Work out in a quiet and spacious location (music is okay). Work toward improvement in every exercise that you do, otherwise it is not worth doing. Stretching, jumps, and tumbling drills must be practiced every day! Develop a plan for cardiovascular and strength training that will work for you. Bolded items are new!
It is important that all exercises and weight training is preceded by a full stretch out. Injuries occur without thorough stretching. Additionally, cheerleading and tumbling required flexibility. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds to the point of slight burning. Do not bounce. Work towards increased flexibility with each stretch out.
- While standing, lean over with your legs and heels together and reach toward the floor, hold. (You should feel burning in your calves, upper back of legs, butt, and lower back)
- Side Runner – Bend your right knee and sit on your heel. The sole of your right foot should be flat on the ground while your left toe is pointed, hold. Switch. (You should feel burning in your inner thigh and ankle)
- Sit on the floor and straddle legs. Bend one knee and place its heel next to your inner thigh. Lean over with your arm above your head toward your toes, hold. Reverse to the other side, hold. Lean forward to the center, hold. (You should feel it in your inside thighs, sides, and back)
- Sit on the floor and bring the soles of your feet together. Make sure your back is straight. Your legs create the shape of a diamond, hold. (inner thigh and back muscles)
- Sit on the floor with your legs out in front. Bend one knee and cross over other leg that is extended straight out on the floor. Twist the trunk of your body to opposite side. If right leg is crossed over left leg, twist to the right, hold. Reverse with the other leg. (Side muscles)
- Get in the push-up position. Bring one knee to your chest, hold. Switch to bring the other knee to her chest, hold. (Upper and inside thigh)
- Lay on back, and bend knees into chest. (Back muscles)
- Bridge – place hands beside ears with finger tips pointing toward shoulders, and soles of feet flat close to thighs. Push up. (Back and shoulder)
- While standing, lift leg back and grab foot. Keep knee bent beside other leg. You may use a wall to balance yourself, hold. Switch, hold. (Upper thighs)
- Partner/Wall heel stretch: Stand across from a partner or a wall. Lift leg and place it over partner’s shoulder, learning forward into the stretch.
- While standing, clasp hands together in front of body and pull forward, hold. Clasp hands together straight over your head and lean to one side and reverse. (arms and shoulders)
- While standing, clasp hands together behind your back. (chest)
- With fingers, pull back on the fingers of your other hand and stretch toward your outside forearm, hold. Switch. (wrist and forearm)
- Rotate ankles in large circles as you balance on your other foot. (ankle)
Make sure you stretch a lot. Keep your core (abs and back) tight. Do straddle lifts, squats, and squat jumps to get the height in your jump. Do crunches and V-ups to strengthen your stomach.
- Toe Touch – Keep chest up and whip legs into the straddle position with ankles rolled out. Work towards increasing height. Make sure your arms are tight. 3 sets of 5 jumps.
- 5, 6, 7 Wait. 8 Clap. 1 High V. 2 On toes. 3 arms cross in front. 4 arms come back up to T, jump into straddle position. 5, 6 snap back to together and land with knees bent, hands beside knees, chest up. 7 stand up into clean position. 8 stand still/Clap
- Pike Jump – Bend your body at hips and reach towards toes. 3 sets of 5 jumps.
- Turn at a 45 degree angle to the audience. 5, 6, 7 Wait. 8 Clap. 1 High V. 2 On toes. 3 arms cross in front. 4 arms come back up blades reaching out towards toes, jump into pike position with toes pointed. 5, 6 snap back to together and land with knees bent, hands beside knees, chest up. 7 stand up into clean position. 8 stand still/Clap
- Right/Left Hurkey – keep your chest up and whip right/left leg up into the half-straddle position while other leg bends back at your hip and knee. 3 sets of 5 jumps.
Take these drills slowly and carefully. If you feel more comfortable, have someone spot you. Take frequent breaks.
- Handstand against the wall – Start from the lunge position, keeping a straight line from your fingertips to the end of your toes on your kick up leg, and place your hands on the floor approximately 6-inches from the wall while pushing out of the bottom leg and kicking up with the other leg. Focus on closing both legs together before they actually reach the handstand position. It is okay to overbalance and have to use your hands and abdominal muscles to pull back off the wall to recover. 5 -7 perfect handstands.
- The Rocking Bridge – Push up into a bridge position from a lying position on the floor, then push out of your shoulders until your body weight is distributed with more emphasis on your legs. Next, push out of your legs until your body weight in primarily situated over your shoulders and hands. Slowly move your body weight back and forth between your shoulders and your legs. Then lift your feet off the ground when you shift your weight to your shoulders, and lift your hands off the ground when you shift your weight to your feet. 3 bridges held for 30 seconds each.
