There are many moves and motions in cheerleading, and almost
endless tumble combinations–with new ones yet to be invented! Stunts always get
the crowd going, but between all the things you can possibly do on the mat or
the sidelines, there are some cheerleading staples that you can’t overlook. One
particular jump with such significance is the Herkie: a fun, yet slightly
difficult jump where you thrust one leg forward in a half-saddle position and
the have the other leg bent flat beneath you. It’s hard to spell out, but
simple once you have it down and always a nice addition to any cheer routine.
But, there are more reasons why a Herkie is great! Here are four things you may
not have considered that may make you love doing them even more.
1. There’s a rich history
behind them. Did you know ‘Herkie’ was a real person in cheerleading
history? The jump is named after Lawrence Herkimer, a male cheerleader who
changed the sport forever! He created not only the Herkie jump, but also
patented the world’s first pom-poms! Lawrence Herkimer actually created the
jump by accident while a cheerleader at Southern Methodists University, as he
was intending to do a split jump. Not only that, but he instituted the first
cheer camp in 1948. What would cheerleading be without all of these things
2. It really makes
your routine POP. The dance section of your routine is always a great time
to smile, nail facials, and get pumped up for that big ending stunt. But, to
break up your motions and choreography, your coach may sprinkle jumps here and
there for the crowd to see your jump skills! Having your whole team hit a
Herkie at the same time looks talented, disciplined, and spectacular–all in
3. You can do a
Herkie anytime, anywhere. You sometimes have to depend on your teammates to
help you pull off cool cheerleading things. Not jumps! A Herkie is something
that can showcase your progress in the sport, since it’s not something that
every person can do without practice. You can do it on the sidelines, on the
mat, or just to show off your love of cheer to your friends. Just don’t do it
in the house, unless you have enough space to do so without breaking yourself
or any household item.
4. It’s visually different than other
jumps. Unlike split jumps, Herkies are supposed to look a little awkward.
You’re bent over your front leg and are almost karate kicking the air, with
your other leg tucked behind you like you’re sitting cross-legged. It’s not the
prettiest jump, by any means! But, if done correctly, the Herkie jump can look
just as flawless as the other jumps–maybe even better, because it’s so unique!
If you really want to shake up a stale routine or cheer, adding a Herkie jump
is never a bad idea.
What are other reasons
to love doing Herkie jumps? Have you used a Herkie jump in a unique way? Let us
know in the comments!