Youth Cheerleading Resisted Front Kick: Introduction Cheerleading Drill
Hip strength and body control are two essential skills for youth cheerleaders of all skill levels to be successful. Increasing the range of motion of the body and legs is essential for cheerleaders who are often placed in unusual and challenging body positions.
Adding resistance to the youth cheerleading front kick will allow for greater body control with a longer range of motion. Strengthening the hip and activating the core are other benefits achieved during the youth cheerleading drill through the incorporation of Kbands.
Greater strength through a longer range of motion with help emphasize greater body control which will result in improvements in execution and technique during routines. Greater strength will also allow the youth cheerleaders to develop their stunts quicker. Greater body control and a mastering of fundamentals will allow youth cheerleaders to advance much quicker than those youth cheerleaders who perform the front kick with no resistance.
Youth Cheerleading Resisted Front Kick: Setting Up the Cheerleading Drill
To execute the youth cheerleading front kick athletes will need a set of Kbands, a sturdy wall, and a partner or coach to offer feedback on form and technique. Begin by securely attaching the Kbands just above the knee. Assume a position with the chest looking at the wall in front of the athlete and one hand placed on a wall or sturdy object for balance.
Proper staring body position is important for the resisted front kick drill. The position the body assumes before and during the resisted front kick will help determine which muscles are being recruited, and to what extent the resistance is working against the hip and leg muscles.
The placement of the Kbands on the knee is very important for proper execution of the youth cheerleading resisted front kick. Placing the resistance to high on the leg will change the point the resistance pulls on the leg as youth cheerleaders go though their resisted front kick. This change in resistance will seem easier than when the resistance is placed correctly. This is due to the change in the angle of the resistance compared to the muscles firing. This means less muscle activation and diminished results resulting from the execution of the front kick drill.
Be sure cheerleaders are not placing to much pressure on the wall. One of the goals of the youth cheerleading drill is to work on body control. Take this opportunity to challenge the athlete and only use the wall if it is necessary. More pressure on the wall means more transferring of weight from the athlete to the wall. To get the most out of the youth cheerleading resisted front kick be sure athletes are using the wall in order to successfully complete the front kick drill. The youth cheerleader performing the front kick needs to be sure they are continuing to challenge their balance and body control by putting the least amount of pressure on the wall as possible.
Youth Cheerleading Resisted Front Kick: Executing the Cheerleading Drill
Cheerleaders will begin the front kick movement after a proper starting position is achieved. Begin by kicking the leg up in front of the athlete, beginning slightly back to gain momentum and kicking the leg high pushing through the resistance.
Although the youth cheerleader may begin with leg slightly behind the center of the body proper control must be maintained throughout the resisted front kick. By relying on the strength of the leg as the leg extends upwards cheerleaders are forcing the hip and upper leg muscles to work harder than they are used to. By combining the front kick with resistance these effects are enhanced. More muscle recruitment means more muscles will be firing the next time an un-resisted front kick is performed. This will translate into greater quickness and body control throughout the stunt.
Cheerleaders need to be sure to control the leg throughout the entire movement, not letting the leg quickly descend toward the ground. Athletes also need to keep a tall chest, not letting the chest slump over and become parallel to the ground. The more upright the athlete can stand while raising and lowering the leg in a controlled fashion, the more the athlete will achieve greater control through a longer range of motion. One final note, be sure to keep the core tight and not over arch the back when the foot is reaching the top of the movement.
Youth Cheerleading Resisted Front Kick: Final Notes
Athletes participating in the youth cheerleading front kick drill will perform 8 resisted repetitions with the left leg. Remembering to keep a tall body and work through the resistance to finish the front kick high. After the initial 8 repetitions, participants will remove the resistance and perform 4 un-resisted repetitions with the same leg. Athletes practicing the youth cheerleading drill will perform the same repetitions, 8 resisted and 4 un-resisted, with the opposite leg.
Youth cheerleaders need to be quick in going from resisted to un-resisted sets, do not give the body to much recovery time. In order to get maximum muscle activation from this drill try to keep the breaks under 15 seconds as the athletes clip and unclip the resistance bands throughout the youth cheerleading front kick drill. By giving the body a limited recovery time more muscles will be activated and used during the un-resisted repetitions of the youth cheerleading front kick. This increased muscle activation will help the leg and muscles to grow and develop at much quicker rates versus executing only un-resisted front kicks.
Cheer Training Equipment