Alicia was in her high school cheerleading team, and she was excited about that to the hilt. She knew the basics, and was pretty much thorough with them. All she needed was a brush-up of the jumps and stunts. She was totally set to rock the sports arena.
In conjunction to Alicia's situation, imagine cheerleading without its characteristic jumps. Impossible, isn't it? Well, I am sure it is. The jumps are what make this activity or sport fun and full of energy. If at all you are game for some pom-pomming, you have hit the right place.
Various Jumps in Cheerleading
This is the most simple of jumps, also called the T-jump. Here, a cheerleader simply jumps straight up. This jump is used to correct and get back to position, once you master other jumps.
Hurdler and Side Hurdler
Here, you leap in the air, with one leg bent and the other straight. When it is a front hurdler, your arms are straight above your head, and the bent knee faces the crowd. In case of a side hurdler, your arms should be in a 'T' formation, and again the bent knee faces the crowd.
This is dedicated to the founder of National Cheerleader's Association, Lawrence Herkimer. It is similar to a side hurdler, but for the fact that both the arms are opposite of what the movement of the legs is. For instance, if the arm is straight, it has to be on the side of the bent leg. A variation in this is that, on the side of the bent leg, there would be a straight arm. Another difference is that, the bent leg has to point straight down.
This jump is a tough one. Here, both legs are straight out and the knees are locked. The catch here is that, you have to be thrown up in the air. The arms are positioned in such a way that they are above your head. This action is similar to when the referee has to call a touchdown.
Toe touch comprises legs in a straddled and straight position. They are parallel to the dancing surface in addition to pointed toes, and the knees are pulled are back with the arms in a T movement. Reach out farther in front of your legs, bring your legs up to you, and keep your back straight. Toe touch is a challenging jump.
In this one, the cheerleader pulls up her legs with the thighs as close to the chest with the help of her stomach muscles. Further, the knees will face upwards, resembling a 'tucked' position.
For this jump, the cheerleader swings up and jumps with her arms up in the shape akin to a V. Do not forget to spread your legs, so that the final effect looks like an 'X'.
Around the World
Around the World or Pike Out, as it is called, is a combination of a pike and toe touch. The individual starts with a pike or rather hits a pike, and then whips her legs back rapidly around, performing a toe touch. This is rarely used, as it is tough, considering that 2 positions have to be accomplished quickly, and that too in mid air.
- Warming up and stretching is absolutely essential if you want to perform these jumps well. This will also avoid injuries.
- Develop strength in your legs through weightlifting, accompanied by daily practice. Strengthen your calf muscles by running up and down the stairs, and crunches will help you get your stomach in shape.
- Practice on your form―how the jump looks when executed.
- Seek the opinion of you peers and coach. Obviously, you cannot see yourself while you perform, but others can. Feedback from them can also help improve a great deal.
Cheerleading jumps are all about grace, timing, and perfection. That can come only with sincere practice to hone your skills, and hard work. After all, practice makes a man perfect.