How to Do a Toe Touch in Cheerleading
The toe touch is the most popular cheerleading jump. It is incorporated into most routines, so it is important to learn and master the skill as outlined in a few simple steps below. But as always, remember that practice makes perfect!
Before performing any jump you want to stretch your legs. If you forget to stretch, you are putting yourself at risk for torn ligaments and pulled muscles.
Any easy way to start is to sit on the ground in a straddle position and slowly crawl your hands towards your toes. Remember to go slow and hold the stretch for a minimum of 20 seconds. The goal is to warm up and relax the muscles, so make sure you allot enough time to make stretching worth your while.
After you stretch, stand up with your feet together and legs straight. Hands should be clasped together in front of your chest. Keep your back straight and head forward.
Next, you have to prep for the jump.
Begin by bending at your knees while keeping your hands clasped together. From the bent-knee position, move onto the balls of your feet and lock out your legs while bringing hands into a high V position. Your position on the balls of your feet will serve as the spring board for the jump.
Hot Tip: Higher Jumps
Practice jumping straight up from the prep position, using only your arm swing to gain momentum. Once in the air, the easiest way to get higher jumps is to keep your back straight and avoid reaching towards your toes.
- Swing your arms in front of your body while lifting your legs to the side in a front split position. Swinging your arms creates the momentum that propels your jump.
- Keep your back straight and your head pointed directly forward.
- Your legs should be at hip level and stretched as wide as possible.
- Your arms should be in a T position at the peak of your jump, so that your legs and arms are parallel.
- Sit into your jump—keep your hips relaxed and in alignment with your back.
Hot Tip: Don't Touch Your Toes!
If you try to actually touch your toes in a toe touch you will end up bending your back and slouching over, which will actually bring your body and center of gravity back towards the ground. Instead, try to align your arms and legs so that they are parallel, giving the appearance that you are touching your toes. By doing this, you will automatically have a straighter back and therefore, a higher jump.
You want to land the jump with your legs together, knees bent and arms down to your sides.
After you have reached the peak of your jump, start bringing your legs back towards the center. As you bring your legs back down to the ground, whip them together and keep them locked—you do not want to bend your legs until you actually land on the ground.
Practice Makes Perfect
In order to master the toe touch you have to practice, practice, practice. It is always helpful to do your toe touches in front of a mirror so that you can see your height and body positioning. The next time you are watching TV, you can practice your toe touch by simply sitting in a straddle and keeping your back straight.
The more you jump, the more flexible you will become, and the higher your jumps will be. If you follow these easy steps, you will see improvement in your toe touch in no time at all.