Fitness is one of the greatest tools that an athlete can use for success. Anyone that is getting ready to try out for cheerleading, or gearing up to start their next cheer season, should start working on a fitness routine 2 months "“ 3 months before try outs so that their body and mind have time to train and prep.



Even if you think that you already have what it takes, focusing on fitness for a few months before try outs can help:
  • Boost your confidence

  • Build your stamina and endurance

  • Prepare your body and mind for the intensity of the experience

  • Increase muscle strength

  • Reduce the risk of injury and fatigue


Here are some activities that you should be working on to help present your best self during cheerleading try outs:

Stamina
You'll need to show the cheer judges that you can keep up for the whole routine. Working on a routine fitness plan before try outs will build your stamina so you don't get tired during your try out, and if you make the team, during regular practices and performances!

Practice shouting cheers and chants while working out or doing cardio and dance moves. You'll need to do this during routines, so you'll have to work on controlling your breathing.

Flexibility and Stretching
Flexibility will be key to mastering the motions and stances that are standard for cheerleading. Stretching should be a regular (and important) part of your fitness routine. You should stretch before you work out, as part of your warm-up for cheer activities, and also incorporate flexibility moves into your work out. The best thing about most stretches is that they actually work most of the body at once, including your arms, legs, back and neck.

You can find some great cheerleading stretches and step-by-step instructions in these articles:
Cheerleading Stunts: How to prep and stretch for the scorpion
The Weekly Fitness Post: Stretches For Tumblers
Touch those toes!
The Weekly Fitness Post: Stretches For Flyers!

Balance
Having great balance is important to all cheerleaders, not just cheerleaders that are part of a stunt group. Cheer moves are hit on the ground too, so every member of a squad should have impeccable balance. You can find some tips for working on your balance in the The Weekly Fitness Post: Balancing Techniques For Flyers article.

Strength
To stay fit as a cheerleader, personal strength training is not only important but mandatory. Bases will want to focus on arms, back and upper legs. Flyers want to focus on core and ankles. Tumblers have to focus on shoulders, legs, and middle body strength.

There are many important areas that need to be focused on, like wrists and hips, but are often overlooked. Our archives are a great place to find comprehensive strength training tips for cheerleaders!

Jumps
Jumps are one of the core moves in cheerleading and they are used with other moves in the choreography to create a complete routine. No doubt about it, jumps are a mandatory skill needed for cheerleading tryouts. A cheerleader can prepare by working on the form, height and overall execution of jumps. Check out our cheer jump tips archives to learn how to do basics jumps, and how to improve your jumping skills.

Motions and Stances
A cheerleader's motions and stances are the backbone and support system of her ability and technique. A major part of a cheerleader's try out skill set includes being able to hit motions and stances.

Check out our general overview of basic cheer stances and motions, and keep in mind that basic motions can be used while a cheerleader is on the ground or when she is up in a stunt.

Hydration and Nutrition
Since cheerleaders are highly active and athletic, they shouldn't really need to diet. Instead, cheerleaders should focus on maintaining healthy nutrition on a daily basis. Some tips include staying hydrated, eating protein rich foods before practice and performances, and having a replenishing snack after intense work outs and routines.