Mastering Balance in Cheerleading: How to Perform a Scale or a Scorpion with Grace and Stability3 min to read


By Steve Pawlyk

Published June 9, 2023

Today, we’re focusing on the crucial element of balance, particularly when executing complex stunts like a scale or a scorpion.

Cheerleading is a dazzling mix of dance, gymnastics, and acrobatics, and stunts like the scale and the scorpion are some of the most impressive and challenging skills to master. This article will guide you through the techniques to improve your balance and execute these stunts with poise and stability. Remember, safety first, so let’s start from the beginning.

Understand The Basics

Balance forms the bedrock of all cheerleading movements. It involves engaging your core muscles, maintaining a proper posture, and distributing your weight evenly. The more you practice balance in various positions, the more naturally it will come to you in advanced moves.

Mastering the Scale

The scale requires flexibility, strength, and balance. Here’s how you can perform a scale with improved balance:

  1. Warm-Up: A good warm-up is essential before attempting any stunts. It preps your muscles and reduces the risk of injuries.
  2. Stretch: Before attempting the scale, stretch your hamstring, glutes, and lower back. This can be done through yoga or pilates exercises. 
  3. Practice: Begin by lifting your leg to your side while holding onto something stable. As your strength improves, try to lift your leg without assistance.
  4. Work on Core Stability: A strong core will significantly improve your balance. Planks, sit-ups, and other core-strengthening exercises will help.
  5. Balance on One Foot: Start practicing your balance on one foot. You can increase the difficulty by closing your eyes or standing on an unstable surface like a balance board.
  6. Perform the Scale: Once you feel confident, lift your leg up to your side and grasp your foot with your hand. Try to extend your leg fully and hold the position.

Mastering the Scorpion

The Scorpion stunt is an advanced move that requires a high level of flexibility and balance. Here’s how you can master it:

  1. Stretch: This move demands flexibility in your back and legs. Stretching exercises that target these areas will help.
  2. Work on your Backbend: The Scorpion requires a strong backbend. Practice bridge poses and other backbending exercises to develop your flexibility.
  3. Develop Ankle Strength: Your standing foot needs to be strong and stable. Ankle strengthening exercises will help, such as calf raises and single-leg balancing.
  4. Practice the Scorpion with Support: Initially, have a spotter to assist you as you raise your leg and reach back to grab your foot. Use the wall for support if needed.
  5. Slowly Increase Difficulty: Gradually, you can try to perform the Scorpion without any support.

Remember, when performing any cheerleading move, safety should always come first. Never rush into performing a stunt, and always work at your own pace. It’s better to take the time to perfect your form than to risk injury.

Incorporate these tips into your cheer practice, and you’ll be well on your way to performing scales and scorpions with remarkable grace and balance. Don’t forget to enjoy the journey and celebrate every milestone you hit. After all, cheerleading is all about the passion, spirit, and the love of the sport!

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