Why should I train for cheerleading? Isn’t that only for football players? If you play a sport, you should be training. The practice involved in your sport is only specific to your sport. Yes, you may have a coach who’s put you through a core circuit before. However, have you trained with a professional coach who’s job is to improve athleticism? At the center of all sports is a divide between the athletically gifted and the ones who need to develop those athletic traits. Training, outside of cheerleading, enables one to focus on specific aspects of their athleticism. Why should a cheerleader train you ask? Fundamental cheer training aimed to improve core strength, flexibility and plyometrics could help you hit that skill that you just can’t seem to nail. Furthermore, training could also keep you on the mats, injury free!
Here are the reasons why cheer training is important for competitive cheerleaders:
STRENGTHCheerleaders lift, jump, tumble, run, flip, rotate, land and dance. All of these athletic elements are strenuous on the body. But, stress is good. Wait stress is good? Yes, stress causes the body to adapt. If you apply that principle to training + practice, the body will adapt to a greater demand, making you better able to perform the athletic elements mentioned above as well as become more resilient.
ENDURANCEInjuries happen when you’re tired. It doesn’t matter what position you’re in, tiredness can either risk your own health or the health of your teammates. Training to develop your stamina increases the brain’s ability to focus during competition. Once you become tired, the brain starts to fire slower and then a slew of things can go haywire. We recommend doing low impact cardio to preserve one’s joints. You’re already doing a lot of ground and pound on the joints during practice, no need to double up by running on cement or a treadmill. Opt for an elliptical, Versa Climber, row machine or even a brisk walk or hike. It doesn’t matter what form of cardio you choose, as long as it’s low impact you’ll develop the stamina you want without the pain in your ankles, knees and lower back.
The more flexible the muscle, the more force it can absorb and produce. Here’s the key, a dynamic stretch should be executed before practice or a competition and then a static stretch after a practice or competition. When you’re doing a static stretch you must hold the stretch for 1 min or else it doesn’t do anything! Wait, are you for real? Yes, studies show holding a stretch for one minute allows the body to recognize the stimulus (stress) and adapt. Remember, some stress is good! So when you stretch after practice or a competition, hold each stretch for 1 min and you’ll develop pliable and strong muscles.
Balance is not just for a top flyer. Competitive cheer takes great balance for all positions of cheer, and cheer training can help you develop this important skill. The flyer is an obvious athlete that needs to have great balance, as a gymnast on a beam. However, the flyer balances on the hands of another person versus the security of a beam that doesn’t move. Bases and back spots have to work on their balance so they don’t drop their top flyer. Competitive cheerleaders must have great concentration, strength, endurance, flexibility, and balance to perfect the elements of a pyramid or stunting sequence.
When all training elements are in place, it helps the athlete with injury prevention. All of these elements are needed to help the athlete become stronger, build endurance, and overall assist the goal of reducing injuries.
Time spent working on one’s body in the weight room allows the athlete to maximize and showcase their skills while competing. Cheer training is important not only to help you become a strong and supportive teammate, but to help you become the best cheerleader you can be. It’s imperative to not only have the top coaches in their respective sport but also a solid team of professionals such as Activ8 to play support in their development.
Want to become an Activ8 Athlete but don’t live in the greater San Diego area?
Check out our online training platform below and reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re glad to spend time with you and talk about how we can create a program encompassing everything you need to train like a Pro!