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How to Improve a Scorpion in Cheerleading

To please the crowds at your next cheerleading performance, consider adding the scorpion to your repertoire. You often see this move performed atop a pyramid by athletes called flyers, but it's shown on the tumbling floor as well. Perform a scorpion by pulling up a leg behind your body as high as possible with your back arched. You hold the scorpion with two hands as long as you can, keeping your balance on one foot. Improving your scorpion requires flexibility and balance work.

  1. Perform a 10-minute aerobic activity prior to working on your scorpion. This will warm up the muscles for the stretching activities to come. Run in place and do calisthenics such as jumping jacks or dance moves. Once your heart rate has increased and you're sweating lightly, you can move on to stretches. Perform dynamic movements such as arm circles or trunk rotations.

  2. Sit on the floor with your legs wide apart. Reach forward with your arms and torso as far as you can. Hold this stretch for 20 seconds. This exercise will increase the flexibility in your arms and back.

  3. Stretch your back further with several back bends. Do standard bends with your feet and hands on the floor and your back arched. Hold the position as long as possible. Work on balance by raising one leg high in the air during your next back bend. Again, hold the pose as long as you can. Raise the opposite leg on the next back bend.

  4. Lift your right leg up behind you as far as you can without using your hands. Lean forward slightly and maintain this stance with an arched back for 10 to 15 seconds. Repeat with your other leg lifted. Concentrate on maintaining your balance while leaning forward.

  5. Lie on your stomach on a tumbling mat. Reach behind you with your arms and grasp your right foot. Extend your leg while arching your back. Maintain this posture for 20 seconds. Repeat this on-the-floor scorpion with your other foot.

  6. Increase your core and leg strength to improve your scorpion. Do crunches, squats and pushups to build the muscles you'll need to perform impressive stunts, including the scorpion.

  7. Practice scorpions in the water. Wade out to approximately 3 1/2 feet deep. Perform your full scorpion in the water. Extend as far as possible as you attempt to keep one foot flat on the bottom of the pool. Practice for 15 to 20 minutes in the water.

    Tip

    Enlist the help of a coach or an experienced gymnast. Ask her to watch you doing scorpions and give you feedback to help improve your technique. Don't just perform this one stunt, however, as you need to know what your scorpions look like following other moves, especially at the end of a long practice. The expert can give you advice on building endurance as well, so your scorpions will be good throughout the entire routine.

    Warning

    Give yourself a day of rest between intense practices to allow sore muscles to rest and repair themselves.

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About the Author

Lisa Mooney has been a professional writer for more than 18 years. She has worked with various clients including many Fortune 500 companies such as Pinkerton Inc. She has written for many publications including Woman's World, Boy's Life and Dark Horizons. Mooney holds bachelor's degrees in both English and biology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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