Inner Thigh Stretches and Cheerleading

Inner Thigh Stretches and Cheerleading

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Flexibility is the key to better cheerleading jumps.

Mike Powell/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Similar to gymnasts and ballet dancers, cheerleaders require flexibility at extreme ranges of motion to do split jumps and high leg extensions during stunts. You can stretch your inner thighs for cheerleading as part of a warm-up routine and also as after-practice flexibility training. By doing so, you'll improve your stunts and lower the risk of injury. If you pull your inner thigh muscle due to practicing with cold, tight legs, it'll hinder your cheerleading performance and could sideline you for the season.


For your inner thighs, incorporate simple stretches, such as the butterfly stretch and a deep pliГ©, into your warm-up. For example, sit on the floor with your back erect and bend your knees. Put the soles of your feet together, drawing them as close to your body as possible. Your legs should form a diamond shape. While holding your feet, use your elbows to gently push your knees toward the floor and hold the stretch for 15 seconds. Perform three reps. Try a deep pliГ© for a second stretch, which begins from a standing position with feet shoulder-width apart and turned out. Sink into a squat, aligning your knees with your feet. Place your hands on your quads. Use your body weight to press your knees open, stretching your inner thighs, and hold for 30 seconds.


The straddle stretch will prepare you for a side-split jump in the air. Sit on the ground with your legs extended to your sides and spread out as far as possible. Keeping your legs straight and flat on the ground, you should feel the stretch in your inner thighs. Lift your left arm overhead and lean sideways to your right, reaching for your right foot. Avoid rounding your back, keeping your chest open and knees pointing up. Hold the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds and repeat on the other side. To deepen the stretch, bend your upper body toward the center line between your legs. Try to get your chest to the ground while keeping your back straight.


For many people, the 180-degree split position facing front or sideways is a challenge. If you find the straddle stretch difficult, recruit a partner to help you increase the range of motion of your hips and lengthen your inner thigh muscles. Begin by sitting across from your partner on the floor. Extend your legs laterally in the open straddle position. Put your right foot next to your partner's left foot and vice versa. Your legs should form a diamond shape. Link together by holding your partner's elbows. Have your partner slowly lean back while you lean forward into the stretch. Hold for 10 seconds and then reverse roles with your partner.


If you have excellent flexibility and are still looking to improve your stretch, you may have to perform exercises that take your hips and legs beyond the 180-degree split position. For example, try the six o'clock up the wall stretch. Stand in front of wall that is smooth and obstacle-free. Hoist one leg up to the wall and slowly slide it upward into the forward split position. Use your support leg and arms to press your working leg deeper into the stretch. At the peak position, your inner thighs should be resting against the wall. Hold the split for 20 seconds. To boost difficulty, repeat the exercise, but only stand 6 inches from the wall. This will force your split to land in a position beyond 180 degrees.

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