Since cheer squads are gearing up for a new season, LoveToKnow Cheerleading decided to take a look at the top five cheer stunts. Although there are many cheer stunts squads can perform, for the purposes of this list we looked at stunts that take flexibility, strength and focus to perform.
Five Popular Cheer Stunts
Always stretch before attempting any stunt. If you do not stretch, you could injure yourself. While more advanced stunts will stretch your muscles and may hurt a bit, if you feel severe pain at any point, you should stop immediately.
1. Bow and Arrow
The bow and arrow takes incredible flexibility, strength and balance. Before ever attempting a bow and arrow on top of a pyramid, the flyer should perfect this stunt on the floor and a balance board. Having enough spotters to catch the flyer should she lose her balance is also vital.
- Start with feet slightly apart. Keep one leg straight.
- Raise the other leg into a side heel stretch, holding with the arm on the same side. If you raise your right leg, hold with your right arm.
- Take the opposite arm and form a bow over your head, grabbing the foot.
- With the same arm as the leg that is lifted, create the bow by pointing the arm straight through the other "bowed" arm.
When done correctly, this stunt will be smooth and fluid. A choppy bow and arrow can cause you to lose your balance and tumble off the pyramid.
2. Heel Stretch
The heel stretch is an impressive looking stunt by itself, but it is also an important building block to other stunts, such as the bow and arrow above.
- Start with the base leg slightly in front of the kicking leg, and slightly bent at the knee.
- Kick your leg up, grabbing with your hand on the same side as the kicking leg.
- Keep your leg straight, and pull toward your face.
- Raise your opposite arm into a high-V.
The scorpion is likely just as difficult to perform as the bow and arrow, requiring extreme strength and flexibility.
- Start by bending one leg behind you.
- Reach around the side of your back and grab your foot.
- Bring the leg up behind your head.
- The finished form will be: a leg bent at the knee, a toe pointing toward the back of your head and arms stretched behind your head to hold the stunt.
4. Swedish Falls
A Swedish falls is an advanced pyramid stunt. Although Swedish falls can also be used in a very basic form as a beginning cheer stunt, most squads adapt this stunt, make it more complicated and take it to a competition. In its most basic form, the Swedish falls is performed like this:
- A base of four girls with two flyers.
- Two center bases face one another and two outer bases face straight ahead.
- The two flyers place their arms on the shoulders of the center bases and jump, lifting their legs out straight.
- As each girl kicks into the air, the outer base on her side grabs one leg and holds it straight up.
- The flyer then lifts the other leg at a 90 degree angle.
5. Dead Man
This stunt is a way of dismounting out of a pyramid. The flyer falls backwards off the base and several spotters catch her. In more advanced variations of this stunt, the spotters will pop the flyer back up in the air, where she will rise back up on the pyramid and hold a stunt pose, such as a liberty. The dead man can be a dangerous dismount. Make sure you have the proper spotters, training and complete balance and control before falling. This stunt should never be attempted without first practicing with a professional, and getting the okay from your coach to perform it.
Take Them One at a Time
While it's fun to add new stunts to your routines, it's important to learn them one at a time. This way your squad can perfect one stunt before moving on to another, and ensure every stunt is performed as safely as possible.