One of the big fitness trends this year is High-Intensity Interval Training (which we talk about here). Athletes and fitness-fans of all kinds are trying Interval Training and seeing major results. Interval Training is especially great for individuals who don’t have a lot of time in their schedule to dedicate an hour on the treadmill, like cheerleaders. Interval Training gets your heart pumping in no time and you can get more done in 15 minutes than you would in that hour on the treadmill. Fix.com shared a great guide all about Interval Training, including the benefits and how to get started. Take a look and then visit Fix.com to see the whole article! Remember! Always wear proper practice wear when working out, especially when performing something as high energy as Interval Training. Try the new Chasse C-Prime line, which includes a compression-style sports bra, shorts, and racerback tank made from C-dri, the brand’s very own sweat-wicking fabric that keeps the body cool and dry. Source: Fix.com
Health & Fitness
Check out the complete Cheerleading Guide To Summer Camp – available now for free!
The end of cheerleading
camp season is just around the corner, which can only mean one thing – the regular season is coming up fast!
So now that camp is ending, what’s next? What can a squad do to keep their new and perfected cheer (and life!) skills fresh so they can apply them to their season, and pass them along to future squad members? Here are just a few ways to keep camp spirit alive!
- Do a visual comparison. Before attending camp, record your squad performing a routine. Spend some time evaluating the performance and taking notes. Record another version of the same routine after your team attends camp. Compare the two videos with your team and point out areas where they have improved. Sometimes a person’s achievements will really sink in when they can get a visual on them!
- Recognize your team’s achievements. Most camps will have a competition and awards ceremony, but go above and beyond that to recognize your team’s successes and encourage them to have the best year they can! Create your own certificates of achievement, based on the unique members of your squad, and surprise your team after camp with a ceremony. Or, just take some time at the next practice or meeting to recap the successes of each team member. Send a recap of your team’s experience to local news, and secure a feature in your school’s newspaper.
- Create a cheer book. But take it to the next level! Have the captain take all the squad member’s notes and create one big package of lessons, quotes, inspiration, motivation and photos. You can have one team copy printed, and if you have the funds you can print a book for each squad member.
- Expand camp’s team building. Have a team meeting and let each team member have the floor for a few minutes to talk about what they learned. You can even give them specific topics to talk about (such as: What was your favorite moment? What did you learn about yourself? How do you think you will be a better team mate now?). Strive to make this a sharing/ teaching/ learning event. One team member may have learned something that another didn’t, so it is really important to recap!
- Relive camp! Before your first game, turn one of your practices into a camp clinic to refresh the best from camp, like safety lessons, technique tips and teamwork.
Have you developed your own way to keep camp spirit alive all season? Share it with us and our readers here!
Tryout season means we give endless advice on how to rock your tryout (even if you didn’t ask for it!). We’ll get right to the good stuff: what you should and shouldn’t do when preparing for cheer tryouts.
- DON’T wait until the last minute to start training for tryouts. Start stretching and exercising months ahead of time.
- DO ask current cheerleaders and/or the coach for advice on what to focus on and what you should know on the big day.
- DON’T try to teach yourself advanced tumbling moves. You could end up seriously injuring yourself.
- DO focus on cheer basics, like standard motions and stances, and stretching to build up your flexibility.
- DON’T force the splits or other moves that require flexibility. The splits take time!
- DO give yourself enough time to build up your stamina, flexibility, and balance. These three are key skills cheerleaders need.
- DON’T be afraid to show your personality during tryouts. You can even show your spirit by wearing a cheer bow!
- DO wear the right clothes to tryouts — practice shorts and a tank or tee that is form fitting, as well as white athletic shoes.
- DON’T mumble or act shy during your tryout (even if you’re feeling nervous or shy!).
- DO speak loudly and coherently, all while maintaining a smile.
- DON’T ask the coach if you made the team multiple times after tryouts. You’ll find out soon enough!
- DO ask the coach when the final decision will be made or when you should expect to hear the results.
