Team Cheer Conditioning | Cheer Split Jumps
The body is just like anything else, used properly it is efficient and produces positive results, use it incorrectly and potentially more harm than good is being done. During the Cheer Split Jumps it is important proper body positioning is utilized during the team cheer drill. When the chest is up facing forward and the back is slightly arched the body is in a more powerful position to efficiently use muscles and perform various team cheer drills more explosively. When the back is rounded, chest is parallel to the floor, or the head and eyes are parallel to the ground the body is put at a bio mechanical disadvantage which negatively impacts the power and force the body will be able to produce.
Proper body positioning for the Cheer Split Jumps require the chest, eyes, and head all remaining up and facing forward (not parallel to the ground). Proper body positioning also calls for a slight arch of the back, being careful to not overarch the back as this can be problematic as well. To avoid overarching make sure the cheerleaders look straight ahead and not up while performing the team cheer drill.
As cheerleaders move through the cheer conditioning drill proper alignment and positioning of the back will play a role in how the body is able to stabilize itself during the jump. If the back is rounded and the chest comes forward the weight of the cheerleader is shifted from the posterior chain (glutes and hamstrings) to the quadriceps muscles. Although the quads are very large muscles they are much better at working for long periods of time versus being quick and explosive. By keeping the back arched and chest high cheerleaders will feel more pressure in the heel of the foot. Shifting this weight to the back will allow the glutes and hamstrings to be isolated and trained to be more explosive during the Cheer Split Jumps.
What Do Your Arms Have To Do With Jumping?
It seems odd but the arms play a crucial role in the training and recruitment of the muscles in the hips, buttocks, and legs. If a cheer conditioning drill (like the Cheer Split Jumps) called for the team cheer drill to be performed with arms held behind the back for one set, then incorporate a powerful arm swing into the next set, the cheerleader performing the team cheer drill would notice one major difference between the two sets. The difference would be the height on the first set of jumps is much lower than the height of the cheer jumps performed on the second set when using the arms.
The arms affect the height of the jump by forcing greater muscle recruitment in the glutes and hamstrings. The momentum of the arm swing pushes the cheerleaders body back into the ground creating greater muscle activation for the cheerleader. By activating a larger portion of these muscles the body will be able to generate more force during the Cheer Split Jumps. More force generated off the ground results in a consistently higher cheer jump being achieved.
Cheer Conditioning: Essential For Team Cheer Success
There are many different types of training to increase jumping ability. Some training will focus on strengthening muscles while other team cheer drills will focus exclusively on maximizing jump height. Performing these types of training is great for helping cheerleaders improve a single jump. However, during a team cheer routine multiple stunts and jumps will be performed simultaneously for an extended period of time. This means cheerleaders must incorporate cheer conditioning drills, like the Cheer Split Jumps, into their regular training routine.
By conditioning the body and forcing the muscles to work even after they are fatigued will allow the body to work more efficiently at higher intensities for longer periods of time. The Cheer Split Jumps, and other cheer conditioning drills, help to prepare the body for the multiple jumps, stunts, and kicks cheerleaders will perform during a team cheer routine. It is important for cheerleaders to regularly practice team cheer conditioning drills so jumps at the end of a team cheer routine are just as high and explosive as the first jump or stunt performed.
Performing and Executing the Cheer Split Jumps With Kbands
Already a challenging move, by adding Kbands to the Cheer Split Jumps athletes will be able to achieve even greater muscle activation and build even higher jumps by incorporating this cheer conditioning drill into their regular training routine.
To begin the Cheer Split Jumps cheerleaders will need a set of Kbands and an area big enough to perform the Cheer Split Jumps. An area with a padded floor will make landing easier and softer on the knees and hips. After the Kbands are securely attached above the knees cheerleaders performing the Cheer Split Jumps will go into a lunge position.
A good starting position for the Cheer Split Jumps means:
1) Feet are split a good distance apart so the front thigh is parallel to the ground and the back knee is not touching the ground but hovering an inch or two above the floor.
2) The front knee does not come over the toe and stays in line with the foot and hips.
With chest and eyes facing forward cheerleaders will explosively jump up and switch their legs while airborne. This “switch” means if the cheerleader begins the cheer split jump with their left foot forward, the right foot should be forward after landing the first jump rotating the legs on each jump. Be sure cheerleaders work through the resistance while performing the Cheer Split Jumps. Do not let the Kbands alter body positioning or movement during the cheer conditioning drill. Be sure landings are soft and cheerleaders immediately sink the hips and explode upwards to perform the next repetition.
Cheerleaders will perform 3 resisted sets of 12 seconds of the Cheer Split Jumps. Since this is a cheer conditioning drill short periods of rest should be given, 15-45 seconds in between sets. The amount of rest depends on the current conditioning and strength level of the cheerleader.
This cheer conditioning drill should be performed toward the end of a training session so maximum effort can be given on the team cheer drills preceding the Cheer Split Jumps. Check out the training section of KbandsTraining.com to get ideas and suggestions for other great team cheer drills which can be performed prior to cheer conditioning drills.
Cheer Training Equipment