Want stunting advice and tips for cheerleading or gymnastics? Then you've come to the right place! Check out all of Cheerleading Blog's how-to articles on stunts and tumbling. We'll walk you through the basics, from simple cheerleading jumps, like herkies, to advanced tumbling, like handsprings. If you're wondering how to do a scorpion - a popular move for gymnasts and cheerleaders - then read out to see how to prepare for this stunt and how to do it step-by-step.

The scorpion cheerleading stunt takes an incredible amount of flexibility and balance. The following exercises and stretches will help you get close to your goal of performing the scorpion. Remember to always warm your muscles up before exerting your body in any serious stretching.

The first great stretch to do (and this will probably yield the highest success rate) is the splits. The leg that you will be pulling up into the scorpion should be behind you with that leg's knee facing the ground. The leg that you will be balancing on will be in front of you with the knee facing up and your toes pointed up as well. Finally, lean back into your split and gently arch your back. The next step in the split is to continue to lean the body back with you body tilted a little to the side and grab your ankle that is behind you. Slowly bend your knee and raise your calf to your head while leaning back. The goal of this stretch is to eventually get you foot to touch your head.  

Try using a stunt strap, dog leash, anything that has a loop at both ends (one to put your foot through and the other to grab with you hand and pull up). Make sure that it is strong enough and that it will not snap while stretching. Put your foot that will be going behind your head through one loop and take you're hand that that is on the same side of the body as the leg going behind your head and grab the other loop. Start pulling your foot towards your head with the pulling device. This is a great way to train for the scorpion because you not only stretch out muscles, but this stretch helps build muscles in the other leg for balancing. If you are having trouble balancing, use a wall to help stabilize your muscles.

Having a coach or fellow cheerleader stand by to help you stretch can also yield good stretch techniques. Try facing a wall and press your palms against it. Bend the leg going behind your head and have your partner slowly push it towards your head as high as it will possibly go.

Backbends are also important for stretching. Flexibility in the back muscles are ideal for the stretch, but are often forgotten. Also keep in mind that when you are finally performing the stunt, that it is not your hands that are pulling you into the scorpion, rather your hands are merely a guide for the leg that is lifted behind the head. This will help you lift your leg into a higher stance and make a "tear drop" appearance.

When doing complex stretches like the scorpion, it's equally important to wear comfortable cheer  clothing, like Chasse's new Multi-Color Lycra Racer Tank and Lycra Wrap Skirt. The racer tank is a great top for practice and features lightweight breathable accents, as well as a built-in shelf bra for extra support.   The lycra wrap skirt is another excellent selection in practice wear and comes complete with elastic waist and built-in lycra shorts. Together, the multi color lycra racer tank and the wrap skirt create the perfect exercise outfit, providing support and comfort where it is needed most.

As a cheerleader, another very important consideration is cheerleading shoes. Narrow down your search for the perfect shoe with the Nike Cheer Flash Shoe - a perfect fit for any cheerleading team focused on stunting. With midfoot strapping for support, phylon midsole for lightweight cushioning and all around traction, this cheer shoe is perfect for any weather. The Cheer Flash is not only comfortable, but durable and has functional grips for bases' hands.

For those more focused on tumbling, the Chasse Performer is a great option for any cheerleader who demands high quality at an affordable price. The Performer weighs only 6.3 ounces and its ultra low profile and rubber outsole allow for better floor control and secure traction. Recommended for springboard floor use, the Performer is available in youth and adult sizes.