Are You Stretching Properly?

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Stretching before practices and performances is very important. It helps get your body in the right condition and prepares you to do your best.

My team and I warm up first by doing some standing leg stretches, which consists of spreading your feet out a little wider than shoulder width, then reaching for one leg, then the other. After that we grab one foot and stand on one leg and then switch. This helps stretch your quadriceps. Next we stretch each arm by reaching your arm across your chest and holding it there with the opposite arm.

The following stretches help you get your splits or over splits. First, lunge with whiever leg you want to start with first. After holding it for at least fifteen seconds, lean back and bend your back leg while straightening out your front leg. Try to reach for your foot in this position. After holding that for another fifteen seconds, go back into the lunge position again, except this time use your hand to grab your back foot and try to bend your leg towards your head (This really gives you a good stretch). Then slide into your split and hold that for thirty seconds or longer. Do the same stretch with the opposite leg.

Now the middle split stretches. Start off with the bent knee straddle stretch. Spread your legs as far apart as you can to get the best stretch. Next try to slide down into your middle splits and hold it for thirty seconds. Then sit in a straddle and reach for one foot at a time, then down the center as far as you can reach. When you reach for your feet try to do pointed toe reaches and flexed foot reaches.

To end your team stretch, have everyone hold a bridge for fifteen seconds. Don’t forget to stretch your flyers with flyer stretches. Have them stand up against a wall and have someone pick up one of their legs and stretch it in a split position for both legs and then do the same thing again, but have them turn to a side and stretch them so they are at their maximum flexibility in the air.

That is how my team warms up and stretches at practices and performances. Does your team do different stretches? Share them with me by leaving a comment below!

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Natalie Haas

Natalie is currently a cheerleader at Northbridge High School in Massachusetts. She began cheerleading just two years ago, but has developed a deep love and passion for the sport. Her favorite part of cheerleading is cheering on her school’s football and basketball teams with the best cheerleading team anyone could ask for.

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