Cheer Footwork Drills | Fast Feet Ladder Exercises
Although not commonly associated with cheerleader training, the sport ladder is an excellent way for cheerleaders of all ages to improve their body awareness and footwork. Footwork drills for cheerleaders are an important part of training. Ladder exercises help cheerleaders to be aware of where their feet are in relationship to their body, while not slowing or altering their movements to ensure they are in the correct position. Using footwork drills create a better sense of body awareness and will allow cheerleaders to focus on their routine, or other outside stimuli, instead of constantly thinking about the position and placement of their feet and legs.
Ladder Exercises For Cheerleaders
During the Fast Feet Ladder Exercises cheerleaders will be utilizing two different footwork drills with the sport ladder. The first of these footwork drills is called the “Icky Shuffle”. To perform this portion of the footwork drills cheerleaders will begin to the side of the sport ladder and tap both feet in the first square of the sport ladder, then tap one foot just to the outside of the opposite end of that square. Cheerleaders will be moving almost diagonally while performing the “Icky Shuffle” and the foot which first taps inside of the sport ladder will be the only foot which taps outside of the square. After one foot has tapped the outside of the first square on the sport ladder, cheerleaders will move onto the next square in the sport ladder, tapping both feet inside of the square, before tapping one foot outside of the sport ladder square. The sequence for the “Icky Shuffle” should be “1,2, out, 1,2, out”. Thinking about this sequence while moving through the sport ladder will help athletes regulate their timing and footwork. Athletes should begin by performing the “Icky Shuffle” at 50-60 percent of max speed to master the footwork and timing of the sport ladder drill. As athletes become more comfortable with the footwork drills they should increase the speed at which they are performed.
The “In And Out” sport ladder drill is much simpler than the “Icky Shuffle”. The “In And Out” drill requires athletes to hop, tap both feet inside of a sport ladder square, and then take the legs apart and tap both feet to the outside of the sport ladder square. Cheerleaders should maintain a slight bend in the knees, ankles, and hips to cushion themselves as they land. As they progress through the footwork drills cheerleaders can increase the speed at which these ladder exercises are performed.
Ladder Exercises For Fast Feet
Now that cheerleaders are familiar with the “Icky Shuffle” and “In And Out” footwork drills they can begin the Fast Feet Ladder Exercises. Athletes will begin the footwork drills by attaching a set of Kbands Leg Resistance Bands just above their knees. Cheerleaders will want to utilize the red or green resistance bands when performing the Fast Feet Ladder Exercises. Cheerleaders will set up one Speed and Agility Ladder and stand in front of the ladder. Cheerleaders will begin by performing the “Icky Shuffle” all the way to the end of the sport ladder and then all the way back to the starting position. Once cheerleaders have successfully completed the “Icky Shuffle” down and back they will move into the “In And Out” portion of the footwork drills moving in and out of the sport ladder all the way down and back. Cheerleaders will alternate performing one “Icky Shuffle” down and back and one “In And Out” down and back two times for one set. Cheerleaders will perform 3-4 resisted sets of the Cheer Footwork Drills before removing the Kbands Leg Resistance Bands and perform 1-2 unresisted sets of the Fast Feet Ladder Exercises Sequence. Cheerleaders should allow 1-2 minutes of rest between sets of the Cheer Footwork Drills.
Cheerleaders who are performing the Fast Feet Ladder Exercises in a circuit style workout can perform one down and back set of each of the Ladder Exercises before moving to the next exercise in the circuit.
Advanced Footwork Drills
The sport ladder is a great way for cheerleaders and other athletes to increase foot speed, body awareness, hip flexor strength, and single footed power. All of these athletic attributes are important for cheerleaders in their vertical jumping, cheer stunting, and mobility. Following resisted repetitions with unresisted repetitions allows cheerleaders to build great strength in their hip flexors, which directly benefits vertical jumping abilities, as well as awareness of where the feet and legs are located at all times.
However, cheerleaders, and all athletes, must work to continually improve on their athletic output by incorporating new and challenging footwork drills and ladder exercises into their training routines. Athletes can explore the 1-2-3 Reaction Pro along with the Kbands Cheer Pack to utilize a multitude of dynamic, resisted workouts to improve on those athletic attributes. Using the 1-2-3 Reaction Pro in unison with the Cheer Pack will allow cheerleaders to improve overall athletic abilities, as well as stunt and sport moves and exercises, specific to what makes a cheerleader successful.
Cheerleaders and athletes will also find recovery and pre workout stretching routines in the Recovery Section. Using fitness equipment like the Recovery Foam Roller and the Kbands Stunt Strap will not only improve cheerleaders flexibility and mobility, but will also help cheerleaders avoid costly injuries and set backs. The Kbands Stunt Strap can be used with flexibility exercises like the Best Stretching Exercises For Cheerleaders, the Cheerleading Stunt Strap Training, or the PNF Stretching Technique. All of these exercises should be performed before any footwork drills or stunt specific training to increase range of motion in the legs and hips. The Rejuvenating Stretching Sequence utilizes the Recovery Foam Roller to alleviate tight muscles in the upper and lower body. The Recovery Foam Roller should be used at the beginning and end of a training session to aid the body in its natural recovery process.
Cheer Training Equipment