This Article is About
cheer
hamstrings
quadriceps
instinct
joints
muscles
ballet
Ballet Flexibility For Cheer Leadering
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

Cheer leadering members often ask me about ballet flexibility. How fast can a person get more flexible, what are the best exercises for making progress toward doing the splits, are the main questions. Learning about which exact muscles you are stretching helps you focus on them, understand their function better, and last but not least, stretch them safely.

For front splits, you will need to stretch and/or release tension from:

  • the hamstrings
  • the psoas
  • the quadriceps

These large and strong muscles are used to control and restrict our movements, in order to protect our joints. Therefore, what stretching does is go against the brain's instinct to prevent injuries in the muscles and tendons of the joints. You get around this by always warming up, and stretching with no bouncing or pulsing at all, when you are in a stretch position.

For example, stretching out the hamstring muscle:

  • use a chair where the height is easy for you to place one leg up on the seat, placed in front of the hip joint
  • your standing leg can be straight but not locked at the knee
  • keeping the back straight, bend forward until you feel a stretch, but not until you feel pain
  • hold the position for fifteen to twenty seconds, breathe easily

Repeat two more times, and change legs. Repeat three times with the other leg.

While you are at the chair, you can do a stretch that will help widen your side split, or second position. Start by again;

  • placing one leg on the chair, keeping it straight
  • turn away from the leg, pivoting the foot on the floor as well, until the leg is more beside you than in front
  • bend sideways over the raised leg, until you feel a stretch from the groin along the inside of the thigh to the knee
  • hold for fifteen to twenty seconds, and repeat two more times
  • repeat with the other leg

This exercise stretches your long adductor muscle. Do not worry about how far to the side your leg will go. This will slowly increase in most cases.

The hardest stretch for most people is the back leg of the splits. You will notice that if a person cannot do the splits, they will most likely keep the front leg straight and "cheat" by bending the back knee. This is the smart way to go. Tearing the hamstring or ripping a tendon or ligament in the hip joint is not worth straining at this position.

The actuality is, individuals who are born to do the splits are often hyper-mobile, meaning they have very long ligaments holding their joints together. They may have not so flexible muscles, but their joints can move around a lot. However, if this is the case, these people are more likely to get dance or sports injuries. So do not suffer too envy over this!

For the back leg start with a runner's lunge:

  • hold onto the back of your chair or something else if you do not have a barre
  • with legs parallel, move one leg back into a lunge, bending the front leg accordingly
  • keep the pelvis upright so that you feel the stretch from the thigh muscle up over the hip joint
  • if no pain, bend the front knee a little until you are into a safe stretch position
  • hold fifteen to twenty seconds, and repeat two more times
  • release the stretch a little, and turn away from the front leg, slightly - for a stretch in the inner hip joint
  • repeat this twice
  • turn toward the front leg a little - for a stretch on the outer hip joint area, do three times the same

A quadriceps stretch:

  • standing legs parallel, pick one foot up, keeping your knees close, and grab the foot
  • bend it up toward your butt, stretching the front of the thigh muscle
  • when you are at the end of the stretch, move the thigh behind you slightly, extending the stretch
  • hold the stretch fifteen to twenty seconds, and repeat twice
  • repeat with the other leg three times

You can also do these stretches alternating legs instead of repeating the same side. If there is any sharp pain STOP. Ask a teacher or coach to check your positions before you continue.

With patience and persistence you will improve your ballet flexibility for cheer leadering.


Street Talk

Carrie2  

Great article I am not going to be a cheer leader but it will help with some of the pole dance moves I am learning thanks!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
You May Also Like
Cheer Coaching Made Easy
Cheer coaching is one of the most rewarding and exciting jobs you can have that is often voluntary. If you are a first time cheer coach, however, it may be a bit overwhelming and intimidating. Hopefully I can help you get off to a great new start of coaching cheerleading! We will…
By: Happy Hannah in  Recreation and Sports  >  Cheerleading   Oct 11, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

6 Proven Tips That Will Help You Get Back With Your Boyfriend
If you are experiencing the pain of a break up that you did not wish for and you want to get back with your boyfriend, cheer up, not everything is lost. The fact that you were together with your boyfriend for a while is already a huge advantage that you…
By: Lucas Heart in  Relationships  >  Conflict   May 05, 2011  
0
  Likes: 2

