the opposite hand of the leg being stretched. To begin the flexibility exercise cheerleaders will raise the leg slightly higher than their leg remaining on the ground and begin to gently pull the leg across the body, a stretch should be felt in the hip area. This flexibility exercise should be performed for 15-20 seconds before moving onto the next phase of the 4 point stretching exercise for cheerleaders.
During this stretching exercise for cheerleaders, they need to be sure their hips do not swivel or come off the ground while the IT bands flexibility exercise is being performed. If hips are moving or coming off of the ground the desired stretch in the IT bands will not be achieved as the stretch placed on the muscle by the Kbands Stunt Strap will move into different areas of the upper legs and hips.
Best Stretching Exercises For Cheerleaders: Hip Flexor and Quads
The final phase of the 4 point stretching exercises for cheerleaders will focus on the hip flexors and quadriceps. Cheerleaders will roll over so their chest is lying on the ground with the Kbands Stunt Strap coming over the top of the head, firmly grasped in both hands.
To begin the flexibility exercise cheerleaders will begin to pull the Kbands Stunt Strap, moving the foot closer to the head similar to performing a scorpion. As the foot moves closer to the head it is important for cheerleaders to relax and focus on breathing during the flexibility exercise.
Flexibility is important for cheerleaders to master so they can move into more difficult and challenging stunts. To learn how to properly perform more advanced stunts, requiring greater flexibility, cheerleaders should check out the drills demonstrated at walkthroughs and demonstrations on how to perform a wide variety of stunts like the scorpion or heel stretch and provides demonstrations to help improve lower back flexibility and jump height.. offers
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