Question: I cheer and I need to get stronger as I approach the next level and finish school next year. What would be an exercise routine I could do to help prepare me for collegiate cheer?
Answer: Being a cheerleader at the university level is almost a contact sport. With the high-risk throws for flyers and being a base for pyramids you certainly need to be more athletic. That necessitates a strength routine, stretching after training for flexibility and explosive cardio conditioning to maximize your power during the long routines for competition.
Break your cardio conditioning into three different days and types of training.
Day 1 is for your longer continuous runs or conditioning.
Considering the pounding your joints take during training, bicycling for 20 to 30 minutes on a stationary bike might be a good change. If you prefer running, take a moderately paced 1.5 to 2 mile run.
Day 2 you get to experience Tanata training. Begin with one lap around a track, 400 meters at a moderate jog.
On the second lap begin the Tanata workout. This consists of seven segments made of a 20 second sprint with only a 10 second recovery. Sprint 20 seconds, then walk 10 seconds, sprint 20 seconds walk 10 seconds. You get the idea. Do these 7 times. You may not make them all at first if you are honest and give it 100% on each sprint. After those are done walk / jog a cool down lap.
Day 3 of cardio is to run hill sprints or stadium steps for 50 reps. Those should take about 30 minutes as well.
In the gym the main thing is to get stronger and maintain dangerous curves in the process.
- Core training is essential, so begin with hip raises, side lifts or planks and ball crunches doing 3 sets of 20 reps each.
- Leg training starts with leg curls for hamstring strength which can be alternated with lunges of just about any variety.
- Squats follow those and finish off legs with Stiff-leg deads(RDL’s) for 3 to 4 sets of each.
- Include a couple of sets of plyo-jumps at the end of your routine.
- If you can do pull-ups, those are best for back and upper body. If not, use pulldowns and alternate those with the dumbbell bench press.
- Low pulley rows are ideal for central back paired with an incline dumbbell press.
- Squat/press for shoulders and explosiveness combined with high pulley rows should strengthen rear delts and traps.
- Triceps pressdowns and barbell curls shape up the arms.
A simple routine like this one is good for two sessions each week but for more advanced workouts add another day and split the body parts into two sessions and rotate them. After your workout is complete, while your ligaments and muscles are warm, take at least 5 to 10 minutes to stretch effectively.
With all this training, remember to drink plenty of water and clean up your diet to maximize the visual impact you can make from having a
God bless and keep training,