- Bridge Kickover – Place folded mats (or something you can put your feet on) up to 6 inches off the floor. Lie down so your hips are up against the mats, with your feet on top of the mats and your hands on the floor next to your ears. Push up into a bridge position with your feet up on the mats and your hands on the floor. Next, push out of your legs until your shoulders are over your hands, then kick over to a handstand one leg at a time. Come down from the stand one leg at a time. 5 perfect bridge kickovers.
Do 20 minutes of exercise keeping your heart rate up 2-3 times a week. Choose any exercise that you like, or from this list.
- High/low impact, Step, or Interval Aerobics
Weight training should be done at least 4 times a week. Alternate upper and lower body strength training. (For example: Monday and Wednesday do the lower body exercises, Tuesday and Thursday do the upper body exercises.)
Lower Body – Legs and Abdominals
- Standing squats: feet apart and toes pointing forward. Keep your back straight, abdomen in tight, knees over your toes. Do not squad any lower then 90 degree angle. 3 sets of 10 squats.
- Jump squats: Stand with your feet hip width apart and place your weight on your heels with your toes pointed forward. Bend your knees and lean forward slightly to keep your knees over your ankles. Lower your upper body to a squatting position and push through your heels. Shift your weight to the balls of your feet as your come to a standing position and rise up on your toes. Perform a full jump squat. Come down lower than you did while practicing so that your buttocks are almost to the level of your knees. Lift up hard with an explosive movement, and as your weight comes onto your toes, use your calf muscles to push your feet off the floor and get as much height as possible. Land on your toes before coming back down on your heels. 3 sets of 10 jump squats.
- Straddle Lifts – Sit on the floor with your legs in the straddle position. Roll out your ankles so that the side of your foot rests flat on the floor. You may lean away from your leg for balance and support. Lift your leg up from the floor 4-6 inches and make small circles with your toes. Hold, and switch. 2 sets of 25 circles each leg.
- Crunches: Lie on your back with your knees up with your feet flat on the floor shoulder-width apart. Rest your hand behind your head. Use your abdominal muscles to lift your shoulders up. Keep your neck in line with your spine. Hold at the top of the crunch for a few second before lowering back down. 3 sets of 15-20 crunches.
- V-ups: Lie on your back with your legs straight, and stretch your arms over your head. Raise your arms and legs as high as you can, keeping them straight. Your upper body and legs should lift off the floor. Try to touch your toes, hold for 3 seconds. Exhale and keep all your muscles tight as your lower your arms and legs. 1 set of 12-20 V-ups.
Upper Body – Back, Arms and Shoulders
- Reverse Leg Lift: Lie face down with your arms straight over your head and legs straight. Keep your legs tight as you lift them as high as you can off the floor, hold for a second then slowly lower your legs. 3 sets of 10.
- Arch Up: Lie face down with your arms bend and fingers touching your ears. Lift your upper body from the floor as high as you can and hold for a second, then slowly lower your upper body. 3 sets of 10.
- Push Up – Lie face down with your hands at shoulder level, palms flat on the floor and slightly more than shoulder width apart, and your feet are together with your legs straight. Straighten your arms as your push your body off the floor. Keep your body solid, do not bend or arch your back. Hold for a second, then lower your body to the floor until your chest almost touches the floor. 3 sets of 5 or 2 sets of 10.
- Tricep Dip – Stand with your back to a chair. Place your hands on the edge of the chair with fingertips facing away from your body. Lower your body until your elbows and knees both create 90-degree angles. Push up with your arms until both arms are straight, hold 1 second. Then release slowly as your body lowers to the original position. 3 sets of 10.
- Handstand push up – Lunge into a stand. Lower yourself until your nose and forehead touch the ground at the same time. Push your body up using the muscle in your arms, shoulder, and chest. Then extend your arms until you return to the handstand position. Do as many as you can.
- Bicep Curl – Grasp a 5-10lbs dumbbell or similar bag of rice/potatoes in each hand. Stand with your back straight, knees slightly bent, and abs tight. Hold the weights at your sides with your palms facing outward. Slowly raise the weight by bending your elbow. Keep your back straight, shoulder relaxed, and elbow close to your side. Raise the weight until it is 4 inches from your shoulder. Hold for a few seconds, and lower the weight. Repeat with other side. 2 sets of 10.
- Wrist Curl – Sit in a chair and hold a 5 lbs dumbbell or similar bag of rice/potatoes so that your forearms and elbows are resting on your knees and your palm is facing up. Lift your wrist as high as you can, but do not lift your forearms off of your legs. Relax your wrist down. Keep your motions slow and controlled. 2 sets of 10.