How to Stretch for a Scorpion in Cheerleading

Updated July 20, 2017

A Scorpion, often called a "Scorp," is an extended cheerleading stunt that requires balance and leg and back flexibility on the part of the flyer. It can be performed in co-ed partner stunts or in all-girl stunts, with either two or three bases. Daily stretching is generally required, depending on how naturally limber the flyer is, to obtain the necessary flexibility to pull and then improve a Scorp.

Do a few back bends (bridges) or the Cobra or Upward Dog Yoga positions to stretch the back before attempting to pull a Scorpion.

Secure the belt or band around the foot of whichever leg you will have extended in the scorpion position. This is usually the left foot since flyers most often stand on their right foot for extended stunts, but it is useful to have the ability to pull a Scorp on both legs.

With both hands holding the loose end of the belt behind your neck/upper back, bring your arms up, beginning to position the foot into the scorpion position.

Begin pulling the belt (and thus, your foot) higher and closer to your head, holding a wall for balance if necessary.

When your foot is close enough to grab, grab it with both hands and extend the leg as high and close to your head as you are able to. Hold this position for as long as possible, aiming for at least fifteen seconds.

If desired, you can point to the audience through your scorpion using the arm on the same side of your body as the Scorp leg.


Although this stretch can be done without shoes, this makes it much easier to grab the foot and hold it in the proper position without it slipping. Doing this stretch at least once a day will yield the fastest results. Holding back bends (bridges) for thirty seconds or more each day will also help make the back more limber. It is useful to practice doing the splits on both legs every day to keep the legs flexible enough to pull a good Scorpion.


Never stretch your body to the point of extreme pain. It takes time to gain flexibility, and forcing advanced positions too quickly could easily cause injury. It is easy to lose balance until you are accustomed to pulling this stretch. Be sure to stretch in an area completely clear of anything that could cause injury, like weights or desk corners, in case you do fall.

Things You'll Need

  • Belt or other band that can be secured around the foot
  • Athletic/tennis shoes
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About the Author

Sarah Clinton is a graduate student at the University of Missouri, where she holds a graduate assistant position at the University of Missouri News Bureau. She will obtain her Master of Education in sport psychology in May of 2015. She completed her Bachelor of Arts at Vanderbilt University.