Dance And Cheer Exercises For Legs | Kbands Sidekick Strengthener
The ability for cheerleaders and dancers to perform moves like the arabesque, heel stretch, toe touch, or sidekick comes from a good combination of functional strength, mobility, and flexibility in the core, hips, and thighs. Since the muscles controlling the abduction, movement away from the body, of the leg are smaller than the muscles which control the movements in a forward kicking motion, like a heel stretch, cheerleaders and dancers must perform a wide variety of strengthening exercises for legs.
Using resistance provided by the Kbands Leg Resistance Bands during a dance workout allows cheerleaders to place resistance at a point on their body which maximizes the use of the glute and hip flexor muscles. Maximizing the tension placed on these muscles requires the body to activate more muscle fibers in these muscle groups. As more muscle fibers become activated the body has the ability to exert more force. This creates a stronger sidekick and a more intense cheer or dance workout for athletes. By moving directly into unresisted exercises for legs the athletes will maintain that enhanced muscle activation, but will have removed the resistance provided by the Kbands Leg Resistance Bands. At this point in the cheer or dance workout athletes have activated more muscle fibers, generating more force in the desired muscle groups, and then removed resistance, with the same number of muscle fibers being activated. This will result in a light feeling to the leg as it is taken through the same motion meaning higher sidekicks and a more intense cheer workout.
Performing dance workouts which focus on specific moves is a great way to improve the height of the move or stunt, as well as the fluidity and control of the movement.
Cheer And Dance Workout Sidekick
The sidekick move and the sidekick movement are great ways for athletes to strengthen the glutes and hip flexors. Since glute and quad strength is directly related to vertical jumping ability it is important for athletes to perform exercises for legs which target the glute and quad area. Although the glute and quad muscles help to flex the hips and knees they can be effectively strengthened by performing abduction with the legs. As stated previously, optimally placing resistance just above the knees during exercises for the legs will help create more resistance and muscle activation in the body parts targeted during the cheer or dance workout.
To perform the Kbands Sidekick Strengthener dancers and cheerleaders will need a set of Kbands Leg Resistance Bands securely attached just above the athletes knees. Older, more advanced, dancers and cheerleaders can use the Green Resistance Bands while younger, less advanced, athletes can use the Yellow or Red Resistance Bands during the cheer and dance workout. To learn more about the different levels of resistance which can be used with the Kbands Leg Resistance Bands go to the Shop Section.
Once athletes have the Kbands attached with the correct amount of resistance athletes will begin the Kbands Sidekick Strengthener. From a standing position athletes will raise their leg directly to the side, as high as they can, driving through the Kbands Leg Resistance Bands. When performing the Kbands Sidekick Strengthener Drill athletes should keep a tall chest and straight body positioning while driving the toe up. Perform 8-10 repetitions of the Kbands Sidekick Strengthener Exercise on each leg for one set. Perform 2-4 resisted sets on each leg before removing the Kbands Leg Resistance Bands and performing 1-2 unresisted sets of the cheer and dance workout. Allow 40-60 seconds of rest between sets.
Sidekick Form During Cheer And Dance Workout
Cheerleaders and dancers need to use good form and technique to truly benefit from strength exercises for legs. While performing the Kbands Sidekick Strengthener coaches and athletes need to take time to perfect the form of the cheer and dance workout. Athletes who bend excessively at their opposite side and leg are limiting their mobility by repositioning their body, instead of actually raising the leg higher. Cheerleaders and dancers who experience this “buckling effect” should incorporate abdominal exercises like the Scissor Plank Combo or the Reverse Scissor Mountain Climber into their regular cheer and dance workouts. Cheer and dance workouts which strengthen the abs and improve flexibility (See Best Stretching Exercises For Cheerleaders) will help cheerleaders develop the stability and strength to correctly perform the Kbands Sidekick Strengthener Exercise.
Cheerleaders and dancers should work to increase the control and range of motion they can move their leg through during the unresisted repetitions of the Kbands Sidekick Strengthener. Since more of the muscle is activated a light feeling in the leg muscles means a larger amount of muscle mass than normal is working to move the leg.
Choosing The Right Resistance Bands During Cheer And Dance Workouts
Some cheerleaders may still struggle at higher levels of resistance despite having adequate core strength, flexibility, and balance to complete the Kbands Sidekick Strengthener. Cheerleaders need to continue to use a level of resistance which is challenging, but still allows them to perform the movement with good body positioning and movements. High levels of resistance which limit the athletes movements mean that only a small portion of the muscle is being trained. If less resistance is given and the athlete is able to take their leg higher then they will be working and stimulating a larger amount of the targeted muscles.
Using resisted and unresisted sets and slowly increasing the resistance used during the cheer and dance workouts is a great way for cheerleaders to perform strength exercises for legs to increase strength which can be used to increase athletic output while performing stunts and routines.
Pairing the Kbands Sidekick Strengthener Drill with explosive drills like the Toe Touch Training, Cheer Tuck Jumps, Kbands Explode And Hold Drill, and the Hurdler Training Routine are great ways to mix strength and explosive exercises to improve athletic skills like jump height, foot speed, and balance.
Cheer Training Equipment