Wednesday, January 18, 2012

4 Things to Know About Cheerleading High Kicks

High kicks are one of cheerleading's most recognizable techniques. They also are a required move in most routines and a prerequisite for more difficult exercises. Cheerleaders use high kicks frequently as dance moves, but they can be part of stunts and chants, as well. Cheerleading exercises help you perfect the high kick.
A high kick is when a cheerleader kicks one leg straight into the air and toward her head. High kicks must follow specific guidelines to be considered correct. Poor posture during a high kick can cost points during competitions. Your back must remain straight, with your head aligned over your shoulders. Keep both legs straight, point the toes of your kicking foot and keep the heel of your standing leg on the floor. You need significant flexibility to perform a high kick. Strength and balance also are important. Work on one or all three aspects to improve high kicks.
Flexibility is essential for a high kick. Without flexible legs, hips and back muscles, your high kicks cannot reach head height. Stretching during every workout, or even every day, makes you more flexible. A stretch that mimics a high kick is the lying hamstring stretch. Lie on your back with your left leg straight and bring your right knee into your chest. Straighten your right leg toward the ceiling and grasp the back of your calf or hamstring with both hands. Point your toes four to eight times and then switch legs.
Cheerleaders must be strong to perform stunts and acrobats. Even a high kick requires strength to raise the leg. An exercise that strengthens the leg muscles in a similar manner to high kicking is a static kick. Stand up straight and raise one leg straight higher than waist level. Hold it there for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times and then switch legs. This exercise strengthens the muscles that flex your hip forward to lift your leg. Alternately, sit on the floor to remove the balance aspect of the exercise. Lift one leg off the floor at a time.
When learning to perform a high kick, it is acceptable to use a chair back or hold onto someone else for balance. Do the high kick slowly in sets of 10 per leg to learn the motion before trying the kick without support. Also, improve your balance with balance training. One exercise you can do is to the single-leg balance. Stand on one leg with your hands on your hips and bend your knee back. Work up to 30 seconds and switch legs. After you can do 30 seconds on both sides, stand on a pillow.

Design by Free Wordpress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Templates