There are many "toe touch" tips for cheerleaders who are trying to increase their vertical jump as well as their flexibility.
A Few Toe Touch Tips for Cheerleaders
Perfecting toe touch jumps, like anything in cheerleading, is really a matter of practice, practice and more practice. Follow these tried and true tips to get yourself into shape to perform the perfect toe touch!
Can you do the splits? While it's not the exact same muscles that are being stretched, girls who are flexible enough to do the splits are flexible enough to do toe touches. Furthermore, it's important to be extra flexible before you even attempt to jump. This helps make sure that you don't injure yourself either.
Build Those Leg Muscles
One of the things that eludes many cheerleaders in obtaining the perfect toe touch is the lack of height in their vertical jump. One way to work on this problem, aside from simply jumping, is to really work on building those leg muscles. Either go to the weight room, or simply do squats and other leg exercises to build up those muscles. You'll find that if you keep working at it, you will be able to jump higher and higher.
Bring Your Legs to Your Hands
One of the most common mistakes cheerleaders make while trying to perform this jump is that they try to "hunch" down to bring their hands to their toes. Instead, your back and head should be straight and you should strive to bring your feet up to your hands. You don't technically want to touch your toes either. Instead, strive towards touching your feet around the arch.
Jump Off the Toes
A lot of cheerleaders seem to think that they will get the most vertical lift by jumping off their entire foot. Instead, jump off your toes; you will get much higher, and it's actually easier.
Practice Those Tuck Jumps
A tuck jump is one of the easiest jumps to master in terms of position. It doesn't require the flexibility that the toe touch requires or the coordination that the herkie requires. Consequently, sbegin by practicing tuck jumps to increase your height. Once you can do a solid tuck jump, a toe touch will be that much closer within your grasp.
Eight Counts to a Toe Touch
As any cheerleader knows, stunts in routines are always performed in eight counts. Do you know all eight counts of a toe touch?
- Count 1: Clap your hands once.
- Count 2: You should be in the "high V" position.
- Count 3: Your arms are going to come down, crossing in front of you.
- Count 4: By count four, your arms should be crossed in front of you by your knees, and your knees should be slightly bent.
- Count 5 and 6: Counts five and six are the actual jump, and you should be in the full toe touch position by count six.
- Count 7: You should be down on the ground with your knees bent and your arms tucked by your side.
- Count 8: You should be back at your standing position with either your hands clasped in ready position, or with your arms at your side.
Once you have the basics, it's easy to add variations by changing how you prep or land or even by adding some tumbling after the toe touch.
Watch Proper Toe Touches
Still not quite sure what you're doing? Check out some of these videos to see what a good toe touch looks like:
- Expert Village offers an excellent break down of a proper toe touch.
- This Rockets squad shows off their skill in both jumping and tumbling.