Weight Training for Male Cheerleaders
Cheerleading is an intense activity that requires considerable coordination, quickness and strength. To perform to the best of your ability and to protect the safety of your fellow cheerleaders, you can benefit from a weight training routine to strengthen your upper and lower body. Consult a doctor before starting any workout plan.
Upper Body Strength
Male cheerleaders often have to support the weight of their teammates, sometimes with just one hand. Thus, a strong upper body is crucial. Specifically, you'll need strong arms and shoulders. Chinups, pushups and bench presses can help strengthen your arms and shoulders. You can also perform cable rows and lat pull-downs to train your back muscles as well as your biceps and shoulders.
Lower Body Strength
Cheerleading involves many leaps and jumps, which can be demanding on your leg muscles. Having strong legs will also provide a base of strength when you are lifting your fellow cheerleaders. Squats and leg presses work your quadriceps, glutes and calves, while Romanian deadlifts strengthen your hamstrings. Lunges and calf raises can also help you develop the strength necessary for cheerleading.
When you toss your cheer teammate or jump up to do a flip, you are producing explosive strength, creating a powerful force in an instant. To train your body for these stunts, you can perform jump squats, power cleans, clap pushups and split jumps. Because jumping and clap pushups can be high-impact activities, perform these exercises on a soft mat to prevent injury.
Your abdominal muscles are crucial for cheerleading, because they help you maintain your balance and help to transfer power from your legs to your upper body and vice versa. Performing situps and bridges with a weight plate on your torso can help you strengthen your abdominal muscles, as will trunk extensions and bicycle crunches.
Brian Willett began writing in 2005. He has been published in the "Buffalo News," the "Daytona Times" and "Natural Muscle Magazine." Willett also writes for Bloginity.com and Bodybuilding.com. He is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer and earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of North Carolina.