Low Back Pain and Tightness
Cheerleaders are often limited by their lack of lower back flexibility. Their hamstrings and glutes are very flexible with full range of motion, but their lower back limits their stunting abilities. Watch this cheer video to learn how to loosen up your lower back to complete advanced level stunts.
Problem with Lower Back Flexibility
Inexperienced cheerleaders need to work to build flexibility, and advanced cheerleaders must work to maintain flexibility. Cheerleaders are no different than other athletes. If they overwork a muscle it will become tight and sore. If that cheerleader doesn't take the time to stretch tight sore muscles, over time those muscles will become bound and provide less range of motion. A cheerleader's lower back takes a pounding when stunting. Most every exercise and stunt requires a tremendous amount of lower back strength and flexibility. Most cheerleaders remember to stretch their hip flexors, groin, hamstrings, and quads when they warm up. Cheerleaders don't take the proper amount of time to stretch out their lower back and glutes. Hamstrings and glutes affect low back pain and range of motion. Be sure to watch the video above and work through the stretches for low back flexibility.
How to Stretch Lower Back
Always warm up before stretching. After a quick warm-up grab your Kbands Training Stunt Strap. Loop the Stunt Strap around your left foot and use your right hand to hold the loop that is around your foot. Next, roll back onto your back while still holding the loop in your right hand. Now bring the foot that you're holding with your right hand towards your chest. Next wrap your left arm around your knee for support. Hold the stretch for 15 to 20 seconds and then move on to the 2nd stretch. Make sure throughout stretching that you exhale to increase range of motion.
Stretch Glute and Lower Back
The second stretch incorporates more muscle groups. After focusing on the flexibility of your glute, now it is time to incorporate your lower back. With the same leg you started with, wrap your hands around your calf as you roll back. Let your right leg bend at the knee at a 90° angle. As you roll back, pull your calf towards your head. When you reach max range of motion, exhale and let your hips roll off the ground just a little bit. This will enhance the scratch to your lower back. After completing this stretch, complete the 2 stretches you just did on your right leg. Each stretch should be held for 15 to 20 seconds.
Increased Lower Back Flexibility
The third stretch is amazing for lower back pain. Lower back pain is often caused by tense muscles. During this stretch you will target your lower back by pulling your legs to your chest. First, roll back on your lower back and let your feet come up towards your head. Next, grab your calves or your ankles with a good grip and pull them towards your chest. It is important to keep your hips close to the ground. If you let your hips roll up where your feet nearly touch the ground you're not stretching your lower back. When you begin pulling your legs towards your chest, push your hips to the ground as well. This will keep your body in the right position to stretch your lower back. Refer to the video above for visual instructions.
Lower Back Pain Can Be Caused Be Other Muscles
Lower back pain is sometimes a tricky area. You can have lower back pain with an acute or chronic injury. You may also encounter low back pain if you have surrounding tight muscles. Tight glutes and hamstrings can have a major impact on how your back feels. The best way to get rid of back pain is to make sure that you have full range of motion in all surrounding muscles. If your hamstrings are tight and you have low back pain, then you need to begin to work for full range of motion in your hamstrings. If you complete one of the stretches seen in the video and you feel very tight in that area, then you must work to loosen those muscles and relieve yourself of lower back pain.
Cheerleaders | Lower Back
Cheerleaders must work to keep full range of motion in the lower back in order to prevent injury. The entire sport revolves around high impact stunting. Every drop, every fall, and every tumble adds stress to your lower back. It takes work to maintain flexibility and range of motion to continue competing at the highest level. One injury can leave you on the sidelines for months or could push you out of the sport altogether. Simple daily stretching can leave you worry free.
Cheer Training Equipment