Each week we share with you different tips and tricks to encourage you to start, improve or get back into a variety of sports and exercises. Previously we have spoken about kids soccer and weight lifting for women. This week we are talking about a sport that is massively misunderstood and doesn’t always get the credit it deserves – cheerleading! This is a highly intense and brutally competitive sport that is both exhilarating and addictive. As a cheerleader myself, I am bias to a high ponytail and glitter eye looks but there is another side to cheerleading that many don’t get to see – that is the hard work and dedication that goes into putting a 2.5-minute routine out on the floor. This week I’ll be sharing with you my top 3 tips for improving your cheer skills, don’t worry about what level you compete at, these tips can be applied to all!
1. Practice with an empty shoe. This is a great tip and is something that you can do at home whilst gyms are still closed. Use your cheer shoe and get comfortable with how it feels to manoeuvre the shoe into the air. You can mimic the different positions that are required for your ability gut level, prep level and extension height. If you want to make it a little harder practice with a little more weight. You can put ankle/wrist wights into the shoe or just use other objects from around the home that adds some weight.
Once you are happy with the grips work a drill into your home workout routine that requires you to rep the grips and movement of putting a flyer into the air.
2. Keep your stamina levels up. Whilst gyms have been closed and this season of cheerleading competitions if mostly cancelled it can be disheartening and make it more difficult to remain motivated to train at home. Make sure you continue to work out regularly and if you can’t find the motivation for a full workout, try to do cheer jumps for 2.5 minutes continuously to mimic the duration and intensity of a routine.
This will be particularly beneficial for when you are back in the gym as your coaches won’t have to spend ages getting your basic fitness levels back up to where they were at the height of the season. This can also be applied to stretching as it is important not to lose your flexibility level whilst you are unable to stretch in a gym – especially for flyers. It can be harder to replicate the stretching you are use to doing whilst in the air but there are still ways to practice from home such as using a doorframe for support or purchasing a stunting peg which will also improve balance.
3. Use this time to grow passionate about your team! This isn’t technically fitness-specific but if you are wanting to go into the next season with more energy and enthusiasm than ever before finding ways to excite yourself about your team. Watch previous performances, look back at successful alumni and learn all the team chants (or create new ones).
If your team is new and doesn’t have a deep history yet feed off of the energy from other teams. There are hundreds of cheer social media accounts, YouTube videos and even a Netflix documentary; so no matter how you want to inspire yourself content already exists.
We hope these three tips have been helpful, please share any other tips or advice you have in the comments below so fellow cheerleaders can look there for more information. Let us know what sports you would like more tips and drills on so we can help you out in future posts.
Thanks for reading, and stay active!