Summer has arrived, and it’s the perfect time to put that free time to use and improve your flexibility. Flexibility is used in nearly all aspects of cheerleading‚ kicks, jumps, and stunts! Flexibility is especially important if you’re a flyer. Those stretches are front and center for the judges (or your peers) to see! Not to mention, stretching can help prevent injuries‚ especially if you’re a base and are constantly lifting. Stretching to Prevent Injury Stretching doesn’t have to be complicated, depending on your goal. Remember those days in elementary school P.E. when you’d do alternating arm reaches? Yaaaawn. However, even something that simple can help your muscles get warmed up and before you go into harder exercises‚ wouldn’t want to shock your body! Jumps If you’re stretching to improve your jumps, holding a classic reach down to your toes, and alternating left leg and right leg in front is a great way to warm up. From there, continually practicing your kicks will grow your muscles, ultimately powering your jumps. Kick your legs in the motion for whichever jump you’re looking to improve‚ this will work your hip flexors as well as your your muscles, without getting burnt out on the jump itself. Do 3 sets of 15 kicks on each leg to feel the burn! Jumping isn’t all about flexibility‚ you’ve got a lot of muscle heightening your legs. Pro Tip: Incorporate ankle weights into your kick-stretch routine for an extra challenge. When you take those weights off, your jumps will fly higher to make up for the weight that isn’t there anymore! To improve your flexibility and overall cheer skills, check out these exercises from CheerFit founder Danielle below! Danielle: As a fitness expert for cheerleaders and founder of the Cheerfit Ambassador Movement, I get so many questions from cheerleaders wondering how to advance their flexibility, get that needle, and improve their stunting. Today, I am here to share my favorite tips to help you advance your flexibility and stretch into summer. TIP #1: STRENGTHEN to Stretch In order to improve flexibility you not only have to stretch, but you also have to STRENGTHEN! While stretching is important..((insider tip)) so is strengthening the muscles needed to improve range of motion: hamstrings, hip flexors, lower back and core! Instead of sitting in a split forever, try these CheerFit exercises to advance your range of motion and improve flexibility! Do each exercise for 10 reps x 3 rounds. Single Leg Deadlift Superman V-Up TIP #2: SCHEDULE it in Now that you have a little extra time and you’re not burnt out from 100s of competition practices, let’s make the most of that extra time! The best way to remember to workout & stretch is to schedule it in! Just like any appointment, practice, or event‚ add it to your calendar, schedule it in and make it happen! Even invite a friend to do it with ya’. JOIN THE FREE ADVANCE YOUR FLEXIBILITY IN 5-DAYS CHALLENGE Challenge starts June 25th – but you can reserve your spot and invite a friend today! cheerfittraining.com/challenge Whether you’re trying to have a relaxing summer or constantly working to improve your skills, there is always room for a little bit of flexbility work. Happy Summer!