Even before they learn back handsprings, tucks, and basket tosses, there are several moves that new cheerleaders can master. In the early levels of cheer competitions, participants must complete numerous jumps with precision and technique. Before competing, cheerleaders should practice these crucial gymnastic moves to give their squad an edge.
Essential Cheer Moves to Know
1. Toe Touch
The toe touch looks like a center split in the air. Like with every jump, the cheerleader should begin the move with their feet together, arms by their sides, and hands in fists. Next, the hands come into a clap, then a “high V.” Using momentum to push off from the ground, the knees bend, and the arms move into an ‘X’ in front of the knees, extending into a toe touch. The toes should be pointed and the arms parallel to the floor. For optimal elevation, the cheerleader must learn to ‘sit back’ into the pose and let the legs rise.
2. Front & Side Hurdler
The front hurdler begins with the same stance as the toe touch; except, after swinging the arms into an ‘X,’ one leg extends in front, and the other tucks behind. The hands remain in fists but extend straight up into the ‘candlestick’ position. Side hurdlers are the same, except the jump starts at a 90-degree angle from the audience, and the leg tucks to the side. The jump can be performed with either leg in front.
The pike is perhaps the most challenging of the three jumps. The jump begins like the others but ends with both legs straight and locked out; this requires significant momentum and abdominal strength. The arms should also be in candlesticks. The jump is typically performed at a parallel angle.
For the support cheerleaders need to succeed in competitions, look to Penfield, New York’s premier gymnastics facility. The Gymnastics Training Center of Rochester helps children and teens of all ages build the cheer skills they need to become strong jumpers, tumblers, and performers. To learn more about how the tumbling class at our gym can support you, visit the website or call today at (585) 388-8686.