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Cheerleading/Cheerleading - Flexibility

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Hi Chris,

I am 20 years old and I want to start cheerleading. I live in the UK where we dont have cheerleading at school so I have no experience at all in stretching, flexibility and tumbling. I want to separate it into two parts so that it is easier for me to learn, flexibility and tumbling. I want to start with flexibility first and was hoping you could help me. I want all of my body to be super flexible like a cheerleader and I know it would take some time and dedication but I want this really badly so I am going to give 100% and am confident that I will achieve my goal. I also want to have a really flexible back so that I can bend backwards but I dont want to be focused on one area, I want ALL of my body to be flexible. I have been looking online for information but it is confusing. I really don't know what information is reliable and trustworthy. I was hoping you could show me how to become flexibile correctly. I have some questions which I hope you can answer for me. I want to stretch my whole body equally and safely without any muscle imbalance.


My questions are:-

Do cheerleaders stretch every major muscle groups or do they stretch in another way? If they do, how many different major muscle groups are there to stretch in the body in total? Can you name ALL of them for me so I dont miss any?

Can you get muscle imbalances when stretching? If you can, can you tell me how to avoid having muscle imbalances?

Can you show me all the stretches that you show cheerleaders, please?


Thank you for taking the time to read this and I will look forward to your reply.

Rachel

Answer
Cheerleaders don't really focus specifically on muscle groups. Instead they stretch their whole bodies every day and then certain muscles they feel they would like to work on. I'm not sure what you mean by muscle imbalances. It is possible to become more flexible than the body can handle. To avoid this, you should also strengthen your muscles.

Cheerleading stretches:

Sit in a straddle with your shoe laces pointing towards the back. Reach your arms towards the right and bend down as far as you can. Repeat towards the middle and left. Hold for about 10 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times.

Sit in a pike position with your toes pointed. Reach forward towards your toes. Hold for about 10 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times. Repeat with your toes flexed.

Pull your right arm straight across your chest, holding it with your left arm. Hold for about 10 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times. Repeat with your left arm.

Reach your right arm up above your head. Bend it at the elbow until your hand is behind your head. Use your left arm to pull at the elbow until you feel a stretch. Hold for about 10 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times. Repeat with the other arm.

Splits: Left leg in front, right leg in front, and middle. Hold for about 10 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times. When sitting in a right or left front split, reach your arms up and lean as far forward as you can. Then reach up and lean as far backwards as you can. Hold for about 10 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times.

This is all the stretching I ever did and I was very flexible, and this is what I have the kids I coach do. Hope this helps!

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Chris

Expertise

I can answer questions on partner stunts, dismounts, basket tosses, choreography, pyramids, jumps, motions, chants, and formations. I can answer questions on tryouts, coaching, general cheerleading, etc. I cannot answer questions on co-ed stunts/pyramids or tumbling. Aside from these areas I can usually answer, or direct you to an answer, on any other topic.

Experience

I've been cheerleading for 10 years. My teams consistently competed at the national level, placing many times. I've coached for the past 5 years, and the team I coached most recently became National Champions. I've cheered at the Pop Warner, High School, and All-Star levels. I coach alongside my mother and sister who have coached at the all-star level as well. I've been watching cheerleading since I was 4, and I can create routines, give advice, and help teach kids how to deal with competitions. I have a knack for coaching and giving advice. I'm always the coach designated to give the pep talks to the kids before competitions.

Education/Credentials
I have been living with cheerleading coaches for 10+ years which teaches more than anyone can imagine. I was captain of my Varsity High School squad which came with the responsibility of picking music, writing a cheer, creating and teaching the routine, and making the formations. I have also coached nationally ranked teams for 5 years.

Awards and Honors
Two-time All-State Cheerleader nominee All-State Class M Cheerleader Varsity Cheer Captain

Past/Present Clients
The 32 young girls I just helped coach to a national championship! :) It wasn't easy, but they'll all say the work was worth it in the end.

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