How to Do a Scorpion in Cheerleading

A scorpion is a cheerleading flexibility skill where you stand on one foot while pulling the other foot back and upwards behind you while holding it with both hands. You can do a scorpion on the ground or on a stunt, and it's an impressive and difficult skill and is not recommended for beginners. If you take the time to practice and have mastered other flexibility skills, then you should be able to do a scorpion by following these easy steps.


  1. Image titled Do a Scorpion in Cheerleading Step 1
    Stretch well. Before you attempt a scorpion or any other cheerleading skill, you should stretch your body to prevent injuries or torn muscles. You should focus on stretching your legs, back, and arms, since those are the parts of your body that will be most useful during this skill. Here are some stretches to try:
    • Stretch your legs. Stretch both your legs by doing a side split and a regular split. Focus on stretching your standing leg during the split by reaching forward to touch the toes of the lead leg when you're doing the split with that leg in front.
    • Do a table scorpion. Find a table that is the same height as your hips. Face away from the table and place the leg you will pull up into a scorpion straight on the table behind you, in the split position. Bend the knee of this leg, and pull your foot way up as if you were doing a real scorpion.
    • Stretch your back. Do a bridge or a backbend to stretch the muscles in your back. Then stand up and lean forward to touch your toes to stretch different parts of your back.
    • Stretch your arms. Stretch your wrists by pushing one hand away from your body while flexing back the fingers of that hand with your other hand.
    • Stretch your shoulders and neck. Stretch your shoulders by rolling them forward and backward, and stretch your neck by rolling your head clockwise and then counter-clockwise.
  2. Image titled Do a Scorpion in Cheerleading Step 2
    Stand up straight. Put your arms at your sides and look straight ahead. Bend the knee of the leg that you will use as your back leg. Typically, your standing leg will be your dominant leg, so this leg will not be your dominant leg. Make sure that you're standing on a comfortable surface that isn't too hard.
    • If you're doing a scorpion for the first time, you should try this move with a spotter, which should ideally be either one of your teammates or your coach.
    • You can also start by placing the hand that is on the same half of your body as your standing leg on a dresser or a higher surface for stability. If your standing leg is your right leg, then you should hold on to a surface with your right hand.
  3. Image titled Do a Scorpion in Cheerleading Step 3
    Grab the outer side of your back foot with the hand from that same side. If your back leg is your left leg, grab it with your left hand. You can do this by twisting your hand and arm outwards and then behind you so that the back of your hand is facing your thigh.
    • Your palm should be facing the inside of your foot.
    • Your back should be slightly flexed backward, with your chest open.
    • Your standing leg should be firmly locked so you don't buckle.
    • Your free hand should be at your side or on your hip for balance.
  4. Image titled Do a Scorpion in Cheerleading Step 4
    Start pushing up with your back foot. Push hard with your back foot. Do not use your hands to pull your leg up. Your hands should guide the direction of your leg and should keep it in position. Your leg muscles should push your leg much higher.
    • Keep your thumb under the sole of the upturned foot. Start pushing your leg up and pull up with your hand.
    • Your hand should start moving up at least a foot.
  5. Image titled Do a Scorpion in Cheerleading Step 5
    Turn the elbow of the pulling hand outwards as your foot moves higher. Once your foot is about as high as your ear, turn your elbow outwards, so that it is pointing forward, in front of your head.
  6. Image titled Do a Scorpion in Cheerleading Step 6
    Push your leg higher. Remember to keep your standing leg locked as you do this, or you will buckle. Push your leg as high as it can go while firmly gripping it with your arm.
    • Remember to push your leg up, not back. Pushing your leg up will make it easier for you to grab it with your other hand. If you push your leg back too much, it will be hard to reach it with your other hand.
    • Start lifting your other hand to get ready to grab your back leg.
  7. Image titled Do a Scorpion in Cheerleading Step 7
    Grab your back leg with your other hand. Reach as far back behind you as you can with your other hand and grab the raised leg behind you.
    • If you're having trouble reaching the leg, you can start by grabbing the wrist of the hand that's holding your foot.
    • Alternately, you can reach your other hand in front of your face to grab your back leg, and then pull it over your head so it goes in the same position as the other hand.
  8. Image titled Do a Scorpion in Cheerleading Step 8
    Aim higher. If you feel comfortable in the scorpion, you can push hard with your back leg into a high scorpion.
    • Don't bend your head forward or backward. Keep your gaze straight ahead.
    • Once you're more comfortable with the scorpion, you can tilt your head, neck, and back slightly back, so your face is tilted toward the ceiling, or even so that your face is under your hands and leg and is looking up at the heel or pads of your foot.
  9. Image titled Do a Scorpion in Cheerleading Step 9
    Keep practicing. As you master the position, pay close attention all the aspects of your pose, such as where your free hand is, and whether your toes are pointed.
    • You can learn more about your own pose by practicing a scorpion by looking in the mirror, or having a coach or friend film you doing a scorpion.
    • You can also improve your pose by asking your coach or teammates for pointers.
  10. Image titled Do a Scorpion in Cheerleading Step 10
    Stretch when you're finished. After you finish your scorpion or scorpion practice for the day, you should stretch your back in the opposite direction.
    • Lie on the ground with your chest facing up. Tuck yourself into a little ball and rock back and forth on your back.
    • Stand up and bend down to touch your toes.


