Cheerleading Moves and Techniques
As a new cheerleader, you have a long list of moves to learn. You must master motions, jumps, stunting and tumbling. Technique is vital in all of these areas of cheerleading. Every move you make must be executed correctly and with proper form because the goal for your squad is uniformity. Start slowly mastering the easier moves before moving on to the more difficult areas. Practice frequently, aiming for perfect technique
Arm motions are the foundation to your cheerleading moves. There are several basic motions you should know. Touchdown is when both arms are raised above your head. Your arms should be straight, parallel and slightly forward. In a punch motion, you should place one fist on your hip and the other arm in a touchdown motion. T motion involves placing both arms straight out to the side and parallel to the ground. A broken T motion is when your arms are bent in a T motion. Your fists should be by your shoulders and your bent arms remain parallel to the ground. High V is when you make the shape of a V with your arms straight and above your head. When you make this shape with your arms down, it is low V.
Motion technique is vital to cheerleading. It is not good enough to just hit a motion; you need to hit the motion properly. Proper motion levels are perpendicular or parallel to the ground or at 90-degree and 45-degree angles. Anything in between is incorrect. Motions should stay even with or in front of your body. Execute your motions as if you were standing with your back against a wall, so your arms cannot extend behind you. Always hit motions sharply with very tight arms, making sure the motion hits on the exact word it is choreographed to.
Jumps are cheerleading moves that add a little excitement to your routines. Make sure to master jumps in proper sequence, perfecting basic jumps before attempting the advanced ones. Two basic jumps to learn are tuck and herkie. In a tuck, you lift both knees up toward your chest. Keep your upper body and your bent legs perpendicular to the ground. Do not simply kick your feet to your butt with your bent legs parallel to the ground. For a herkie, you will extend one leg straight out to the side and bend the other leg behind you. The knee of your straight leg should face up. Your bent leg should be flattened and parallel to the ground. Both toes should be pointed.
Start your jumps with a powerful prep. With your arms in a high V motion and your feet together, rise up on the balls of your feet. Swing your arms down, crossing them in front of your body as you dip down bending your knees deeply. On the upswing of your arms, begin to explode off the ground, lifting your legs into your jump and hitting the desired arm motion for the jump. Finish your jump with a clean ending. Land with your feet together and knees slightly bent. Press your straight arms against your calves and lean forward slightly with your chest. Hold this position for a pause before popping your feet out to shoulder-width apart and placing your fists on your hips.
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.