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Improve Your Cheerleading Jumps

January 03, 2011 | Comments: 0 | Views: 101

For all you cheerleaders out there who are looking to improve your jumps, I have a number of exercises that will help. As a [retired] cheerleader of 12 years and a head coach for a cheerleading squad at a large high school (one that is highly competitive in its athletics), I've learned a few tricks over the years that I implement with my squad every year. These exercises are tried and true and will surely improve the height and form of your jumps with a bit of hard work and dedication.

Although I m sure you ve heard it a number of times before, stretching is key in any athletic activity but most importantly in activities like cheerleading, competitive cheerleading, dance, and gymnastics. You should always start with at least a 15 minute warm up and stretch period before you get started but there a few specific stretches that will help elongate your muscles, promoting flexibility. With flexibility comes better form so try these at home!

To improve your toe-touches and hurdlers, use a ballet bar or a sturdy wall and stretch one leg as high up as you can go. Point your toes and slowly walk (slide) your standing leg in as far as you can go, reaching up with both hands until you are able to touch your foot. Stretch deeply and pulsate to allow you to stretch in even further. Try to do at least 5 counts of 30 seconds on each leg and make sure to keep your toes pointed. The same stretch can be accomplished by splitting on the floor and reaching but this particular stretch is a bit easier for beginners.

To improve your pikes, using a wall again, lay on your back with both feet raised high in the air on the wall. Use your hands to push your torso up and slowly use your hands to walk your rear into the wall. Once you re touching the wall with your rear, use your hands again to push your torso towards your knees, keeping your knees straight and toes pointed. Hold and stretch deeply. Again, try 5 counts of 30 to start.

While stretching is important, it most certainly is not the only thing you can do to improve your jumps. A popular exercise, known as leg lifts, can increase muscle strength in your quadriceps, allowing you more power to pull your legs high into the air. Sit in a straddle position, legs as far open as you can and toes pointed. Lightly use your fingertips for balance as you sit forward and lift your legs into the air at short but rapid intervals. Try 5 sets of 10 to start and work your way to more and more as you build strength.

A final exercise you can do, and one of my personal favorites is called V-ups. Lay flat on your back, feet together and hands above your head. Simultaneously, lift your legs all the way up into a V and lift your hands and abdomen up as far as you can go, pushing through the V. Try 3 sets of 10 rapid V-ups to start and 1 set of 10 slow V-ups. These are tough but are sure to help you improve your jumps!

KJ Kerner is a freelance writer with a broad range of knowledge and interests. She helps online clients in a number of businesses. If you're looking for flip flops or other sandals, check out this excellent resource for great information on prices for Flip Flops Wholesale. There's also a great article on Sanuk Flip Flops.

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Cheerleading Jumps


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Stretching Exercises For Cheerleading

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