Increase Flexibility | Stunt Strap
Cheerleaders need to be flexible to be the best they can be. It's important when following the stretch routine in the video below to make sure you work into the resistance. This means that you move past the initial pull. You will never get any more flexible by simply stretching outside of the deep pull. Follow along as Trevor Theismann explains each leg position and how to utilize the Stunt Strap.
Stunt Strap Technique
The best way to build flexibility is to warm up before stretching. A small 5 minute warm-up to get your heart rate up will enable your body to benefit from stretching. If you simply stretch a tight cold muscle you won't increase your body's ability to lengthen its muscles. A small warm-up will increase range of motion and prevent injury when stretching. Use our Stunt Strap to push your flexibility to a higher level. Stretching isn't a walk in the park. When working to increase flexibility you must push your body past comfort and work for additional range of motion. Make sure not to push your body past its threshold, but use the Stunt Strap to hold your leg in cheerleading positions.
Stunt Strap Stretch Routine | Leg Positions
After your small warm-up place the Stunt Strap around one of your feet. Lay on your back and place one of the Stunt Strap loops around your hand. Your other hand will be placed in the middle of the strap to support your foot. There are four major leg positions in the Stunt Strap Stretch Routine and each target specific muscles needed for cheerleading stunts.
The first leg position is straight to your shoulder or chest on your stretch leg side. Use your arms to pull your stretched leg as close to your shoulder or chest region as you can. Take your leg to the point of discomfort and relax your body. Hold this position for 15 to 20 seconds. After this static stretch use the Stunt Strap to add resistance as you come out of the stretch. As soon as your leg reaches your midline, release the Stunt Strap and let your leg go back down to the relaxed position. Repeat this segment for each leg position. The angle of stretch during this part of the routine targets your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back.
The second leg position is slightly wider than the first one. With the Stunt Strap still looped around that same foot, pull that foot out wider than your stretched leg side shoulder. This angle will begin incorporating your hamstrings and groin muscles. Hold the stretch for 15 to 20 seconds and use the same method listed above. Two sets with resisted technique stretching at the end of each static hold. Notice in the video the hand position during the stretch. If you are stretching your left leg then your right hand should be in the loop of the Stunt Strap while your left hand should be towards the middle of the Stunt Strap. When you are ready to begin the stretch, move right hand above your head while the left should be just above your left shoulder. To increase flexibility in this position simply move your hand position farther over your head.
The next leg position targets muscles often missed by cheerleaders. Beginning in the relaxed position, pull your leg across your body. Hand position is just as important in this stretch as the previous stretch. If you are stretching your left leg, place your left hand in the loop this time and your right hand towards the middle of the Stunt Strap. As you bring your leg across your body move your hands above your head in the same, but opposite fashion. Refer to the video for a visual of this stretch. The most important part of this stretch his body position. You should maintain a straight line from head to toe while your leg crosses over your body.
Most cheerleaders have the tendency to lift their stretched leg side hip off of the ground. This is not what we want. When using the stunt strap it enables us to target our IT band without help from others. When your hands are above your head and your leg is fully extended to the side make sure to then, lower your hip back to the floor. Normally this will make your leg go closer to your relaxed leg and make it feel like you are not as flexible, but the most important body part we are trying to target here is the IT band. This leg position is also held for 15 to 20 seconds with resisted relaxed techniques for 2 repetitions. Refer to the video for any questions or concerns with this leg position.
The final stretch will build flexibility in your hip flexors and quads. Roll over onto your stomach with the Stunt Strap still looped around your foot. Reach behind your head and grab the Stunt Strap towards the middle of the band. Next, pull the Stunt Strap forward in front of your face. Work to keep your hips pointers flat on the floor while you move your hands into position for the static hold. Do not let your leg that is being stretched rock to the sky. Work to keep your hip pointers on the ground the entire stretch while your hip flexor is forced to stretch. This leg position is also held for 15 to 20 seconds for 2 repetitions.
When moving through the Stunt Strap Stretch Routine stretch both legs before moving to the next exercise. Follow along in the video above for any questions or concerns involving the routine. If you have any additional questions on how to become a better cheerleader simply contact us by clicking the link. We are here to help you achieve your cheerleading goals and know that flexibility is a major contributor to stunt performance.
Why Do I Need To Be Flexible to Be a Cheerleader
Flexibility is to a cheerleader as a football is to a quarterback. If a cheerleader does not have the flexibility to complete a stunt then she cannot compete. Flexibility also will help cheerleaders prevent injury. Most all stunts in cheerleading require maximal range of motion in every body position. A tight muscle will lead to the inability to perform a stunt, or worst, a career ending injury. Another aspect of flexibility in cheerleading is the level of an individual stunts. For example, if a cheerleader's body is just flexible enough to complete a scorpion then that cheerleader might be able to muscle out a scorpion in competition. The problem with just being flexible enough is there is a lot of room for error. With maximal flexibility a cheerleader will then be able to hold a specific stunt with ease leaving her the ability to focus on balance and timing. Work hard on your flexibility to be a great cheerleader.
Cheer Training Equipment