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Cheerleading Article: Assign Resistance Training

As seen in Cheer Coach and Advisor Magazine January 2008.

By Karen Goeller, CSCS

Copyright 2008 Goeller

It is illegal to reproduce this article without written permission of the author.

 

Check out the Gymnastics Drills and Conditioning Books!

 

Cheerleading has evolved into a sport that offers one challenge after another. Cheerleaders must have sport specific strength and strength in motion. Without the necessary strength, injuries and accidents occur. So, with an increase in strength typically comes a decrease of injuries during routines, games, and competitions.

 

Besides core strength, leg and shoulder strength are important, especially for those cheerleaders at the bottom of the pyramid. Cheer coaches must incorporate exercises that will help all of their cheerleaders increase general leg and shoulder strength for tumbling, jumps, and pyramid work.

 

Although the Wall Sit is a great exercise, cheerleading coaches must also assign exercises where the cheerleader is in motion. And, adding weight during exercises and movement will increase their general strength. Combination / compound exercises are very valuable because the athlete is training more than one muscle group at a time. Cheerleaders must often us more than one muscle group at a time for skills, combinations, and routines.

 

In the Wall Sit, the athlete's legs are becoming stronger in the sit (static) position because they are holding the sit for an extended period of time. Cheerleaders must also become stronger during movement. Strength in motion for the legs is as important as static strength. In the Wall Sit the athlete must move from the stand to the sit one time and then hold the low position. In the Squat Exercise the athlete must repeat the sit and stand motion several times. They will become stronger with the leg push motion rather than in the static position. It is a different strength and therefore a different training approach should be taken. For many sports the athlete must be strong in the leg push motion, rather than in the static position, but cheerleaders must be strong in motion and in the static position to safely perform pyramids, jumps, and tumbling. During pyramids the cheerleader at the bottom must support weight in addition to their own. It only makes sense to train with weights/resistance in order to more closely simulate the sport and increase strength. Since cheerleaders often use more than one muscle group at a time it may be most useful to include compound exercises. The following exercises will help the cheerleader gain strength in her upper and lower body simultaneously.

 

Cheer coaches must prepare their athletes with a great variety of conditioning exercises each week for success and safety. Always start with the lightest weight possible to ensure proper form during exercise. Please keep in mind that you are responsible for the safety of your athletes. 

  

Chop
Legs Plus Workouts by Karen Goeller1. Hold medicine ball with your arms extended overhead.
2. In one continuous motion bring the ball down in front of you like you are chopping wood.
3. You will have to bend at your knees to complete this. 
4. Return to starting position and repeat.

Additional Comments: Use a medicine ball appropriate for your fitness level. Make sure your knees remain in line with your hip and toes. Do not allow the knee to move from side to side. Make sure your knee does not go forward beyond your toes.

 

 

 

Lunge with Medicine Ball

Legs Plus Workouts by Karen Goeller1. Stand with feet hip width apart. Take leg and step back approximately 2 feet standing on the ball of the foot. Place the front foot on a balance disc.
2. Feet should be positioned at a staggered stance with head and back erect and straight in a neutral position. Hold medicine ball in front of your chest.
3. Lower body by bending at hip and knee until thigh is parallel to floor. Body should follow a straight line down towards the floor.
4. Return to start position while raising the medicine ball overhead and repeat. Alternate or switch to other leg after prescribed reps.

Additional Comments: Use a medicine ball appropriate for your fitness level. Make sure your knee remains in line with your hip and toes. Do not allow the knee to move from side to side. Make sure your knee does not go forward beyond your toes.

 

For more exercises like these visit www.LegsPlus.com.

 

By Karen Goeller, CSCS
Karen Goeller has been training athletes since 1978. She has an education that includes training in emergency medicine, physical therapy, and nutrition. She has held certifications that include NSCA-CSCS, Fitness Trainer, EMT-D, Nutritional Analysis, and many Gymnastics Certifications among others. Besides being author of the Gymnastics Drills and Conditioning books, Karen is the author of the Swing Set Fitness books. She has also published journals, training programs, and articles. Her books are used by fitness experts, coaches, teachers, and athletes worldwide. Karen has worked for world famous gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi, owned a gymnastics club for ten years, and has been featured in several newspapers and on television many times. She offers sports performance training and private gymnastics training in NJ. For more on Karen visit www.KarenGoeller.com.  

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Great gifts for your gymnast and gymnastics coach!

 

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Gymnastics Socks for Kids... Great gift!

 

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Gymnastics SIGG Bottle: BPA-free, made from single piece of aluminum, ultra-lightweight, rugged, crack-resistant.

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Gymnastics T-shirts, Sweatshirts, Hoodies, Jerseys, etc.

Gymnastics Apparel: Hoodies, Sweatshirts, T-shirts, Raglans, etc.

Gymnastic Apparel: Raglans, Sweatshirts, Hoodies, T-shirts, etc.

 

 

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Gymnastics Gifts

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Food Thermos

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Gymnastics Mirror - Great gift for your gymnast and gymnastics coach!

 

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Check out our  competition

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Fleece Blankets

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WARNING: Any activity involving motion or height creates the possibility of accidental injury, paralysis or death. The equipment and instructional materials are intended for use ONLY by properly trained and qualified participants under supervised conditions. Use without proper supervision could be DANGEROUS and should NOT be undertaken or permitted. Before using, KNOW YOUR OWN LIMITATIONS and the limitations of the equipment. If in doubt always consult your instructor. Always inspect equipment for loose fittings or damage and test for stability before each use. We will not be liable for injuries or consequences sustained in the use of the instructional materials, supplies, or equipment sold by us.


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