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Sporting great amounts of flexibility and energy are extremely important for any cheerleader. A cheerleader is one who enlightens and cheers the players and spectators on a sports field, just like how she dresses into a gorgeous and attractive performer.
If that’s not all, a cheerleader indulges in jumping, performing stunts, dancing, tumbling, and various other gymnastic activities. As such, one has to be perfectly fit and healthy to avoid any kind of injuries and wounds.
Though the overall fitness of a cheerleader is important, the upper legs, hips, abdominal muscles, shoulder muscles, chest, and back are the most involved body parts in cheerleading. Thus, to increase flexibility and endurance, a cheerleader should follow a good fitness program. And if you are one of the cheerleaders who enjoy entertaining the public on the ground, here are some useful exercises for this high-intensity activity.
Exercises For Cheerleaders
This exercise helps in improving your flexibility for kicks and toe touches. Sit comfortably on the floor and stretch out your legs on the sides such that your toes should face towards the opposite walls. Stretch out your arms above your head and breathe in deeply. Slowly move your arms towards your left foot. Hold the position for 10 seconds and lift back to your original position. Carry out the same exercise on your right foot. Get back to the starting position and bend forward towards your inner thighs.
This exercise helps in stretching and strengthening your back. Further, it improves your posture when you jump in the sky during your cheerleading session. Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor. Stretch out your arms to your sides at shoulder height. Slowly tilt your knees on the left side towards the ground, rotating your hips along with the knees. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds and raise your knees back to the starting position. Similarly, lower your knees to the right side shifting your hips as well.
Strengthen the muscles of your back by performing back stretches. Lie down on the floor on your back. While keeping your right leg straight on the floor, bend your left leg. Stretch out your arms to the sides and bring your left leg close to your chest as much as possible. Hold it for 10 seconds and cross your left leg over the right leg. With this position, try to touch the ground with your left knee. Make sure that you do not raise your body and your shoulders are touching the floor behind them. Relax and repeat with the right leg in the same manner.
Plyometric Leg Strength
Cheerleading demands a considerable amount of energy and oomph. To build more liveliness and vigor, plyometric leg exercises will surely help you. Plyometrics is a series of muscle movements that includes lots of rapid jumping to increase your strength and height of your jumps. You can try doing a partner straddle jump. Select a partner and make him stand in front of you.
Both of you extend your arms out and ask your partner to turn his palms up towards the ceiling. Grasp his wrists with your palms facing down and lift your legs to perform straddle jumps with the help of your partner. Jump as high as possible with your toes pointed as you continue jumping. Jump between 10 to 20 times and switch positions with your partner. Perform again in the same manner.
You cannot escape by looking your best with attractive attire and neatly done hair. You need to have a tight and flat stomach to improve your performance. Crunches will help you achieve it. Lie down on your back with your feet flat on the floor. Place your palms behind your head and face towards the ceiling. With the help of your palms and shoulders, raise your upper body towards the abdomen. Hold the position for a second and retire to the starting position. Start with 25 repetitions and gradually increase them.
Not just a strong upper body and arms are sufficient for a good cheerleading performance. Strong legs are equally important to get promoted. Lunges aid in strengthening the muscles of your legs. Stand straight with your feet apart at hip-width distance. Move your left leg a step forward and bend your left knee, keeping your back straight. Gradually lower your body until your right knee touches the ground. Stand up and return to the original position. Repeat the exercise with the other leg.
These are some cheerleading exercises that will increase your stamina, boost the number of jumps in a row, prevent injuries, and most of all, keep you in perfect shape. Stay fit and have lots of fun!