Improve On Cheerleading Stunts | Kbands Advanced High Knees
When training to perform cheerleading stunts it is important attention is given to activating and strengthening the hip flexors. The hip flexors work in unison with the abdominal and leg muscles to successfully move the thigh. Strengthening these muscles will allow cheerleaders to generate more force when launching themselves into the air and be better prepared to quickly jump back into the air after hitting the ground.
By performing this high knees exercise with Kbands Leg Resistance Bands cheerleaders will not only be able to produce more force when launching off the ground but will also be able to generate more power when driving the leg down. This translates into quicker more explosive cheerleading stunts whether they are performed on the ground or in the air.
Perform Kbands Advanced High Knees When Working To Improve Cheerleading Stunts
To perform the Kbands Advanced High Knees drill athletes will require a set of Kbands Leg Resistance Bands. The Kbands Advanced High Knees drill can be performed in a group or individual setting. Before beginning the high knees exercise cheerleaders need to ensure they are using the proper amount of resistance. If cheerleaders use to much resistance while executing the high knees exercise they will take the muscles of their hips and legs through a shorter range of motion, which lessens the amount of muscle activation which is used to perform the high knees movement. If too little resistance is used athletes will still receive the benefits provided by the Kbands Leg Resistance Bands but will not be maximizing their training time. As athletes begin to use the resistance bands with their high knees exercises they can begin with a lesser amount of resistance. However, as cheerleaders advance in their use of the Kbands Leg Resistance Bands they must continue to increase the amount of resistance to constantly challenge the muscle of the hips, legs, and abs. Cheerleaders can go to the Shop Section to see the different levels of resistance which can be utilized with Kbands Leg Resistance Bands.
To perform the high knees exercise cheerleaders will attach the Kbands Leg Resistance Bands just above the knees and raise one knee into the air. Athletes will hold their leg up for 3-5 seconds maintaining a 90 degree angle at their knee. Once athletes have completed their 3-5 second high knees hold on one leg they will perform a “jump switch” onto their opposite leg, which they will hold in the same position as the first leg for the same amount of time. When performing the “jump switch” it is important athletes maintain only one foot on the ground at a time. Athletes will continue to switch between legs performing 3-4 static holds on each leg before advancing to the final phase of the Advanced High Knees Exercise.
Once athletes have completed three to four 3-5 second static holds on each leg they will begin to quickly alternate driving the knees to their chest. These high knees should be performed quickly and powerfully as each knee drive should be as high and as quick off the ground as possible as cheerleaders work against the resistance. This speed phase of the high knees exercise will be a quick 12-16 second burst; however, with proper resistance and a good quick knee drive cheerleaders will feel the Kbands Leg Resistance Bands working and strengthening the hips flexors and legs. Cheerleaders will perform 3-5 resisted rounds of the Kbands Advanced High Knees before removing the resistance and performing 1-3 rounds of the high knees exercise unresisted. Athletes should take 40-90 seconds of rest between each set of the high knees exercise. During the unresisted sets of the Kbands Advanced High Knees it is extremely important cheerleaders drive the knees high and quick and work hard to make their legs work at a higher level than they are used to. This phase of the high knees exercise is a great opportunity to make great development in strength and speed. Strength and speed translate into power which is exactly what a cheerleader needs when practicing or performing cheerleading stunts.
Use Great Form When Performing Resisted High Knees
Cheerleaders need to be sure they are activating their entire body during the Kbands Advanced High Knees. Cheerleaders should utilize a strong and powerful arm pump as they work through the speed portion of the high knees drill. By incorporating the arms and shoulders into the high knees exercise cheerleaders will be able to train their body to help incorporate all of these muscle groups into their jumps and cheerleading stunts. Utilizing the arms and shoulders during a jump helps build momentum to force greater muscle activation in the calves and quadriceps. This increased muscle activation also helps to train a larger portion of the muscle. More muscle trained means more force production off the ground.
Cheerleaders need to work off the balls of their feet when performing the speed portion of the high knees exercise as this will also increase muscle activation in the calves and upper legs. It is important these high knees drills mimic real cheerleading situations. This means cheerleaders should keep their eyes up during the high knees exercise and train themselves to not stare at their feet when performing resisted high knees.
Practicing these fundamentals during training is a great way to help practice these correct body movements and positioning which will translate into more explosive and powerful cheerleading stunts during a competition or performance.
Improving On Cheerleading Stunts
Being explosive and powerful in the hip flexors and legs are just one part of executing great cheerleading stunts. Cheerleaders must also be flexible and well conditioned in both the upper and lower body. To help maintain mobility and flexibility cheerleaders should utilize the Kbands Stunt Strap. Go to the Recovery Section to learn how to use this great flexibility tool to increase flexibility in the legs and hips. Cheerleaders who perform cheerleading stunts which require lifting and throwing can also benefit from strength training to the upper and lower body. Cheerleaders can use the KB Powerbands in unison with the Kbands Leg Resistance Bands to help increase upper body strength while training the hips and legs to be more explosive.