Advice For Cheer Flyers: How To Do A Scorpion (Advanced)

Want stunting advice and tips for cheerleading or gymnastics? Then you’ve come to the right place! Check out all of Cheerleading Blog’s how-to articles on stunts and tumbling. We’ll walk you through the basics, from simple cheerleading jumps, like herkies, to advanced tumbling, like handsprings.

The Scorpion is an advanced cheerleading stunt that is a combination of basic cheerleading motions and techniques. The stunt can be done on the ground or in the air as part of a cheerleading stunt group.

These instructions are written for performance on the ground, but once you have the general technique down you’ll just need a little hands-on practice to hit the stunt in the air.

This guide introduces the basic steps for the stunt, but should never be used to replace training from a cheer professional.

Increasing flexibility and improving balance are vital training for a cheerleader that wants to master her Scorpion. Without those techniques, a Scorpion cannot be performed cleanly.

How To Perform A Scorpion

Scorpion Stunt for Cheerleading
Click above to view large image

  • Stand sideways with your legs together and straight. Your inside arm (not facing the crowd) should be in a Touchdown position, while your outside arm should be straight at your side. When a Scorpion is performed in the air, only one foot will be in grip, so when practicing on the floor, put all your weight on you inside foot (the foot that will stay on the ground).
  • Bend the knee of your outside leg and start to raise it up behind you. As you raise your leg, keep your toes pointed.
  • Your hand should wrap around the outer side of your foot, so that your fingers are resting on the top of your foot and your thumb is resting on the bottom of your foot. Your back will begin to arch – let this happen. An arched back is part of the final positioning of a Scorpion.
  • Continue to push your leg up, behind you, with assistance from your arm. To do this, you’ll want to twist your arm out and behind you, then push upwards. Keep your leg bent as you push it up – the Scorpion does not require a straight, extended leg. And make sure those toes are still pointed!
  • As your foot reaches shoulder level behind you, you’ll want to turn your elbow out, so that it points to the crowd. You’ll continue pushing up, and your arm will turn up, so that your elbow is just above your ear. You should also start reaching your other arm behind you to grab your foot.
  • Once your other hand connects with your foot, you should place it just above your other hand, with your fingers wrapped around the top of your foot, and your thumb is wrapped around the bottom of your foot.
  • After you have both hands on your foot, push your leg up as high as you can, still keeping a bend in your knee and pointing your toes. Lock the leg that you are standing on for better stability.
  • Your back will arch as a natural movement for this stunt, but you should make sure that you keep your head and chest up at all times. Dropping your chest or your head could cause you to lose your balance and fall forward.

How long did it take you to get your Scorpion? Share your tips with our readers in the comments below!

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10 Response Comments

  • SydnieMarch 16, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    It didn”t take me long to get this. I haven’t tried this in a stunt yet, though. So we’ll see how that goes… <:) and good way to explain it!!

    • Melissa
      MelissaMay 23, 2013 at 11:29 AM

      Glad you liked the explanation! :)

  • jadeMay 23, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    I started to read this blog when my coach said about it and it has helped me a lot as a advanced flyer where as my friend not so well

    • Melissa
      MelissaMay 23, 2013 at 11:29 AM

      I’m glad to hear that it has helped you! Keep reading for more tips and advice :)

      • jadeMay 30, 2013 at 1:21 AM

        Thanks as I have been reading this more I have joined a new cheer squad because my old coach said to move on. This blog has made a big difference to my cheer life

  • AlexisJuly 19, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    My 8 year old daughter has been trying to get her scorpion but she is not incredibly flexible naturally. She attended a stunt class at a local all star gym and I did not approve of their stretching techniques. They basically forced them into stretched and every child would end up in tears. I did gymnastics my whole life and never once was “forced” into stretches! I find this to be very dangerous! Any thoughts/articles about good stretching techniques? For the girls who do these stunts, where you stretched by extreme force?

    • AdminJuly 19, 2013 at 2:31 PM

      Wow! I definitely don’t think someone should be forced into stretches. It is definitely dangerous! We have a great article on stretches for the hamstring, which really help improve flexibility so it’s easier to do stunts like the scorpion. Check it out here:

      Thanks for your great comment!

  • EJMay 4, 2014 at 4:18 AM

    This does not help so much with trying to grab your foot whenever I try this m arm is backwards and I can not pull up. Can you please further explain how to grab your foot

    • Melissa
      MelissaMay 5, 2014 at 9:48 AM

      Hi EJ. Yes, it’s definitely hard to explain how exactly to grab your foot. We recommend searching YouTube, as there are tutorial videos that show visually how to perform a scorpion.


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