No matter their stunting position, many cheerleaders have the goal to get a needle someday. If you’re a cheerleader with dreams of performing a needle, you’ve come to the right place!
But working on a needle in the wrong way can do more damage than good, so it’s important to know the right techniques. It’s also beneficial to know exactly which types of stretches will get the best results.
Here you’ll learn about 2 of the most essential stretches you need to master to get that needle!
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A needle is a combination of back bending and splits, so in order to pull a needle, you’ll need to be able to do those 2 components separately.
1. Long bridges
A bridge is a classic back-bending stretch, but there are many variations of it. Since needles require shoulder & upper back mobility as well as straight legs, you should aim to do “long” bridges:
The main goals for this type of bridge are to:
- Have your feet together
- Fully straighten both knees
- Push your shoulders past your hands
Want to learn more tips for cheerleading flyers? Check out this article: 4 Tips To Help Flyers Gain Confidence In The Air & Nail Their Positions
Once you can achieve those goals, you can increase the difficulty of the stretch by placing your feet closer to your hands and pushing your shoulders even further.
Discover more body cheerleading positions here:
2. Flat splits
The second component of a needle is a front (left/right) split that is flat to the ground (no space visible underneath!). This is essential to ensure there is a vertical line from one foot to the other.
Training oversplits by elevating one or both feet will make regular splits a lot easier, and also make pulling a needle a piece of cake!
Rather than spending time trying to pull a needle when your bridge and splits are not fully ready, work on those components separately. Then, attempt a needle once you meet the criteria listed above.
For more detailed tips on needle stretching and easy-to-follow stretching routines, we recommend exploring more of The Cheer Kin’s online content and training programs.
Mastering the needle requires dedication and proper technique. By prioritizing the essential stretches outlined in this article, you can significantly improve your chances of achieving this advanced cheerleading move. Remember to approach your training gradually and always prioritize safety!
Cover photo from Snapped by Becca Clark.