Cheer Routines To Increase Jump Height And Flexibility
The hurdler training routine combines the hurdler movement with resistance. By combining Kbands with the cheer routine, the hips and legs of cheerleaders will be strengthened. The jumping motion will engage the glutes while the leg extension will activate the quads and hips. This resisted hurdler training is an excellent way for advanced cheerleaders to train for more difficult cheer routines.
Cheerleaders must be flexible enough to perform the resisted hurdler training. Prior to performing the cheer routine static stretching involving the hamstrings, hips, and quads should be performed.
Preparing The Body For the Hurdler Training Routine
Flexibility should be increased prior to any activity involving extension of the leg. To properly stretch the hamstrings cheerleaders should lie on their backs and secure a Kbands Stunt Strap around their foot. With both legs straight cheerleaders will begin to pull their foot upward stretching the back of the leg. Be sure the leg being stretched remains completely straight. If the legs begin to bend, return to the starting position and begin the stretch again. Perform this stretch on both legs.
Remaining on their back cheerleaders will keep the Stunt Strap secured to the foot and extend the leg straight up in the air. Cheerleaders will first pull the leg across the body trying to keep shoulders on the ground. Cheerleaders should feel a stretch high on the back of the leg. Following this stretch cheerleaders will pull the same leg straight to the outside of the body. The stretch should be felt on the inside of the thigh.
Active and dynamic stretches, which perform movements similar to the stunts or jumps being performed, are excellent ways to prepare the body for the cheer routine. To see these stretches demonstrated and more stretches which can be performed to prepare the body for the resisted hurdler training drill check out the Stunt Strap Stretching Routine now.
Cheer Routine | Hurdler Training Routine
After getting stretched out cheerleaders will begin the cheer routine by attaching the Kbands securely above the knees. From a good starting position cheerleaders will perform 2 resisted hurdlers from the right side and 2 resisted with the left. Following the 2 resisted repetitions of the hurdler training drill cheerleaders will remove the Kbands and perform 2 un-resisted repetitions of the hurdler cheer routine from both sides.
During the resisted sets of the hurdler training routine cheerleaders should work hard to push through the resistance and not let the Kbands compromise form, extension and height of the leg, and body form. A long range of motion should be achieved on both resisted and un-resisted sets of the hurdler training routine. On un-resisted repetitions of the cheer routine cheerleaders should really work to extend the leg while airborne. Switching from resisted to un-resisted will make the legs feel lighter. Extra attention must be paid to form and achieving maximum leg extension on the hurdler training routine during un-resisted sets.
Cheer Routine Jump Training
Any time cheerleaders are performing movements involving the glutes, hips, and legs it allows for improvements to be made on other stunts, jumps, and kicks. Many of the muscles used during the hurdler training routine are used during other cheerleading stunts such as the heel stretch, toe touch, and herky.
Resistance placed on the body during the hurdler training routine forces muscles to work harder than normal. This means more muscle activation to account for the extra resistance placed on the body. When the switch is made from resisted to un-resisted sets, the extra muscle is still active and is working during the un-resisted hurdler movement. This also allows for a greater range of motion to be achieved during the un-resisted sets of the cheer routine. This longer range of motion allows for a larger amount of the muscle to be trained as the leg is taken through a longer range of motion.
Since some of the general movements, such as jumping and extending the leg, are used in multiple stunts and jumps that are strengthening the body. Using resistance with these movements will help to strengthen the body so you are better able to perform similar movements during cheer routines.
It is important to use a variety of cheer routines during training sessions. To see how resistance can be added to help strengthen different stunts and movements take a look at the Cheer Pack including the Jump30 training program.
How The Hurdler Training Routine Maximizes Jumps
Although the mechanics for the jumping portion of the hurdler training routine look simple it has a major effect on the body and how the muscles, nervous system, and bone density are all affected.
In the beginning phase of the jump as cheerleaders go into a slight squat to prepare the bodies for the jump, several physical components of the jump must be given extra attention during this phase. As the cheerleaders begin to come up from their jump it is important the heels remain in contact with the ground until the hips are fully extended. While performing the cheer routine hips, knees, and ankles should reach full extension simultaneously (when the ankles, hips and knees all simultaneous extend it is referred to as triple extension). Pushing through the heels, versus the ball or front of the foot, will allow the cheerleader to achieve maximum glute activation during the jump.
In addition to proper technique with the feet and lower extremities the arms play a critical role in the height of the jump and how the muscles providing the power for the jump are affected. During the cheer routine cheerleaders need to swing their arms back as they squat down in their initial phase of the jump. The arms should swing powerfully forward and up simultaneous with the hips, knees, and ankles being fully extended. With this powerful swing of the arms cheerleaders will feel the momentum of the arm swing push them back into the ground as they swing. This push back into the ground provides for more muscle activation as the body must recruit a larger portion of the muscles responsible for jumping to complete the jump.
Practicing these body mechanics throughout the hurdler training drill and during any jumping exercise will force greater muscle recruitment, resulting in greater maximum jumps during cheer routines.
For more demonstrations of flexibility and strengthening exercises check out the training section of KbandsTraining.com. Purchasing information for the Kbands Cheer Pack can also be located there. The Kbands Cheer Pack provides cheerleaders with everything they will need to maximize their training time. The Cheer Pack includes a set of Kbands to maximize training and the Kbands Stunt Strap to keep the body loose and healthy.
Cheer Training Equipment