During school breaks, you have a lot of downtime that you can use to your advantage. This time can be used in a lot of ways, and as a busy cheerleader, you most likely have compiled a long list of to-dos during your normal season. Winter break is consumed by competitive cheerleading, which keeps you fit and ready for second semester. Summertime, however, is quite a different story. With the sun high in the sky, your friends super available to hangout, and so many fun things to do, it’s easy to put your fitness regimen on the back burner over summer break. Who wants to be cooped up in a gym when it’s so nice out, anyway? Luckily, there are more than a few exercises you can do without leaving the comfort of your own home. Try these three exercises, even if they’re sandwiched in between episodes you’re binge-watching on Netflix:

Backyard walking lunges.
Lunges are great for not only your flexibility, but also your quads, glutes, and hamstrings. Strong legs are the foundation for most things you do as a cheerleader, like tumbling, jumping, and stunting. Thus, your leg strength is nothing to take lightly! To start, stand with feet hips’ distance apart, and step into your lunge, dropping at a 90-degree angle with your knees. Make sure not to lean forward–keep your knee behind your front foot! Walk your lunges from one side of your yard to the other, and add some hand weights if you really want to feel the burn. Do at least three complete round-trips of your backyard to maximize your workout. Don’t have a backyard? This exercise can be done in a long hallway, or even out on the sidewalk. It’s technically not leaving your house if you’re just out front…

Rotating planks.
With all the yummy summer food going around (cough, 4th of July goodies, snow cones, and BBQs…), the first things to go are your abs if you’re not on top of your fitness. Abdominal muscles take consistent work to get and stay tight: they’re connected to all of the rest of your muscles, which is crucial for cheerleaders who want to go full out. And– considering you have upper, middle, lower, and side abdominal muscles–there are so many ways to keep your stomach on point. For all of the above, enter planks. Planking isn’t supposed to be easy; if it is, you need to add some weight on top of your lower back as you hold. Do a middle plank–keeping your hips low and tucked under your spinefor 60 seconds, and then open up your plank by rotating over onto your left side. Hold your side plank for another 60 seconds. Transition back to the middle for another minute, and then repeat on your right. For an extra oblique challenge, do side plank raises: lowering your bottom hip to brush the ground and then squeezing your oblique muscles as you raise it back to the starting position. Do three reps on both sides, and your abs will be in great shape!


Textbook bicep curls.
Hit your books hard over break without studying once. How, you ask? By using them to tone your arms! Find two of equal weight and start pumping reps during TV show commercials breaks. Stand with feet hip-distance apart, and start with your hands at your sides. As you raise the books, turn your palms from facing each other to face up once you cross your bellybutton. Pin your elbows to your sides and try to keep your body as still as possible, so that only your arms are moving. Stop your hands a fist-distance away from shoulders and lower your arms back down to a full extension before starting your next rep. Repeat throughout the commercial breaks of one entire TV show, and you’ll be good to go!

In what other ways can you maintain your fitness at home? What creative exercises have you invented? Let us know in the comments!