Cheerleading Conditioning Workouts

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Cheerleading is a highly physical activity that requires strength, endurance, flexibility and balance. You should incorporate conditioning workouts for each of these key areas into your weekly training program. Do each of the following conditioning workouts once per week. Do a second session of conditioning in your weaker areas. It is a good idea to condition with a partner who can encourage you to work harder and make sure you are using correct form.

Strength

Using weights, mimic the motions involved in basing an elevator. Squat down with your feet about hip width apart and your toes pointing forward. Hold one dumbbell in both hands with your arms bent at a right angle and your elbows tightly pressed into your sides. From this position, dip slightly and straighten your legs as you lift the weight just above your head and lower it to rest just below your chin. Dip and reverse this exact motion back down to your starting position. Next, start with the weights at chin level. Dip and press the weight up over your head until your arms are straight. Complete three sets of 12 repetitions of each exercise.

Endurance

Build endurance with a cheerleading circuit workout performed to fast-paced music. Alternate 25 cheer jacks, a jumping jack with a sharp high-"V" and low-"V" motion and recovery marching, with 10 repetitions of the following exercises: straight jumps -- squat down low and jump up high, reaching for the sky; tuck jumps -- squat down low and jump up in a tuck position; and split jumps -- lunge down low and jump up high, switching your legs while you are in the air. Circuit through all exercises one or two times. Work up to circuiting through five times.

Flexibility

To increase flexibility, you need to stretch daily. Make sure to warm up prior to stretching and to hold each stretch for 30 to 60 seconds for maximum effectiveness. Stretch your splits in each direction: right, left and center. Once you have a full split in any direction, hold split stretches leaning forward to your front leg, then bend your back leg up toward your head. Lie on your back and lift your leg into a heel stretch position, grabbing the heel of your foot with a cupped hand. Finally, hold a back bend position to stretch your back. Include variations in which you move your feet closer to your hands and in which you lift one leg at a time.

Balance

Improve your balance by practicing flier positions on the ground and on a surface that will challenge your stability, such as a couch cushion or an inflatable balance disc. Stand in an elevator position with feet hip width apart and arms in a high-"V" motion. Try a cupie with your feet together and arms in a touchdown motion. Incorporate as many one-foot poses as you can. At least do a liberty, standing on one foot with your lifted leg bent and knee pointing straight ahead of you. Your arms should be in a high-"V" motion. Make sure to do all one-foot poses on both sides. Hold all balance poses for at least one minute, pulling your abdominal muscles in and squeezing your butt muscles tight.

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