Skills and Drills – Stunting Basics

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As a girl base, do you feel like it takes longer to master a stunt than it should? Are you using your back when you stunt? Are your wrists and grips in the incorrect positions? Does the stunt come down every time?

If you answered yes to these questions then you are probably using poor technique.

Poor technique is the most common problem when it comes to all-girl bases. And it doesn’t just affect the quality of your stunt. Bases can be plagued by injuries.

Performing some simple exercises will help with strength and technique. Below are some common problem areas along with exercises to help you improve your technique and become a better girl base. Have fun and safe stunting!

You use your back every time you stunt.
All-girl bases do not use their legs enough and use their backs instead. The legs on a human body are the strongest part of the body and along with the torso are crucial when stunting.

Make sure you lock out your legs and arms at the same time while performing a stunt.
If you lock your legs first, and then your arms, you’ll try and use your back. During a cradle, use your legs to absorb the momentum of the top person and make sure you keep your back straight.

Simple exercises such as lunges for the legs will help strengthen them. Other exercises include squats with or without a weight bar, crunches for the abs to strengthen the torso and lower back exercises. For the lower back, lay flat on your stomach on the ground. Place your arms on your head and slowly raise up, squeezing your lower back at the same time. Perform all exercises 15-20 reps for three to four sets.


Your wrists and grip give out on you when you stunt.
Why is this? Your wrists and your grip are probably in the incorrect position while performing the stunt. This causes you to over exert yourself and become tired quickly.


Make sure your wrists and grip are in the correct position for the stunt and perform exercises to help strengthen them.


Simple exercises, such as squeezing a tennis ball, squeezing grips and using free weights to perform wrist and forearm exercises, will help. Perform all exercises 15-20 reps for three to four sets.


You are not able to hold a stunt once it is up.
Often the base is not locking out her arms or shrugging through the shoulders. When the arms are unlocked, it causes pressure and makes the base work harder than needed.


Make sure you lock out your arms and shrug up through your shoulders.


Push-ups, handstand push-ups and dips for the tricep muscles will help the arms. You can also use a weight bar and perform the military press and upright row for the shoulders. Perform all exercises 15-20 reps for three to four sets.

*Brian and Tracy Denton are former cheerleaders from the University of New Mexico. They are currently the coaches for both the coed and all girl cheer squads at UNM.

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