Cheerleading jumps are a basic skill, but they are mandatory for
all levels of cheerleading. Jumps are a feature of
sideline and elite choreography, and a requirement for most
cheerleading tryout routines! Jumps function as a crowd-pleasing move, but they also teach you valuable techniques that will help you pick up advanced moves and choreography at a faster pace.
It’s important for a cheerleader to
master jump entry before moving on to the full jump. Performing the basic entry steps in repetition will help your body build muscle memory so that the movements needed for jumps become like second nature. Don’t forget to
stretch and warm up!
How To Perform the X Jump for Cheerleading
- Start your jump entry with your feet together, your arms straight down on your side and your hands in fists.
- Clap your hands and then put your arms into a High V position, and slightly bend your knees.
- Cross your arms into an X and swing them down. Don’t just pull your arms down – swing them to help you build momentum for your jump.
- Your arms will uncross after lining up with your knees. As you continue to swing your arm motion back out and up, bend your knees even more, and spring up and launch yourself into the air. Continue pulling your arms back up into a High V motion.
- Jump straight up with your head and chest up and your back straight. Once you are off the ground, pull your legs apart, into an upside down High V. Be sure to point your toes!
- Pull your legs back together as you are coming down. Your legs should be together when your feet hit the ground, and you should bend your knees to absorb the shock.
- As you are landing, you’ll also start pulling your arms down. After your feet hit the ground, you’ll bring your arms straight down by your side, keeping your hands in fists.
- Straighten your knees once you are steady, and finish the jump with a basic cheer clap.
While executing these each of these steps, make sure they are down quickly and consecutively of each other, so your jump will be one continual, smooth and powerful motion
It may be summer, but as any good athlete knows, there is no offseason. So here are some stretches you can do on your beach vacation to improve flexibility and reap
the benefits of outdoor exercise.
You should never stretch a cold muscle, so do some light running or jumping jacks or whatever your favorite warm-up activity is before getting started.
Once you’re warm, grab that leg! Do some basic stretches to loosen up your major muscles, like the traditional quad stretch where you stand on one leg and bend the other behind you, holding your foot or ankle.
Then hit the hamstrings by standing with your legs just wider than shoulder width apart and reaching down to touch the sand. Reach to the center and each side, holding for 15 to 20 seconds each. Make sure your neck is relaxed and not straining to look up. You can look at the ocean again in a few seconds!
You can now stretch the inner leg/groin area by placing your legs farther apart and crouching down all the way to one side, then the other. Hold the stretch for 15 to 20 seconds on each side. Make sure to get up slowly from this one so you don’t tweak anything by popping up too quickly!
It’s also a good idea to loosen up your ankles” “especially if you’ve sprained or twisted them before. Do this by putting just the toes on the ground and moving your ankle around in a circle 10 times one way, then 10 times the other. Then do the same to the other ankle” “all while taking in the beautiful ocean view. You can also sit on your beach towel and write “I love cheerleading” in cursive in the air with each ankle.
For your arms, you can do the overhead stretch where you grab your hand and pull to one side for 15 to 20 seconds, then the other side. A variation on this is to then grab your arm at the elbow instead of the hand and pull. This gives you a better stretch on your triceps. Then pull your arm in front of you across your chest and hold for 15 to 20 seconds before switching to the other arm.
Now you’ve stretched your main muscles, but why not take it a step further and improve your flexibility while working on core strength? Enter yoga. Don’t be intimidated if you immediately picture someone standing on her head with her legs in all sorts of crazy positions. There are basic yoga moves that anyone from beginners to headstanders can benefit from, and doing it on the beach will increase the relaxation benefits!
Try the Warrior pose to stretch your hips and strengthen your legs. It’s like a lunge that you hold instead of repeating.
Downward Dog is fun to say, and it stretches your calves and hamstrings while strengthening your arms and core. This one feels amazing, and you can add extra strength training to it by doing leg lifts from the Downward Dog position. Just make sure you keep your neck relaxed and comfortable, not strained to look up.
