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Tips to Improve Cheerleading Jumps

written by: Rochelle Connery • edited by: Cheryl Gabbert • updated: 11/13/2010

Cheerleading is all about rooting for your home team, and one of the best ways to show your enthusiasm is by performing jumps. But jumps are not for the faint of heart. Read these tips for cheerleading jumps to find out which drills you should be performing each week to improve your cheer jumps.

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    Toe Touch Jumps

    Toe touch jumps are quite common in cheerleading. This is where cheerleaders jump high or are launched into the air and must spread their legs out on each side, touch their feet and land safely. Cheerleaders who have difficulty spreading their legs as a result of tightness in the inner thighs can perform these drills to improve their flexibility.

    Leg Lifts: Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Lift them about 12 inches off the floor, and hold this pose. You may place your hands behind your back for support. Hold them for at least 10 seconds, then lower them down and repeat. This exercise is designed to strengthen your muscles so you can launch higher.

    Focus on Form: Whenever you practice toe touches, keep all aspects of your body in mind. Your face should be happy, your arms should be outstretched in a “T” shape and your legs should be straight. About.com’s cheerleading guide, Valerie Ninemire, recommends bringing your legs up to meet your arms; don’t lower your arms to your legs.

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    Pike Jumps

    Height is key when properly executing a pike. This drill will help you launch higher into the air.

    Jumping Drills: The Cheerleading Stunt Academy recommends performing any motion that requires bending at the knees and continual jumping, such as jump rope, squat jumps and lunge jumps. Play some leap frog with your fellow cheerleaders and concentrate on jumping as high as possible over each person.

    Not only will jumping drills help your jumps, they’ll also help you become more physically fit, as they provide an excellent cardio workout as well.

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    Hurdler Jumps

    Conditioning your gluteus and thigh muscles is key to performing great hurdler jumps. These tips for cheerleading jumps in hurdlers will help you do just that.

    Chorus Line Kicks: Chorus line kicks are perfect for helping you reach high with your front leg as well as performing hurdlers quickly. Think about a Broadway chorus girl or a Rockette; they place their arms on top of each others’ shoulders and kick as high and fast as possible. Perform this drill, either alone or with partners, until you feel your inner thigh muscles getting quicker at popping your legs up and down.

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    Spread Eagle Jumps

    Spread eagle jumps, also known as the star, look great mid-air, but they are a challenge. These tips for cheerleading jumps will help you perfect your form.

    Side Jump Kicks: You want to spread your legs as far to the sides as possible. To accomplish this, kick one leg to the side and jump with your straight leg. Alternate legs, then try jumping with both legs kicking out. Don’t worry about your arms right now – those are easy. Focus on making sure you’re maintaining a good jump height and landing with your feet together.

    Sources:

    Valerie Ninemire: Toe Touch Drills

    Cheerleading Stunt Academy: Toe Touches, Hurdlers, Pikes

    We Play: Basic Jumps Drills