FLEXIBILITY                It doesn't take long to figure out flexibility plays a major role in Cheerleading. Just watch any Cheerleader perform a jump, do a high kick or slide down into the splits and the fact that flexibility is important to the sport becomes very obvious. So any time spent on flexibility will definitely improve your Cheerleading. Focus on your flexibility.

What is Flexibility?
Flexibility is the ability of a joint to move in a full range of motion. It is the ability to stretch your arms, legs, and other joints of your body. It is also the elasticity of the muscles and ligaments surrounding the joint. Stretching improves flexibility.

Why Become More Flexible?

The benefits of improving your flexibility are many. Here are just a few good reasons:
1. Flexibility improves your performance. When a joint is flexible it will take less energy to move it in a greater range of motion.
2. Prevents injury and soreness. Stretching improves muscular balance and relaxation and also decreases the resistance of your tissues, therefore you are less likely to become injured or sore.
3. Flexibility (stretching) increases blood supply and nutrients to your joints and surrounding tissue. This in turn promotes greater elasticity and improved performance.
4. Improves muscle coordination. Stretching improves the time a nerve impulse takes to travel to your brain and back. This helps muscle groups to work together and improves coordination.
5. How To Increase Your Flexibility
There are two sayings that you should keep in mind when trying to improve your flexibility. The first one is - "Use It or Lose It" - Your muscles, tendons and ligaments need a constant reminder of their ability to stretch. It is important to stretch all groups from your neck to your toes.
6. And the second saying is - "Over Time, Not Overnight" - Increased flexibility takes time, it does not happen overnight. Work at it every chance you get, while you're watching TV, talking on the phone, reading a magazine, or sitting at your computer.
7. Keep stretching. Here are some tips to keep in mind while stretching:
8. Stretch every day, more if possible.
9. Warm-up before you stretch. Never stretch a cold muscle.
10. Stretch only to the point that you feel a tug. You should not feel pain and should never bounce.
11. Hold each stretch 10 -30 seconds then relax and repeat. As you improve, take your stretch a little further, but never to the point of extreme pain.
12. Always stretch both sides of your body in the same way and stretch all muscles groups (i.e. calf, hamstrings, arms, shoulders, groin).
13. Breathe correctly. Exhale as you begin your stretch and then relax and breath normally. Do not hold your breath while stretching or tense up.
14. Relax and concentrate.

Stretching/Flexibility Resources
Cheerleading takes strength, stamina and flexibility. Anything you can do to improve yourself in these area, will benefit you and your cheering. Also, now is
not the time to go on any fad diets or stay up late. You'll need healthy food to fuel your body and plenty of rest.
Summary of Tips on Getting in Shape:

1. Vary your routine to keep it interesting.
2. Stretch whenever you think about it.
3. Always warm up.
4. Set a schedule and stick with it.
5. Ask someone to do it with you.
6. Learn your body and its needs.
7. Halt all exercise if you get injured and see a medical professional before continuing.
8. Drink plenty of water.
9. Eat healthy.
10. Get plenty of rest.

UPCOMING EVENTS

"To make better choices in life, you most purposely expose yourself to people and experiences outside your circle. It may be uncomfortable at first, but the experience and knowledge gained will expand your horizon of opportunity and development. When you expand your horizon through exposure, you will no longer make decision based on your limited information. You now have more option to consider"
TD JAKES