  • Also make sure you lock your leg which you are standing on when doing a scorpion. By not locking your leg, it looks ugly. It may also become a habit and if you go up on a stunt, you may end up bending your leg, causing you to fall.
  • Stand near a solid object if you are still working on your balance.
  • Do plenty of back bends first , and splits . It helps for leg support and back support while doing scorpion .
  • If you have access to a full length mirror, watch yourself as you stretch. This will help to correct your actions and will motivate you to improve.
  • Try both legs. You may find that one side or the other is easier to balance or more flexible.
  • You can use a strap and tie it to your ankle then try pulling it up.
  • Lay down on your stomach, with your back towards the ceiling. Have a friend or coach, parent, etc. pull one or both legs up and towards your head. Gradually, bring your leg(s) closer to your head. One ideal position (do not attempt this the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd time) is to have your legs next to your head on the ground.
  • Having a spotter helps at first. When using a spotter to learn your scorpion, get the spotter to place one hand underneath the thigh of the leg which you are pulling up and the other hand on you lower abdomen. The spotter must push both areas hard and help you balance.
  • Try to keep your bending leg straight, not out the the side.
  • You cannot do a scorpion unless your back and legs are flexible enough and you have practiced the right technique.
  • Stand in a doorway and do the splits on it and push up.
  • If you have been in cheer, it may be easier to stretch. However, if it's hard to stretch because you haven't been in cheer for a long time, or you never been in cheer, stretch as hard as you can, but don't push too far.
  • Always remember to warm up before stretching.
  • Straighten your underneath leg.
  • Keep your hips squared, or else it may lead to complications regarding your spine.
  • Have someone spot you for the first couple of times you try the scorpion.
  • Back-bends - assuming you know what these are, the poster had failed to describe them - will help your scorpion.
  • Do a lot of splits. Also stretch you back a lot. Backbends, kickovers, and trying to get your hands close to your feet while in bridge helps with the back.
  • Make sure you do not push yourself too hard. This may cause you to get hurt or be very sore.
  • Remember to stretch before doing one or you might pull a muscle.
  • If this begins to hurt, take a break and try again later. Let your muscles rest. Pushing yourself too hard can lead to serious damage. Always make sure to drink plenty of water doing cheer.


  • If you're doing a scorpion by yourself, hold on to a surface with the same hand as your back leg until you're really comfortable with the skill, or you may topple over.
  • If you're trying a scorpion for the first time, do it with a spotter and not on a hard surface.

Things You'll Need

  • Good balance
  • Flexibility
  • Cheer shoes or the ability to go barefoot(as it is easier using cheer shoes or going barefoot)

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: Cheerleading