Back Stretches for a Better Scorpion in Cheerleading
To execute a scorpion position in cheerleading, you must stand on one leg, grab the foot of your other leg, extend it behind your head so it curves upward, and finally switch hands so your opposite hand grabs your opposite foot. It is a very difficult move that requires extremely flexibility of the back and other muscles. To improve or master your scorpion, stretch two to five times per day. Master the move and balance for several minutes on the ground prior to attempting it in the air. Stop if you feel any pain or discomfort.
Start this stretch lying on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat. Your arms should be bent overhead with your hands flat on the ground. Push up into a back bend position. Place your feet together and straighten your legs, pressing your body weight toward your shoulders and further stretching your shoulders back. Next separate the feet and bring them as close to your hands as possible, increasing the arch in your back.
Start this stretch in a split position. Arch your back toward your back leg. Bend the back knee, lifting the foot off the ground. Grab hold of the back foot with the opposite arm. Place your free arm on the ground next to you for support. Hold this position. If necessary for balance and stability, bend the front leg toward your body, placing the outside of the leg flat against the ground.
A stunt strap — a nylon strap with loops at both ends — allows you to stretch in a scorpion position while developing balance. Stand on one leg and loop your other foot through one end of the stunt strap. Grab the other end of the strap with both hands and pull your back foot up and toward your head. Walk your hands down the strap closer and closer to the foot you are pulling up. Hold for several minutes.
Stretch Other Muscles
Do not neglect other muscles involved in executing a scorpion. You may be unable to properly perform your scorpion because of tightness in your hip flexors or quadriceps. Stretch these muscles by lying on your side. Bend your top log and pull that foot in toward your rear end. At the same time, allow your knee to point behind you a little, increasing the stretch in your hip flexors and quadriceps. Roll over and stretch the other leg.
Kelsey Casselbury is a freelance writer and editor based in central Maryland. Her clients have included Livestrong, School Nutrition magazine, What's Up? Media, American Academy of Clinical Chemistry, SmartBrief and more. She has a formal education in personal training/nutrition and a bachelor's degree in journalism from The Pennsylvania State University.