The Superman stretches and strengthens your back so your ab-to-back strength ratio doesn’t get too lopsided, which can lead to injuries.
Have fun, be safe, and don’t be afraid to try something new! Let us know in the comments how it goes and what your favorite beach stretches are.
Thanks to a university online course, cheer coaches can improve their already wonderful teaching skills! West Virginia is now offering an online coaching course. Students will learn how to teach
safe cheer techniques in the course of nine weeks.
The class – three hours long each week – is called Athletic Coaching Education 356. All teaching takes place online so coaches (and aspiring coaches!) can enroll no matter where they live or what time of day they work. The course is being taught by Kelly Stewart, who is a faculty member of the College of Physical Activity and Sports Science at West Virginia . Kelly also happens to be the co-founder of the Competitive Cheerleading Club.
The Daily Athenaeum spoke with Kelly, who told the newspaper, “The whole purpose of the course is to prepare a student to be ready to coach cheerleading in a safe way, and there’s really not a whole lot out there for teaching coaches how to teach stunts in a safe way.”
While up to 35 students can enroll, the class (offered each semester) quickly fills up, probably because the class is hands-on and requires students to work with
high school cheer teams and teach the stunts and routines taught during the course. After completing their assignment, they take pictures and report about their progress through an online platform called eCampus. The “final” comes in the form of a three-minute routine, which the student must create while following all state rules and regulations.
The class was first launched in 2011 but has recently gained traction and success. We think its great that a university is providing
learning resources for cheer coaches! For more information on the course, email firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to West Virginia .
The Daily Athenaeum
Have you ever taken or heard of cheer classes? Would you ever take an online class to improve your coaching or cheer skills?
Conditioning practice‚ two dreaded words thrown recklessly about by your coach far too often. You know that your coach wants to get the most out of practice time and means well, but there’s just no mercy when it comes to conditioning. You definitely need to walk tomorrow‚ but how? You wish cheerleading scientists could invent in a lab a whole new way to go full out without putting in the initial training, but that would be too easy. And you know it. And that day hasn’t come yet, so you report to conditioning practice on time and with a heavy heart. However, no matter how much you want to hate it, you know deep down that there are certain things about conditioning practices that you love. Don’t worry: we won’t tell your teammates how you do, in fact, enjoy running those drills!
The number one most beloved thing about conditioning practices is an obvious one‚ the results! It’s not just the results you see in your routine, it’s the results you see in your health and wellness. Who wouldn’t be stoked to be so swoll? Your muscles become more defined, your energy levels rocket to an all-time high, and as a result, you feel more confident about yourself. Cheerleading causes your self-esteem to escalate for several reasons, and feeling good about yourself is a main one. Also, by participating in conditioning drills, your body begins to work more efficiently: it not only fights off disease better with a heightened immune system, but also makes you less susceptible to injury. If your muscles are all regularly engaged through conditioning, then your body is working with a better framework when you accidentally land wrong during a stunt, for instance.
When your body is pushed heavily during a workout, it shocks your system enough to burn fat, up your adrenaline levels, and release a large amount of endorphins throughout your body which make you feel happy. You know that elated feeling at the end of conditioning practice when you feel like you can run up a mountain, even though you just burned off a whole day’s calories? Well, that’s not just because your coach says conditioning day is over; it’s that fun endorphin surge rocketing through your system making you feel on top of the world.
You probably don’t realize it, but conditioning practices stand as much more than a mere workout. Each conditioning practice is a team-bonding event. That may sound silly to you, especially since you usually train so hard that you have literally zero chance to talk to any of your teammates until after practice. The lack of socializing aside, conditioning still constitutes team bonding due to the fact that you all despise it equally‚ it’s the lowest common denominator of cheerleading. Nobody will ever want it, ask for it, look forward to it, or enjoy it. The loathing makes it a team unifier, and the fact that you all struggle through it together makes it uniting.
