Tryouts are coming up in the next couple months. Starting to build a fitness foundation now is the best way to ensure you are ready. As a cheerleader, a big part of your fitness level is flexibility. You can learn stances and motions in the last couple weeks leading up to tryouts, but you can't increase your flexibility overnight. These tips will help you increase your flexibility and achieve your goals by tryouts. Start working now and follow these four tips:

  1. Warm up first. Don't stretch a cold muscle! This will make you more vulnerable to injuries, and you just won't be able to stretch as wellwhich is the whole  point! Never skip the warm up. If you're following our strength and cardio plan to get in peak shape for tryouts, a good routine would be to do your cardio workout, then do some strength-building exercises, and then do your stretches.

  1. Increase your overall flexibility. Even if you are working toward one or two specific skills, stretching everything to increase your overall flexibility and fitness level will help. Your other muscles have to give a little in order for your main ones to help you do the splits or to get your scorpion, for example.

  1. Don't waste your time stretching every muscle a lot.  Even though you shouldn't neglect your other  muscles, you don't need to spend a lot of time on every single muscle. Make sure you hit all the main body parts when you stretch, but you don't need to really work every muscle hard. After your warm up, do a general stretching routine where you hit every main muscle group, then spend as much time as you can (without going overboard) on the target muscles you need to achieve your specific flexibility goal.

  1. Research the best stretches. A good way to make sure you aren't wasting your time focusing on muscles you don't need (other than for your overall flexibility and fitness) is to conduct your own research or talk to your coach or a trainer. Tell the expert what your goals are and ask for their advice on the best stretches to do and the key muscles to focus on to get there. Then make sure you put in the work!

What are your flexibility goals? What stretches have you found to be the most effective?