A College Cheerleading Workout Plan
College cheerleading is difficult and demanding. In order to make the team, you must devote time to training. When creating a college cheerleading workout plan, refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for exercise. Form a base for your routine with aerobic activity and muscle strengthening workouts. To make your plan more cheerleading-specific, add some flexibility and balance training.
The strenuous nature of cheerleading makes aerobic training an important part of your college cheerleading workout plan. Any activity that increases your respiration and pulse is aerobic; however, the higher the intensity of the activity, the more cardiovascular endurance you will build. Running, rollerblading, and jumping rope are all very high intensity aerobic activities, but walking, biking, and hiking will also do the trick. Aim for at least one hour of aerobic activity five times per week. You can do aerobic training every single day, if you desire.
The elite level of stunting, jumping, and tumbling involved in college cheerleading requires a great deal of physical strength. Weight training will build the strength you need to perform difficult skills. Traditional weight training in the weight room is a good option; however, consider adding some sport-specific exercises as well. Using a medicine ball, perform three sets of 12 repetitions of each of the following stunting motions: elevator, extension, toss to hands and ground-up stunts. Adding weight to the actual motions you have to perform in cheerleading will train the exact muscles needed and result in greater advances.
To do the kicks, jumps and stunts required in college cheerleading, you need a high degree of flexibility. Being limber will help your stunts look better and can also reduce your risk of injury and increase your range of motion. Do full-body stretches every single day. If your current level of flexibility is significantly lower than required, consider doing those specific stretches more than once per day. Remember to only stretch muscles that have been thoroughly warmed up and to hold stretches, and never bounce in a stretching position. Hold each stretching position for 30 to 60 seconds and repeat every stretch two to three times.
Balance is the final component of your college cheerleading workout plan. Whether you are a base or a flier, improved balance will help you remain steady during stunts. Perform stunting poses, such as an extension, cupie and liberty on the ground. If you have the flexibility, include a heel stretch, scale and scorpion as well. To further challenge your balance, perform all of these poses on something unstable. You can use a wobble board or wobble cushion, or simply take a cushion off your couch. Balance training can be done as often as you want, but should be incorporated at least three times per week.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity do Adults Need?
- Cheer Coach and Advisor Magazine: Assign Resistance Training and Combination Exercises
- American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: Flexibility Exercises for Young Athletes
- Currie DW, Fields SK, Patterson MJ, Comstock RD. Cheerleading injuries in United States high schools. Pediatrics. 2016;137(1). doi:10.1542/peds.2015-2447
- Mueller FO, Cantu RC. Catastrophic Sports Injury Research. 27th Annual Report, Fall 1982–Spring 2009. National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research. 2009.
Based in Wisconsin farm country, Jami Kastner has been writing professionally since 2009 and has had many articles published online. Kastner uses her experience as a former teacher, coach and fitness instructor as a starting point for her writing. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in secondary education from Trinity International University.