Cheerleading Routines for Beginners
Cheerleading routines consist of tumbling, stunting, jumping and cheer motions. At any level, championship routines are performed with sharp motions and clean transitions with all squad members demonstrating skills with synchronization and proper technique. Beginner level teams use lower level skills but can still "wow" the crowd with creative and impressive routines performed with spirit and showmanship.
Beginner level cheerleading, also known as novice level or All Star levels I and II, incorporate lower level stunting skills. Examples include using thigh stands, placing the flyer on the thighs of the bases while they are in a lunging position, and shoulder sits. Level II All-star teams and novice teams can add elevator preps, placing the flyer at shoulder height. All beginner level stunts should be performed with proper technique utilizing the appropriate spotters. When using more than one stunt group, stunts should focus on synchronized stunting, having all groups mount and lift at the same time. Success in performing beginner level stunts will prepare squad members for progressions to more difficult stunts.
Beginner level tumbling skills include rolls, cartwheels and round-offs. These are all performed by placing both hands on the floor and are not aerial skills. Proper form and spacing are important in order to lower the risk of injury. Routines should incorporate some team tumbling, having the whole team or most of the team tumbling in a synchronized manner. Additional tumbling can be added for transitions, moving from one skill to another.
Beginner level jumps include tuck jumps and spread eagles. Tuck jumps are performed by jumping up, bending your knees and bringing your knees up to chest height. Spread eagle jumps are performed by jumping up, keeping your legs straight and extending them out to the sides. Use sharp arm motions to prepare for the jumps and elevate your body off the floor. Keep you toes pointed as your legs are extended off the floor. Land with your knees bent absorbing the landing. Squads should focus on performing jumps with perfect synchronization.
Basic cheer motions include high and low touchdowns, high and low V's and T's. Touchdown motions are performed keeping your arms straight and parallel to each other. V's and T's are performed by using your arms to form the letters. Motions should be sharp, keeping your arms stiff and straight using punching motions to move from one motion to the next. Beginner level routines should use slower tempos to keep all motions together stressing proper placement.
Luann Voza teaches both math and science in an elementary school setting and physical education in a college setting. A former fitness-club owner, Voza has taught group fitness classes in step, aerobics, yoga, Pilates and kickboxing. As a bodybuilder, she held the title of Ms. New Jersey Lightweight Division Winner. Voza has a master's degree in exercise physiology and a doctoral degree in education.