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These days, cheerleading is definitely considered to be a sport. There is no way you could possibly be a cheerleader if you are not athletically prepared. Cheerleaders ar required to do mounts where they either hold another squad member up, or actually do the climbing to the top of a pyramid, press, or shoulder stand. They must have the endurance to perform a dance routine in front of a crowd or for competitions for at least five minutes or more. They must memorize sideline cheers and performance cheers and learn the art of synchronization. And finally, they are required to do gymnastics stunts, such as dive rolls, back handsprings, and jumps like toe-touches, which require enormous strength. A typical cheerleader warm-up BEFORE practice consists of the following:
Step jumps (for calf muscles)
Running for 10-20 minutes
These are the usual stretching and warm-up exercises that ATHLETES must do before attempting their sport of choice. Cheerleading is no different!
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|