A Beginner’s Guide to Cheerleading: Heel Stretch

by omni

Nothing wows an audience like an expertly executed heel stretch, performed with smiling grace. Achieving that grace takes a lot of work. With practice, you’ll be able to make the heel stretch look as natural and effortless as breathing. Obviously, this move requires a great deal of flexibility. Make sure you are fully warmed up and at your most limber before you practice. 1. Stand with all your weight on one leg, keeping it slightly bent for balance. Swing your “heel” leg back as if you’re preparing to kick a football. 2. Tilt your torso forward a little and kick the imaginary ball – but keep the trajectory going. Lift your leg as high as it will go. As a beginner, you will likely need to give your leg a hand, grabbing a hold of your heel and pulling your foot toward your face. Do not grab your toes or any other part of your foot. Use your left hand to grab your left heel, the right hand for the right heel. 3. Once you have the heel firmly in your grasp, keep pulling it toward you until your leg is parallel with your torso and forming a right angle to the ground. 4. Keep smiling, be graceful and don’t show the slightest sign of strain as you lift the arm not holding your leg straight up in the air. Hold this arm beside your head so that it is against your ear. 5. Now it’s time to wave. With your elbow locked in place, angle your arm slightly forward – then twist it while moving it away from your body. If you are lifting your left heel, you’ll move your left arm to the right of your body; the right arm swings to the left when you raise the right heel. Tips: Keep the leg you’re standing on at a right angle to the ground. If you have long legs, keep your hand below the heel. If your legs are short, keep your hand above the heel. Under no circumstances should you grab your toes, as this could cause you to lose your balance. Remember to always dress in the correct practice wear for comfort and safety. Campus TeamWear has Lycra tops and matching skirts with built in shorts, perfect for movement, stunting, and tumbling. Remember to wear the correct cheer shoes for practice. Asics have a great line of shoes with good support that are made for stunting, and for those who want a style that is a little more budget friendly, the Chasse cheerleading shoe line has perfect shoes for tumbling because of the support and the grip.

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