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How to do a Heel Stretch in Cheerleading

The heel-stretch is the first body position that flyers “pull”. Most of the time, a flyer will hear a coach say, “pull a stretch” or “pull a heel-stretch.” This body position is typically performed by lifting, kicking, or pulling the “pulled” leg into position. The leg must stay completely straight and the toes should remain pointed at all times. Only one hand (typically the same side as the “pulled” leg) will grab the “pulled” foot on the outside of the shoe. Four fingers will be on the bottom of the flyer’s shoe, while the thumb is on the side/top of the foot pointing towards the ceiling. A common mistake would be grabbing the ankle or toes for the grip. While lifting the “pulled” leg into position, the bottom of the shoe and back of the knee should be facing the direction of the stunt. Another common mistake with heel-stretches is opening the hip too much. Remember to watch the angle of the hips in relation to the ground under the stunt. The only way to ensure that the hips stay aligned with the stunt is too increase the flyer’s flexibility. The hamstrings, calves and hip flexors of the “pulled” leg must be conditioned/stretched, along with the quadriceps of the “base” leg.

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