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Video:How to execute a heel stretch

with Saleem Habash

Learn how to execute a perfect heel stretch by mastering a few basic techniques.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to execute a heel stretch

Hi, my name is Saleem Habash, here at Premier Athletics of Lexington, home of the Kentucky All Stars for About.com. Today we’re going to show you how to do a heel stretch. Prior to doing a heel stretch, you first need to know how to do a good liberty. If you are not sure how to do a liberty, watch the segment on how to do a liberty before you attempt this stunt.

Differences Between a Liberty and a Heel Stretch

The key difference between a heel stretch and a liberty is going to be the fliers body position. It’s going to be really important that you know how to do the heel stretch on the ground before you attempt to do it up in the air.

Heel Stretch and Flexibility

So flexibility is going to be key for doing a heel stretch. You want to make sure you keep your leg locked out, and when you pull your heel stretch up, you ant to make sure to bring it right to the front, and you notice here she rotates her leg just a little, she pulls her shoulder to her ear and standing straight up. Again, your flier should be able to do the heel stretch standing on the ground before they can do them in the air. Again, the key to the heel stretch is the flexibility.

Improve Flexibility with the Partner Stretch

One drill we use for flexibility is the partner stretch. The flier is going to get on her knee, and her partner is going to get behind her, and pull her heel stretch. As her partner pulls her leg, the flier is going to grab behind her back and grab the legs of her partner and they are both going to pull into an over stretch. You want to make sure when you do these exercises that you pull both legs, and not just the one you are going to stand on the most.

Performing the Heel Stretch

To do the heel stretch, its going to be important that your bases have good technique and what were talking about is to get a good, strong position, good grips and make sure they are using their legs to drive up all the way to the top. I’m going to quickly describe how to do their parts, but I’m going to focus on the flier today and cover the positions for the heel stretch.

The Base Role in the Heel Stretch

For the bases you want to start off in a good athletic position. You are going to make sure the main base gets a good grip, side base is going to go ahead and reach across to grab the middle of the foot and the wrist. The back spot is going to grab underneath the seat and the ankle. Once the bases get a good grip, the flier is going to take a little jump, and transfer all her weight to her arms.

The Flier Role in the Heel Stretch

Notice here its going to be really important they all have the correct body positions and correct grips. They are going to dip together here and drive all the way to the top. They are going to make sure the flier locks her leg out and pulls all the way to the front. And again, your going to notice the bases are going to do the exact same thing when they load in. The flier is going to load in, put all her weight into her arms, and as she goes to the top she is going to lock out her right leg and put her left leg towards the front. Again, pulling up, elbow to the ear, and for the dismount this time they are going to do a double-fold down. And that’s how you do a heel stretch.

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