This should be done progressing down
the gym, on a walk, your front lawn, or in your play room. (Be careful of furniture--it
hurts both your furniture and your body!)
REMEMBER THE FOLLOWING
1. As you kick, your body must be
straight and tall. Your body never bends from the waist up.
2. Every time you kick, you must keep
your support leg straight. That means you cannot bend your supporting knee.
3. Every time you kick you must point
your toes and keep them pointed from the time they leave the floor.
4. Every time you kick you must keep
the heel for your supporting leg on the floor--the support heel never leaves the floor.
DO NOT bend forward as you kick.
DO NOT bend supporting knees as you
DO NOT bend the leg that is kicking.
DO NOT let the supporting heel come
off the floor.
DO NOT fail to point your toes.
DO NOT start kicking down the floor
without taking the time to warm up.
DO keep your toe pointed on the
DO keep the supporting knees straight
all the time.
DO keep the supporting heel on the
DO stretch before you kick.
DO pull up your body as you kick.
DO make sure your kick 'peeks' on
even counts (say, "hit" as the kick reaches the peak)
There are 15 points to watch for in
good high kick technique
Foot closure, head
position, shoulder position, posture, tilting pelvis, hip alignment, straight
supporting leg, heel down, toe points, kicks centered, control, tempo, leg
extension, height of kick, leg distance from the body.
If all these points are in good form
and technique, you will have PERFECT kicks!!
TIPS FOR WARMING UP
Warming up is an integral part of
every day rehearsal. It is important that your warm-up be structured, correct and
consistent, utilizing all parts of the body. Extra warm-up time may be needed for certain
muscle groups if they are to be used in an upcoming routine (ex., kicks, head rolls).
The three main functions of a warm-up
are: 1) to prepare the muscles to work, 2) to put the muscles through the range of
flexibility needed in the actions to follow, and 3) to prepare the muscles for an
increased output of strength. Some of your students may require extra warm-up time to
increase their flexibility. You may need to write up a schedule for these pupils to do at
The following tips will assist you in
applying good warm-up techniques and maximum results:
Have your officers
"choreograph" a warm-up to popular music to use each day. Your team will find
their exercises more fun. Change the music every 2 to 3 weeks.
Make sure to exercise from head
to toe (literally). Do not forget ankles, shoulders, head and neck, etc. These are areas
sometimes overlooked but always very important.
Remember that warming up is an
injury prevention measure and cannot be omitted--ever!
Be sure to stretch with good
posture. Always pull up in the center of the body and stretch in straddle, pike and hurdle
positions with a flat back, leading with the abdomen and not the chin or chest. Rounding
the back will stretch and loosen back muscles instead of thighs or hips.
Be sure that the legs do not roll
in or out when in straddle or hurdle position. Knees and shoe laces to the sky!
Stretch with toes flexed for 1/2
of the time and pointed 1/2 of the time. This will add extra stretch to muscles in the
other parts of the leg in addition to the hamstring.
Stretches should be a standard part
of every drill team warm-up. When executed properly these exercises can improve your
team's overall performance abilities. The following stretching exercises are simple and
can be performed by even the most basic beginner.
Sitting in a semi-yoga or soles of
the feet together, position arms over the knee. Bend forward stretching the lower back
muscles. Repeat several times.
Sitting with legs straight forward
and the knees straight but not locked. Bend the torso over the legs trying to reach the
rib cage toward the thighs. Later, the hands can grab the ankles to aid in reaching
Sit with the legs extended to each
side. Bend to the side over one leg. Have the upper arm stretch side over the head and the
lower arm can relax along the floor. Keep both hips (buttocks) on the floor.
As in the above exercise, bend over
the leg, but rotate the torso to face the leg. The arms can reach over the leg and later
try to reach beyond the toes.
Standing, cross one leg over the
other and keep the toes pointing forward. Bend forward reaching the hands toward the floor
stretching the hamstring muscles. Later grab the ankles and pull the rib cage closer to
Standing fairly close to the wall and
leaning into the wall, press the heels to the floor stretching the Achilles tendon and
calf muscles. Later, after flexibility increases, move further away from the wall.
Increase difficulty of stretches by
1) changing tempo and # of stretches; 2) change the direction of the stretch forward, to
the side, backward, and diagonally forward; 3) combine different stretches with various
EXERCISES FOR HIGH
Beautiful and spectacular kicks are
an exciting aspect of dance/drill team. However, to be most effective, they must appear
effortless in quality and still posses the burst of energy which they demand for
execution. The following exercises are designed to increase the flexibility and strength
of high kicks:
Lie on your back, one leg extended,
bringing the knee of the other leg close into the chest. Extend the knee, straightening
the leg into the air. DO NOT hold the leg in back of the knee for fear you could strain
the tendons that run in the back of your knee. Try to hold around the calf or upper thigh
area. Using both hands to hold the leg, point and flex the foot 4 to 8 times, then repeat
the exercise with the other leg.
Sitting in a straddle position (open
wide to sides). The torso should be up straight and keeping the knees pointing upward. The
heels stay in place and the ankles flex as the knees lift. Then reverse the process and
extend the ankles and the knees. The arm can be placed in any upward or side position. Be
sure the arms and hands remain relaxed and free of tension. Repeat this exercise several
Sitting in a hurdle position with one
leg bent in front and the other extended forward and front. Keeping both hips (buttocks)
on the floor, bend the torso forward over the extended forward leg, then return the body
to the beginning position. Repeat this exercise 4 to 8 times then change legs. The arms
can start over the head and go with the body as it bends over the leg.
Sit in a double hurdle or
"S" position (both knees bent, one leg in front and the other in back). Keeping
the back straight, raise the back leg bringing it to the side of the body. The leg will
not go very high, but hold for 8 counts and return to the beginning position. Do 2 to 4 on
one leg, then repeat on the other side. The arms can be held out to the side when the leg
raises to the side.
Sit with one leg in front and raise
the other leg into the air with your hand. Try to pull the heel as close to your face as
possible. To bring the leg back down, bring it forward then bend the knee to fully recover
the leg. Repeat this exercise 3 to 5 times, then try the other leg. Later, try to perform
this exercise without the use of the hand holding the heel.
Standing facing the wall, bring the
knee up and lean back to get the foot placed on the wall (you may need to work in pairs
for this exercise). Slowly slide the foot up the wall until the knee is straight, keeping
the back and supporting leg straight as the leg goes up the wall. As flexibility improves,
move closer to the wall. Bring the leg down by swinging it to the side. This exercise can
be repeated with the leg to the side and back as it is extended against the wall.