A shoulder sit is a basic stunt that requires three people: base, flyer and spotter. To perform a shoulder sit, the flyer stands in front of the base with the spotter at her side. The flyer bends at the knees and lifts one foot for the spotter to grasp. The base holds the waist of the flyer and when he lifts her, she pushes with her foot that is being supported. The base lifts the flyer up and back until she is sitting on his shoulders. To return, the base grasps the hands of the flyer at approximately shoulder level and pushes up while she locks her arms. She is lifted up and forward to stand back on the ground in front of the base.
Thigh Stand Extension
Performing a full extension from a thigh stand requires four people: one flyer, two bases and one back spotter. From the starting position, the bases stand facing each other with legs bent, each grasping a foot of the flyer. The flyer stands with one foot on each "pocket" of the bases. The pocket is the area of the upper thigh beneath the hipbone. This is a beginning thigh stand. When the flyer is extended up, she pushes off the shoulders of the bases. They in turn push up using their grips on her feet. The spotter in the back has a grasp on the flyer's ankles and also pushes up until the flyer is at chest height. The flyer maintains an erect position the entire time. The bases step inward and straighten their legs, extending their arms straight up and pushing the flyer up into a locked extension.
A basket toss is an advanced stunt that requires careful planning and practice. This type of stunt requires four people: two bases, one back spotter and one flyer. The bases face each other and lock their arms by gripping each other's forearms, forming a basket and allowing the flyer to step in. The flyer supports much of her weight on the shoulders of the bases. Keeping their arms locked together, the bases quickly lift the flyer up into the toss, extending their arms above their heads. As the flyer comes back down for the catch, she brings her feet out in front of her and the bases and the spotter catch her in a cradling position, with the spotter grasping her under the arms and shoulders
Cheerleading stunts can be extremely dangerous when members of the squad are not concentrating. Significant injuries can result from poorly performed cheerleading stunts. According to the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital, most cheerleading injuries occur because of stunts, particularly when practiced on hard floors that are unable to absorb the shock. For safety purposes, always practice with a spotter or trainer who can supervise your stunts and help with catching. Practice stunts in an area that has a mat that is at least 4 inches thick to soften landings.