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 now??

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 one!

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!