Lastly, you love conditioning practice because it reminds you‚ each and every time‚ that you’re on the road to achieving your goals. Whether those goals are based in your personal life or they are team-oriented, it’s the fact that you are pushing yourself towards progress that matters. Having definitive goals and being able to cross them off in time is the best feeling in the world, so maybe don’t cringe so hard the next time conditioning practice rolls around.
What do you secretly love about conditioning practice? Tell us in the comments below!
The New Year brings a great sense of relief as we get a “fresh slate’ to start over, refresh, and revamp. Although most of us are probably in the middle of our competition season, now is still a great time to rethink and reorganize. As we focus on advancing our stunts and routines for nationals, or (unfortunately) are frantically rearranging our entire routine because someone got hurt last night at practice, we know that every ounce of practice time is c-r-u-c-i-a-l!
It’s frustrating, I get it. I get that nothing goes quite as planned, and I know that nothing is worse than spending hours repeatedly practicing that same skill and stunt sequence that just won’t hit. But, I also know there are a few key tweaks that you can incorporate that will help you advance your routine, improve your stunts, and do more‚ in less time!
As a fitness expert for cheerleaders, I want to share my top 3 tips to help you kick off the New Year right and get the most out of every practice.
CHEERFIT TIP #1: GET YOUR TEAM FIT
75% of the time a stunt doesn’t hit, a tumbling pass doesn’t go, or the routine falls apart and it’s not because your team isn’t trying‚ it is because they aren’t fit. The muscles required to stunt, tumble, and go full out are much different in cheerleading than in most other sports, and our exercise plans must be adjusted accordingly.
Cheerleaders need to focus on:
Stability training to progress stunting
Cardio to build endurance
Strength training to advance tumbling
, Core training to improve technique and body control
But don’t sweat it: if fitness isn’t your expertise, schedule a free consultation with our cheer fitness experts to discuss the best workouts for your team! www.cheerfittraining.com/freeconsultation.
CHEERFIT TIP #2: HAVE A PLAN
Yes, the New Year is here and it is the perfect time to reorganize and plan for the year ahead. Be realistic with your goals and have a plan to make it happen. Unfortunately, fitness often gets overlooked because most teams “have too much to do’ before even thinking about adding working out into an already jam-packed practice.
But, here is a secret: working out maximizes practice!
Plan your workouts, just like any other appointment. Add each workout into your phone calendar or planner, and commit to it. Whether you schedule workout circuits into practice or give your team a workout calendar to do on their own, remember that working out builds strength, strength builds confidence, and confidence is what makes that routine hit‚ the first time around!
I’ve even put together a free cheerFIT workout calendar to help you get started. Print out the calendar below and for the free cheerFIT workout logs and exercise videos, check out: www.cheerfittraining.com/freeworkout
CHEERFIT TIP #3: BUILD CAMARADERIE
A team that sweats together, wins together! Have fun with working out and enjoy our cheerFIT workout challenges. Incorporate the #cheerfitchallenge as a fun team activity!
Check out our monthly workout challenges:
And there you have it! Follow these fit tips and let’s make 2016 the best year yet!
Your Cheer Fitness Coach,
If you’re a tumbler for a cheerleading team, you understand the importance of having high and technically correct jumps. Even if you aren’t a tumbler on your cheer team, you still know the importance on having impeccable jumps. Higher jumps plus lots of practice equals a
uniform cheerleading team that is on point at cheer competition or any other performance.
Working toward the goal of having higher jumps is a little more complicated than just going to the gym and obsessively performing leg exercises. Having high jumps with perfect execution of leg extension and pointed toes is a sign of a true athlete that has spent a lot of time fine tuning their body with exercising, stretching and practice.
Stretch! Not only is this a requirement to perform jumps such as toes touches and herkies, but multiple studies over the past few years have shown that stretching can help improve the height of your jump. According to
active.com, regular, everyday stretching increases “muscle force production and contraction velocity, suggesting that the benefits resulted from muscle strengthening.” So what does all of this scientific jargon mean? Stretching actually makes muscles strong! Create a daily stretching routine (if you’re a cheerleader, you should already be practicing this!) and stick to it.
