Richmond Cheer Squad Rd 21 2006 (Australian rules football). Detail from original image, focusing on the the giant pom-pons ("floggers"). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Cheerleading is a great way to bring excitement and team spirit to any sports game. With flashy pom poms and sporty cheerleading clothes, the dances and jumps involved in cheerleading routines can be as impressive and captivating as the game itself. And there are a multitude of jump types that are used to jazz up routines.
Flexibility is one of the most important parts of performing cheerleading jumps successfully. Because this activity requires such extreme movements, cheerleading clothes such as Soffe shorts are created with maximum stretchability. Practice is also a big component of performing successful jumps. Many of the less skilled jumps are perfected first in preparation of more advanced maneuvers, and can help increase flexibility, strength, and muscle memory.
· Around the World - Also known as the pike-out, this jump is a pike that evolves into a toe-touch. The difficulty comes in being able to perform both moves in a short amount of time.
· Double Jump - A double jump is considered to be any jump performed twice in a row.
· Herkie - A Herkie looks much like a long leap, where the arms are held in the opposite position of what the legs are doing.
· Hurdler - This jump uses the “touchdown” arm motion along with one bent knee.
· Pike - This difficult jump places both legs straight out with knees locked and arms out in front.
· Power Jump - A power jump is done without swinging the arms before takeoff. All the power for this jump comes from the legs.
· Spread Eagle Jump - In this jump, the arms are lifted in a V and the legs are spread apart to create an “X” with the body.
· Straight Jump - This jump is a simple jump with a straight up and down motion. The arms are in a “T” or pointed above the head.The straight jump is often practiced to help prep for more difficult jumps.
· Toe-Touch - This jump is performed by straddling the legs straight out to the sides and spreading the arms out in a “T.” The back is kept straight and the legs are brought up high.
· Tuck - In a tuck, the cheerleader pulls the legs up and tucks the knees up to the chest.
Cheerleading jumps are some of most exciting moves in a routine. With multiple arrangements from Herkies to Tucks, increasing complexity and required skill, cheerleading jumps help bring the spirit into stadiums with plenty of flash and sass.