We've long believed that cheerleading is a sport and that cheerleaders are extreme athletes. While unfortunately many still disagree, a new study may help change the opinions of some. A recent study led by Hermann Engels, a researcher at Wayne State , concluded that competitive cheerleading is on the same physical and athletic level as Olympic soccer and gymnastic contenders.

There hasn't been a study quite like this one and we're excited to see Engels' conclusions. For the study, Engels looked at the fitness and physiology of 33 high school cheerleaders (all female). The cheerleaders went through several days of intense testing, like working out on treadmills and stationary cycles and completing bend-and-reach tests. All of these tests' goal was to measure the workout capacity, flexibility, and lean body mass of each cheerleader.

All 33 cheerleaders ranked extremely high, leading Engels to conclude that their fitness and strength is considered "superior" and that they are just as good as any "top-level athlete."

We hope the non-believers take note of this study. As more researchers, doctors, athletes, and others show just how athletic and competitive cheerleading can be, the better the chance of cheerleading being considered a sport.

What do you think of this study? Will this help promote competitive cheerleading as a sport?
News Source: Daily Messenger