How to do Cheerleading Jumps
Posted by admin on June 06, 2006
Before you begin any jumps, be sure to stretch your body completely to prevent injury. You should be sure to stretch your back, arms, legs, and stomach. To perform each jump correctly, it is important to learn to do them using the correct format. Although it may vary from squad to squad, the following is a common format taught at many national cheerleading camps, and is the standard format for doing jumps.
Each jump should be done in eight counts and begin with the prep. For the prep, the body should be tight with the legs together and the hands straight down by the sides with fingers together. On count one, the hand should be brought to a clasped position in front of the body with the elbows pointed downward. This position should be held for count two. On count three, the arms should be extended to a high V with the hands in fists and you should go onto your toes. This position will be held for the fourth count. Remember that your arms should be kept slightly in front on the body when making a V rather than directly out to the sides so it does not look awkward. During counts three and four, you should concentrate on gaining all the power you can from your legs. If your legs are tight and prepped correctly, your jumps will have the momentum to be higher and look more graceful. The success of your jump is greatly dependant on a good, balanced prep.
Now you are ready for the jump. Your jump will be done on counts five and six. Bend your legs and gather all the strength you can to propel your body upwards while circling your arms inward in front of you. Your arms and legs should hit the proper position on six. The position of your arms and legs will depend on the jump you are performing.
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You will land with your feet together on seven with your legs bent to absorb the shock. The top of your body will be slightly forward to maintain good balance, and your arms will be extended downward with your fingers extended straight down with palms inward next to the sides of your knees. This position will be help for the eighth count. After count eight, you can stand straight up again and prepare for the next jump or other element.
The Spread Eagle
The spread eagle is one of the most elementary jump in cheerleading, and is therefore not as common as more showy jumps. To do this jump, extend your legs outward without rotating your hips back. Make sure your toes are pointed while in the air and your hands are in fists with your arms in the T position.
The Toe Touch
To do this jump, rotate your hips back and extend your legs upwards to the sides in a straddle position. Once again, your toes should be pointed, but make sure your hands are in fists and not extended like your toes. For many cheerleaders, the biggest challenge of this jump is to not actually reach for the toes. Keep your chest up and bring you legs up with pointed toes rather than reaching your arms or body downward towards your legs. It is better to have proper form and for your legs to be a little lower than to learn this jump incorrectly. Your first goal is to be able to bring your legs parallel to the ground, and then to the height of your hands. Once you reach these goals, do not stop there. Continue stretching and improving your jump until you can extend your legs further upwards. Extend your legs upward behind your arms once you have the ability to do so.
This jump is done by rotating your hip back and extending one leg upward to the side as if doing a half toe touch. Your foot on the extended legs should be pointed. The other leg should be bent backwards. The top of your leg to your knee will be straight out to the side with the lower part of your leg behind it. Your goal on this jump is for your bent leg to be parallel to the ground and your extended leg to reach as high as possible behind your arm.
The Front Hurdler
Extend your â€œfavoriteâ€ leg forward and upward toward your head with your knee upward and your foot pointed. Your arms should be extended in front of you reaching towards your extended foot with the hands in fists. The other leg should be bent with the knee with the knee pointing towards the ground and the foot towards the sky.
The Table Top
One leg is bent in front of you with the leg across the body and the other leg is bent behind you. Try to keep the top portion of your back leg straight out to the side. Both of your legs should be parallel to the ground. The arms should be in a V.
Bring your legs up in front on you with your knees close to your chest. Your arms should be extended to the sides in a T position.
Keep your legs together and bring them up straight in front of you with your toes pointed. Try to make your legs parallel to the ground. Also extend your arms in front of you on the sides of your legs with your hands in fists. Your body will bend forward as you reach towards your toes.
The Double Nine
Extend one leg in front of you with the toes pointed. The other leg should be bent at a ninety degree angle with your foot next to the knee of the extended leg. Both legs should be parallel to the ground as if you were sitting on a flat surface. The arms will mirror the legs. The arm on the same side of the body as the extended leg should be extended forward as far as possible with the hand in a fist. The other arm should be bent at a ninety degree angle with the fist next to the elbow of the extended arm.
Around the World
This jump is a combination of the pike and the toe touch. First jump into the pike position and then rotate the hips back bringing the legs into a straddle position. Arms will begin extended in front on you and then move into the T position as the legs are rotated to the sides. This jump requires proficiency in both the pike jump and the toe touch as well as a powerful jump that give you adequate time in the air to hit both positions.