Jump Exercises and Stretches

Use these exercises and stretches to keep your jumps in tip top shape!

Before beginning your cheerleading exercises and stretches, it’s important to warm up your body and muscles. Get your heart pumping with a couple of laps around the gym or the yard before beginning your stretches and cheer jump practice. You can also do jumping jacks, or a number of other cardio warmups to get your muscles ready to go. Usually 3-5 minutes of warm up is sufficient to begin stretching for cheerleading jumps.

Cheerleading Stretches

Stretching on the Floor

Straddle – Sit on the floor with legs out wide, in a straddle. There are 5 positions to stretch while you’re in the straddle. Hold each one for 15-20 seconds.

1.Right side bend: With arms in a “T” position, tilt over to the side to stretch your right leg, reaching your left arm over your head. Bring your arms back to a “T” position.

2. Left side bend:  Repeat, this time leaning over to stretch your left leg, while reaching your right arm over your head. Bring your arms back to a “T” position.

3. Center: reach arms out in front of you to lower your chest toward the floor. Be careful not to round your back, concentrate on keeping your back flat, and belly button to the ground. Most beginning cheerleaders will not have the flexibility to lay flat on the floor, so continue reaching as far out as you can, then hold for 15 seconds. Bring your hands back in toward your body to sit up. Relax, breathe in, and when you exhale, reach out again, this time a little bit farther than the first time. hold for 15 seconds. Bring your hands back in toward your body to sit up.

4. Right leg stretch:  With legs in a straddle, bring arms up to a “goal post” motion. Turn your torso toward your right leg, and slowly reach both arms down toward your shoe, so that your chest lays down on your thigh. Most beginners will not be able to lay the chest flat to their leg, so it’s important to concentrate on keeping the back flat, and reaching as far as possible without rounding the back. slowly sit up, reeaching the arms back up to a goal post. Return to center.

4. Left leg stretch: With arms still in a goal post motion, turn your torso toward your left leg. Repeat the steps above to stretch your left leg, by reaching for your shoe with both hands. hold for 15-20 seconds, then reach both arms up and return to center.

Butterfly stretch – sit on the floor, and bring your legs in from the straddle, so that the bottoms of your feet are touching. Press your knees down toward the floor to stretch your inner thighs. If you’re flexible to lay both knees on the floor in the butterfly position, then advanced your stretch by leaning your chest down toward the floor, so that your belly button is touching your shoes. Hold for 15-20 seconds.

**Note: Remember to continue breathing – never hold your breath while stretching!**