What is Ballroom Dancing?
Ask that question, and you may as well be asking "what moves you?" Dancing has been an essential part of human culture since the dawn of time, and ballroom dancing still is today. The dictionary may define ballroom dancing as 'formal social dancing in couples', but it's more than that.…
By: Rebekah Lee in  Recreation and Sports  >  Dancing   Apr 01, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Ballroom Dancing For Beginners
Ok, let’s break it down into the basics. First of all, Ballroom dancing is an umbrella term for lots of different kinds of parter dances, and they each have their own name. When you’re starting out, you don’t necessarily need to know what all of them are called, but you’ll…
By: Rebekah Lee in  Recreation and Sports  >  Dancing   Mar 30, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Ballroom Dancing As Exercise
Do you exercise? Our doctors always tell us to, but it always seems to be hard to find the time and the motivation to do it. We need something that's easy to remember to do because it's so much fun, you look forward to it when you get up in…
By: Rebekah Lee in  Recreation and Sports  >  Dancing   Mar 29, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Ballet Stretching - Some Dancers Tips (And For The Rest Of Us)
Learning correct stretching for ballet class means that you have to have a pretty good grasp of the typical ballet barre exercises, and the alignment of the basic ballet positions. A ballet beginner works with the five positions of the feet right away, although they may not use the fifth…
By:  in  Recreation and Sports  >  Dancing   Oct 12, 2011  
0
  Likes: 1

Ballet Injury Prevention – Before You Dance In Ballet Toe Shoes
Ballet injuries can be prevented in most cases. The most important factor is to learn and practice correct classical technique. Choosing the best ballet academy that you can find, is how you start. It is very easy now to find the web sites of your local dance studios and find…
By:  in  Recreation and Sports  >  Dancing   Feb 14, 2012  
0
  Likes: 2

What Hip Hop Dance is About
What is Hip Hop Dance About? Hip hop dance is much more then a dance style that's been around for 30 years. It's a movement and a unique style of dance that has come through a diverse culture, a culture that has something to say. To me hip hop and…
By: Dana Hansen in  Recreation and Sports  >  Dancing   Aug 11, 2011  
1
  Likes: 6

Top Of The Class – Your Ballet Toes Shoes Class
Serious dance students have no delusions. They know they have to be among the top in their ballet academy classes to land a solo or a leading role in their ballet recitals. They know that every ballet barre exercise is important, and that to become more flexible, and stronger, is…
By:  in  Recreation and Sports  >  Dancing   Feb 20, 2012  
0
  Likes: 1

Ballet Classes for Toddlers
The toddler years are an important time in a child's development. By this time the child is walking, learning how to go potty in the toilet and often becoming highly proficient in exercising his or her will. Many little ones have spent the majority of their lives in the limited…
By: Deborah5 in  Recreation and Sports  >  Dancing   Aug 19, 2013  
0
  Likes: 0

Http://wwwtriangleinflatablescom/specialhtml
1. Low investment and start-up costs As said by a businessman who owns Bounce House Rentals Raleigh, starting an inflatable rentals business could be a good start-up investment. With the average bounce house costing around $1,500, your intial investment can break even in a month, and be doubled in two.…
By: melvin2 in  Recreation and Sports  >  Dancing   Jul 08, 2014  
0
  Likes: 0

Ballet Toe Shoes – Dance Injuries And General Aches And Pains
Young dancers, or adult ballet beginners alike need to know how to take care of general aches and pains associated with working their ballet muscles. The prevention of dance injuries is part of your training, so correct classical ballet technique always has its reason for being the way it is.…
By:  in  Recreation and Sports  >  Dancing   Mar 04, 2012  
1
  Likes: 3

Ballet Positions - The Bible Has Been Written
Ballet is traditional, and there are few official variations on its application. The body positions in ballet, the five positions of the feet, and ballet arm positions are very similar in the Russian, French, English and Italian dance traditions. Even if your ballet studio does not teach syllabus classes which…
By:  in  Recreation and Sports  >  Dancing   Nov 28, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Adult Ballet Beginners And Adult Ballet Lessons
Adults who want to begin ballet need to find the right kind of ballet lessons. Many dance academies are very creative in this aspect, and provide the kind of classes that adult ballet beginners will benefit the most from. Some ballet studios combine adult ballet lessons with yoga, or Pilates,…
By:  in  Recreation and Sports  >  Dancing   Jul 10, 2011  
0
  Likes: 1

Start Learning Ballet
Yes, I'm talking to you! Classical dance is one of the most interesting – and artistic – high intensity interval training routines around. High exertion in short spurts – rest – another high exertion in a short spurt – rest... The very best exercise to help you: build muscle mass…
By:  in  Recreation and Sports  >  Dancing   May 30, 2013  
1
  Likes: 0

Article Views: 4978    Report this Article