Jump! This may sound like the overly obvious exercise to practice, but muscle memory is the best way to work towards your fitness goal. This is the literal meaning behind the “practice makes perfect” saying. You’re not only practicing repetitive movements to perfect your technique, but you’re also working every muscle it takes to perform jumps. Work on repetitive jumping drills. Get into a standing position with your legs together and arms straight by your side. For counting purposes, and keeping good cheer form, clap then put your arms into a high “V” with your fist closed. Bend your knees and execute a simple jump into the air by straightening your legs. Land and return to your starting position with your feet together, legs straight, and arms by your side. Perform in repetitions to build your muscles. Work your way from just a simple jump to pikes and toe touches as well.
Core Essentials. Build your core to perfect jumps. When you perform cheerleading jumps, you should not be lowering your upper body to your toes. That will prevent you from reaching your maximum height while jumping. The proper way to execute a jump is by using your abs to pull your legs up. Having a physical routine of ab focused exercises will help build the muscles that are dominant during jumps. Check out
The Weekly Fitness Post: Core Building for Flyers and
The Weekly Fitness Post: Rock Hard Abs for Cheerleading Bases.
Get the leg up on jumps! No pun intended! Leg exercises that include lifts focus on leg muscles that will be active during jumps and engage abdominals. Sit on the floor with your knees straight and legs in a “V” position, with your hands behind you for support. Lift both legs about a foot off the floor while leaning back to help you keep your balance. Remember to keep your legs and back as straight as possible. Hold this position for a few seconds, release and rest for a couple of seconds, and then repeat.
Another great exercise for legs is Leg Circles. In the same position as the previous exercise, lift your right leg a foot off of the ground and move your leg in a circular motion clockwise 20 times. Reverse into a counter-clockwise motion 20 times and repeat both motions on your left leg. Other great exercises to practice for jumps are lunges, jumping jacks and adding light ankle lifts to your leg exercises to help build resistance.
Adding all of the above points to your physical regiment will not only help you obtain higher jumps, but also help you become a better athlete!
Competition season is finally here! As cheerleaders, we have been practicing all year getting ready for competition season‚ and we are ready to prove we mean business! Who’s with me when I say we are here to win big and make this the best season yet.
Now, on a scale of 1-10, how ready are you? Do you feel fit to compete and confident when taking to the mat?
We practice and prepare ALL season long, but during that time when you hear your team name being called to take to the mat and those few seconds of s-i-l-e-n-c-e waiting for the music to start, those butterflies start to creep up and unfortunately, can get the best of us.
My name is Danielle Wechsler and I am the fitness trainer for cheerleaders and founder of cheerFIT. I am here to help you get fit to compete and radiate with confidence!
As an elite cheerleader and fitness expert, I understand your cheer goals and I know the exercises to get you there! I have personally created your Get Fit to Compete workout‚ complete with the exercises we cheerleaders need to train to be the best.
Let’s get started! Follow the workout below ‚ complete each exercise for 60 seconds, repeat 4 times.
TUCK JUMPS – this exercise improves endurance and power and gets you read for advanced tumbling.
SINGLE LEG BALANCE – this
exercise strengthens your core and advances body control for improved stability.
TWISTS & SHOUTS –
this exercise chisels that middle and gets you in cheer mode.
this exercise strengthens your entire body and gives you the confidence to take champ status.
And there you go my friends! Now, go get your cheerFIT workout on!
Oh, and one more thing: if you want some extra fit tips and workout plans to stay in top cheer shape, check out our Fitness Plans for Cheerleaders. Even more exciting, Omni Cheer Blog readers can use the promo code: OMNI15 and save $15! Now that’s something to cheer about!! (*offer valid until 12/15/15)
I hope you enjoyed the workout and good luck at competition ‚ you’ll do great!!