Stomach Exercises For Cheerleaders | Mountain Climbers Scissor Superset
Cheerleaders, gymnasts, and dancers need to have great body control, balance, and flexibility to compete at a high level. Stomach exercises which utilize multiple speeds in a “superset” fashion will generate more activation in the abdominal muscles. Performing one stomach exercise at a certain speed and the following exercise at a different speed will force more activation of both slow twitch and fast twitch muscle fibers. This will not only increase the number of muscle fibers which will fire (determines strength output) but also increases the speed at which these muscles are able to contract (effects speed and power output).
Athletes should remember that static stomach exercises such as Planks, Side planks, and Leg Holds will differentiate in speed from any stomach exercises which require any movements with the legs or torso. This makes these stomach exercises great to superset with a wide variety of abdominal exercises during training.
Define A Superset
A superset is a great training technique which can be utilized by any fitness participant. The superset requires that an athlete pair two exercises, one after the other with no rest until both exercises are completed. When deciding on exercises to perform in a superset athletes should take into account what type of training they are performing and their training goal.
A bodybuilder may perform a superset of 3-6 heavy bench press repetitions followed by a set of Dumbbell flies. A bodybuilder performing a superset is trying to isolate a muscle group, the chest, with heavy weight and low reps and then switches to the second half of the superset in which they perform an exercise which isolates the chest and forces the semi exhausted pectoral muscles to work on their own to complete the motion. This type of training will not benefit fitness participants whose main goal is to increase athleticism. Athletes could instead perform a superset in which they perform pushups and pull ups back to back. This will exhaust opposing muscle groups with a body weight exercise. The constant switching from the pull ups to pushups will keep energy in muscles while raising the heart rate. It is much more advantageous for athletes to perform body weight exercises, along with resistance training, to keep gained strength functional and useful in the athletes sport.
Understanding Mountain Climbers And Reverse Scissor Kicks
To perform the cross mountain climbers exercise athletes move into the upward pushup phase with their arms fully extended, hand in line with shoulders and chest, and a straight line running from the back of their head to the feet. Athletes should look straight at the ground keeping the neck straight and not allowing the hips and low back to sag. Athletes will alternate driving one knee across their body toward their opposite elbow. As athletes alternate this motion they should concentrate on not rotating their hips or torso as they work to keep their shoulders and hips square to the ground.
To perform the Reverse Scissor Kicks athletes will lie on their back and raise their fully extended legs into the air until there is a 90 degree angle at their hips. Athletes will keep one leg stationery as they lower their opposite leg in a controlled motion. Athletes will lower their leg as close to the ground as possible before returning that leg to the starting position and lowering the opposite leg toward the ground. Athletes should keep their hands at the side and avoid placing the hands under their hips or butt. Placing the hands under the hips or butt causes the athletes to slightly change the angle between their hips and thighs making it easier to utilize hip flexor muscles to complete the motion. Athletes should instead think about drawing the stomach in toward their spine and keeping their low back flat on the ground. Athletes can stabilize through their hands if they are placed to their side and not under the hips or butt.
Superset Mountain Climbers And Reverse Scissor Kicks
Resisted cross mountain climbers and reverse scissor kicks supersets are two challenging and different stomach exercises performed to create an intense and effective ab workout. To begin the Mountain Climbers Scissor Superset athletes will securely attach a set of Kbands Leg Resistance Bands just above their knees. Athletes will begin the Mountain Climbers Scissor Superset by performing the resisted cross mountain climber for 30 seconds. Upon finishing the mountain climbers cheerleaders will immediately move into the reverse scissor kicks for another 30 seconds. This will give cheerleaders a full, continuous minute of stomach exercises before taking a 45-60 second break. Athletes should work to push the speed of the cross mountain climbers while taking their time and controlling each repetition of the reverse scissor kick.
Athletes will complete 3-4 resisted sets of the Mountain Climbers Scissor Superset before removing the Kbands Leg Resistance Bands and performing 1-2 unresisted sets of the stomach exercises. When performing unresisted sets of the Mountain Climbers Scissor Superset athletes should focus on increasing the speed of the cross mountain climbers and challenging the pace on the reverse scissor kicks, based on the athlete this may mean slowing down or speeding up the tempo of the reverse scissor kicks.
This superset of stomach exercises and other ab strengthening drills should be performed 3-4 times a week by athletes and teams. Along with being a great superset combo these stomach exercises can be utilized in a circuit style training session in the same fashion as when used in a superset.
Athletes and coaches should not feel limited to just the Mountain Climbers Scissor Superset. Athletes and coaches should go to the Training Section and pick out different exercises to pair together. Cheerleaders can combine other great stomach exercises together like the Kbands Elevated Leg Extensions or the Cheer Tuck Jumps. These drills are sports specific to cheerleading and can also be paired with other stomach exercises in a superset fashion.
Cheer Training Equipment