The scorpion is one of the more difficult body positions for flyers in cheer. As with the other body positions we see flyers do, the scorpion relies heavily on flexibility. However, the strength of your body is another key component of the scorpion. Especially as we see many teams doing a “kick-up” scorpion, which combines the need for flexibility and strength even more.
While a common theme with many aspects of cheer, the scorpion is a very unnatural position for the human body, probably more so than most other positions the body will be in. This makes strengthening and stretching the right muscles very important. Far too often we see athletes compensate using other muscle groups, and therefore placing increased stress through their spine. This can lead to injuries to the muscles and even to the spine itself.
Performing the following exercises can help to get or improve your scorpion in a safe way. While the flexibility of your back and shoulders are important, having a strong core will help to make pulling the body position easier.
I can not stress this enough. It is absolutely imperative that you are stretching both sides equally. In cheer, we see most flyers flying on their right leg and therefore pulling the scorpion with their left leg. This results in many athletes deciding to only stretch their left leg for a scorpion. You need to stretch both sides the same amount to keep both sides equally flexible and strong. If one side is significantly stronger or more flexible than the other, your body will be unbalanced and it will place you at a much higher risk for injury.
*Hold each stretch for about 30 seconds to a minute, and repeat 3-4 times. Try to go a little deeper into each stretch during each repetition. You should feel a good stretch during each of these, but you should not feel pain.
1. Front Split
2. Front Split with Backward Lean
(*Only perform this stretch once you have mastered a full front split without needing hand support)
3. Bow Stretch
4. Scorpion Stretch
5. Back Bend
6. Seal Stretch
7. Scorpion Position with Strap
***Make sure that your knee is pointing directly behind you, not to the side. When your knee is pointing to the side, you are placing your spine in a position that could potentially cause injury.
These exercises should be completed with 5 second holds, for a total of 20-30 repetitions. They can be broken down into 2-3 sets of 10 with a break between each set.
2. Bird Dog
4. Donkey Kicks
5. Plank Hold
These should be done for 30-60 second holds, for 2-3 repetitions.
Disclaimer: The information contained on this website is compiled from a variety of professional sources as well as the author's own experiences. The information should NOT be used in place of a visit to your healthcare provider or used to disregard any advice provided by your healthcare provider.