Flying High: The Toe Touch Guide

7 Dec

Flying High: The Toe Touch is key to every cheerleader and competitive pom dancer

If you have every wanted to be cheerleader or competitive pom dancer, you MUST have the most basic skill. A Toe Touch!

A toe touch can be done regardless of your size, it requires a strong core, powerful legs, a high level of flexibility, and a well stretched back. Our Fremont Flyers are required to practice in and outside the gym, including all their stretches and core exercises. It takes daily practice to build all the elements needed to perfect the toe touch in every jump. Trust us when we say this, A COACH CAN ALWAYS TELL WHEN YOU ARE NOT PRACTICING EVERYDAY! Understand that when you do not do your daily stretches and core exercises, you are not only cheating yourself from being the best you can be but you are also making a conscious decision let your team down too. Remember Cheer & Competition Dance is a team sport and your decision to work daily affects everyone. So the most important part of learning the toe touch is to make the serious decision to work everyday, not only for you but for your team too!

Get the Visual

Bay Area Cheerleading TrainingThe first step in learning to do a toe touch is knowing what a toe touch should look like in the air. At our Fremont Cheer Gym we first teach new members by having them sit on the ground in a toe touch position. Sitting on your bottom, your legs are spaced like a V and your back is straight with arm position either straight in front of you or in a V above your legs. In our gym, your arm position depends on your team. Our younger teams typically place arms in a V above legs, where our more Elite teams will have arm placement in candlesticks in front of them. Every gym is different, but what’s important is that everyone on your team has the exact same arm position. Our members are typically given a  series of ground exercises to help train their core, build flexibility and understanding of how the toe touch should be executed.

Toe Touch | Arm Position During the Jumps

Its important for each person to understand that he/she should NEVER drop their arms during the toe touch. Whatever arm placement your coach has given you is the arm placement you should have when jumping. If the athlete drops their arms it will cause their chest to roll forward. When the chest roles forward it prevents them from getting a high leg kick due to hip alignment. It is also important to know that raising your arms above should level will make your jumps appear lower and can alter body control during the toe touch.  The athlete should use his/her arms to build momentum for maximum jump height. An agressive arm swing can help load the muscles for the jump. It is important to watch arm placement and avoid rolling your chest forward.

How to Do a Toe Touch | Leg Position

At RAW Allstars we are not just focused on getting high off the ground, we are focused on the WHOLE toe touch, from start to finish, Fremont Cheer and Dance Teamfrom  power up to landing- We want to create the biggest and best Fremont Flyers or better yet, California Flyers! Leg position and technique are essential to enhancing the ability to jump high. Strong legs and core (abs/back) are needed for a high jump, but it takes the entire body working together to reach full potential. Athletes should begin with their feet together to maximize jump height. If the athlete begins with his/her feet at apart, he/she will not be able to properly use momentum to build jump height. With feet close together it will give the hip flexors the ability to fire even longer helping to raise her feet above her arms. Now, lets get jumping! As the athlete swings their arms down there must be a slight bend in the knees. This bend combined with the arm swing will preload the muscles for a higher jump. The next portion of the toe touch is where it all comes together. When the arms are on the way up to the proper arm position the athlete will begin to jump. The athlete must maintain a high chest as he/she kicks their legs up and make sure to keep toes pointed with shoelaces to the ceiling. If the athlete’s shoelaces are pointing at the wall in front of them, they will close their hips off, creating a weak looking toe touch. This angle of hip alignment will force the body to kick lower. Be conscious to keep the shoelaces toward the ceiling to automatically correct hip alignment. Once the athlete reaches maximum height they will need to engage and control their body to the starting position with her feet together and arms at her sides. Be sure to whip your feet together, as you want to land with feet close together, often newer jumpers will land with feet apart or legs bent close to the ground.

Need to Improve Toe Touch

There are many things that can restrict an athlete from having a dynamic toe touch. Flexibility and body strength are the 2 major contributors. If a athlete has tight hamstrings and a tight lower back he/she will physically be unable to kick his/her feet as high as he/she desires. Building core strength, hip flexor strength and flexibility will help the athlete reach their full potential. If a cheerleader does not have enough core strength or hip flexor strength to raise her legs high, then she will never be able to reach her potential.

Remember, like anything, a perfect jump is not going to happen over night or by practicing once or twice a week. Flexibility and strength are built over time, an athlete should work no less than 3 days a week at least 20 minutes a day (we recommend 30-40 on stretching and core exercises), but if you are on a tight schedule, then even 5-10 minutes a day at least 5 days a week will make a HUGE difference with your jump skills. Most importantly, it will show your coaches how serious you are about becoming a better athlete and your team will be impressed with your dedication!

Happy Jumping!

RAW ALLSTARS CHEER & DANCE

One Response to “Flying High: The Toe Touch Guide”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Get Your Scorpion to BIT HARD! « RAW ALLSTARS - December 28, 2011

    […] SEE ALSO: Flyin’ High, A Toe Touch Guide […]

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