The gymnastic element in all star cheerleading takes a lot of logged practice hours! You need to be flexible and have full body strength to flip, twist, turn, and defy gravity on the mats. Every elite tumbler started somewhere though and we’re going to begin just there!
Flexibility can be a limitation for many cheerleading and gymnastics tumbling beginners, so make sure that you focus on getting your muscles ready for the demands of tumbling. Without flexibility, your tumbling will be very limited and you’ll be putting yourself, and possibly your team, at risk for serious injury.
- Hold your right arm straight out in front of you, palm toward the floor.
- With your left hand, slowly and gently pull your pointed fingers towards you, so that your right palm faces outward and your fingers point at the ceiling.
- Switch and stretch out your left wrist.
- Cross your right arm over your body at your chest. Bring your left arm underneath your right arm, aligning your elbows.
- Bend your left elbow up so that your left arm wraps up and around your right one.
- Keeping your body straight, use your left arm to slowly put pressure on your right arm and pull it in toward your body.
- Sit on the floor with your knees bent and the bottoms of your feet touching each other.
- While keeping the bottoms of your feet together, pull your heels towards you and push your knees down, towards the floor, until your muscles release.
- Sit on the floor with your legs in a “V” position. Slowly stretch forward without bending your knees. Keep your toes pointed.
- Once your muscles release, you can then stretch towards the left side by reaching both hands toward your left foot. Repeat on your right side as well.
- Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Make sure your knees and ankles are together and your toes are pointed.
- Keeping your back as straight as possible, lean forward and reach for your toes. Do not bend your knees so that you can reach your toes!
- Lay down on your back with your palms on the floor, above your shoulders, and your knees bent so that your feet ar flat on the ground.
- Straighten your arms and legs by pushing your hips and abs towards the ceiling while keeping your hands and feet in the same position on the ground. Stay off your head!
- Warm up! Whether you’re working on elite tumbling passes or it’s your first time at the gym, warm up your muscles with a light jog or other alternative cardio work out for twenty minutes.
- DO NOT bounce while stretching! Keep your body balanced and you’ll avoid causing serious muscle injury.
- Including gentle stretching in your daily routine can improve your circulation, which can reduce muscle tension and soreness (yay)!