The splits are an important skill for most cheerleaders. How many times have you watched a pep rally and not
seen at least one or two cheerleaders do the splits? It is a rare thing not to see them.
To do the splits, you must first stretch and stretch as much as possible. One recommended stretch is the pike
stretch. To do this you sit on the floor on a pike, legs straightened, and toes pointed. The point is to bend and hold your
nose as close to your knees as possible, hold this position for thirty seconds. The next step is to flex your feet while still
holding your nose as far down as you can. When you have finished, sit on the floor in a wide straddle and attempt to get your
elbows to the floor. Hold for thirty seconds, then try to reach your hands out as far as possible, now you are trying to put
your nose to the floor, hold for thirty seconds. Do not bounce or push yourself past the point of pain during stretching.
It is suggested that the body is more flexible after a warm bath. Therefore, you may try these exercises after
bathing in warm water. Your flexibility will improve with a routine of these stretching exercises.
To do a back handspring it is advisable to do so within a gym. Do not do this at home without supervision as
you can be injured. Begin as if you are sitting in a chair. As you sit back, you will feel you are about to fall, this is
the time to jump hard, pulling the legs over the head. Push off the hands with force, and keep the arms straight and strong.
Think of it as jumping backward into a handstand.
Back handsprings are not about arching. When you start getting to round off flip-flops, there should be very
little arch in your back. However, doing back handsprings from a stand requires you to generate momentum from almost nothing;
you will need to arch a little. Nevertheless, what you should focus on is throwing your arms back, opening up your shoulder
If you have trouble getting over to your hands, you need to swing harder with your arms. If you have an incline
mat, do a back handspring, with a spotter. This will get you accustomed to going over right to your hands.
Once you are comfortable performing this skill down the incline without a spot, try it on a level surface mat,
again with a spot, until you feel comfortable. Once you can do it alone on a level surface mat, you are probably ready to
perform it on the floor.