wikiHow to Improve Cheer Jumps

Three Parts:Warming UpLearning the JumpsDoing Drills

Jumps are one of the keys points of being a cheerleader. To get the jumps that the crowd "ooh"s and "ahh"s over and the rest of the squad envies, practice some of these exercises.

Part 1
Warming Up

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    Stretch before and after you do a workout, including jumps. Do jumps over a soft surface and always wear sneakers or other gym appropriate shoes.
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    Stretch. Always stretch before jumping and during any other free time. You can even stretch while you watch TV. The following are only a few of many exercises that will help stretch the important muscles used for jumping:
    • Sitting Straddle: Sit on the floor with your legs out in the shape of a "V" as far as possible. First, lean to your left foot and grab around the foot. You should feel it stretching your side and the back muscles of your thigh. Then, switch to the right side. Finally lean down the middle by pushing your hands forward as far as possible without having the legs or feet turn inwards.
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    • Sitting Toe touch: Sit on the floor with your legs beside you. Point your toes and lean to each side holding for about 10 seconds. Grab your feet if possible and pull your head to your knees. Flex your feet so that your toes point up and stretch side to side again. The stretch will be in the back of your calves (the back of the bottom part of your legs).
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    • Sitting Pike: Sit on the floor with your legs stretched in front of you, knees extended outwards, and your feet touching each other. Stretch in front of you holding for 10 seconds.. Lean forward as far as possible, getting your face close your feet. Then, still keeping your feet together, try holding it longer, or for another 10 seconds.
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Part 2
Learning the Jumps

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    Know the types of jumps. As a main part of cheerleading, jumps should be practiced as often as possible. Great jumps make a better cheerleader. Jumps are always done in eight counts. Some popular jumps include the t-jump, spread eagle, hurdler- front and side, shushunova, around the world, double hook, and double 9. Here are a few examples of how to do important jumps:
    • Toe-Touch. Begin with feet shoulder width apart and hands on your hips. Hold this position for "5,6,7,8". On "1", snap your feet together and put your arms up in a tight V. On "2", swing your arms down so that they cross each other in front of you, and bend your knees. When your arms are fully crossed your knees should be in a deep bend. As you swing your arms out, begin to jump up. Hit the full toe-touch on "3". It should be in the same position as the "toe-touch stretch". Put your arms in a "T". Come down on "4" with hands at your side, feet together, and knees bent. Snap back out to the starting position and hold for "5,6,7,8". This allows you to do many jumps over again.
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    • Pike. Begin in the "prep position" (feet shoulder width apart and hands on your hips). Hold for "5,6,7,8". On "1", turn to either the left or the right and put your arms straight up next to your ears. On "2", swing your arms down and out as far as possible while bending your knees and jump. On "3", hit the jump with the same position as the "pike stretch". With your hands in a fists, reach for your toes. Make sure to bring your feet up as high as possible. Come down and land on "4". Pop back to "prep position" facing forward again for "5,6,7,8".
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    • Herkie-left and right. Begin in the "prep position" for "5,6,7,8". On "1", hit the "V" position with your arms and snap your feet together. On "2", swing down like you would with the "toe-touch". On "3", hit a "T" with your arms. Your right leg should be out as if in a "toe-touch", but your left leg should be bent at the knee so that your foot is behind you as if it is resting on a table. On "4", snap down and land. Pop back to "prep position" and hold "5,6,7,8". You can also do this with your left leg out and your right bent.
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Part 3
Doing Drills

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    Practice jump drills. Work the jumps above into various practice routines.
    • Individual Drill: Start with 3 jumps then build up to 5 or more in a row. For example, do 2 t-jumps followed by 3 toe touches
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    • Forearm Lifts: get into partners, and now get your partner to hold his/her arms in front of them, at a right angle, as if holding a tray, and then place your hands on your partners forearms and jump
    • Lifts: Get into partners, partner number one should stand behind partner number 2 and hold on to their waist as they jump, assisting the lift of the jump
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    • Team practice: Get into lines and jump one after the other.
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    Stay in shape. Jumps require muscle strength and flexibility, thus you should always be working to strengthen your muscles.
    • Do V Snap Ups, V Sits, and leg pulses for good hip flexor strength. Focus on both legs together and individual legs.
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    • Sit on the floor with legs in straddle position. Lift your legs up one at a time and place them back down. Keep your hands between your legs on the floor. Repeat at least ten times on each leg and then again 10 times with both legs together.
    • Do ab crunches. This will strengthen your abs to further help your jumping technique.
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    • Cheerleading can be dehydrating. Drink plenty of water and get plenty of sleep.
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    Use weights. Put on ankle weights. These will make it harder to do your jumps and will work your leg muscles so when you take them off your jumps are better.
    • Repeatedly do each jump with weights.
    • Take off the weights and do the jumps again. Look in a mirror while jumping to see how they improve. Also, when doing toe touches, make sure to have your knees pointed back and your hips open.

Tips

  • Keep your back straight and point your toes. This helps you go higher. It also makes your posture appear more striking.
  • Try using ankle weights when practicing in a hurry. They weigh your ankles down, so when you take them off, your jumps are higher!
  • Do splits everyday until you get it down all the way. This will help you with the toe touches that you do!
  • Build muscle. The more leg muscles the better, then you can push off higher.
  • Make sure you keep your arms in a T position and your chest up this shows good posture and makes your jump look better and neater.
  • Find a trampoline. Either it be a tiny, one person trampoline, or a huge one. But the bigger the trampoline, the higher the bounce. Practice until you get it perfect on the trampoline! Then try it on the floor.

Warnings

  • Your pride will not be the only thing hurting in the beginning. Good stretching will prevent injuries, not pain. Great jumps will feel like angry semis in the morning. Do not be discouraged. It will get easier.
  • Do not starve yourself or try to lose a big amount of weight at one time. Talk to your doctor about safe amounts of weight to lose in a certain time period. Losing too much weight at once can weaken you and cause you to injure yourself. There are healthy ways to lose weight, starving is not one of them. Neither is bulimia.

Things You'll Need

•a bottle of water •ankle weights (optional) •shorts and a t-shirt or tank top (to wear while stretching)

Article Info

Categories: Cheerleading