By Beatty Carpenter
Want to take your jumps from meh to fabulous? Here are some tips to improve your jumps during your free time this summer!
Feature Photo by Action Moments
Warming up is the first step to rockin’ your jumps. Always, always, always warm up before practice or a competition. It’s one of the most important steps you can take to improve your jumps and an important habit to develop. Warm up with light exercises, like body squats and lunges, and maybe a little jog around the practice mat (or even outside!). Loosening up the muscles prior to your static stretching better prevents injuries versus stretching cold muscles!
Stretching is not a warm up, so you must warm up before you stretch. Stretching is – yep, you guessed it – the most important element in improving your jumps. You should stretch until you feel loose and comfortable enough to begin practice. Always stretch before and after jumping. Stretching not only prevents injuries, but also improves your flexibility. If you stretch every day, chances are you’ll be soaring to the front row of jumps in no time!
Let’s get to flexing! Flexibility is the golden ticket when it comes to fabulous jumps. It is the flexibility in your hips that allow your legs to move in many directions. Achieving excellent flexibility takes time, so it is important to do flexibility drills daily to increase the height and power of your jumps. Try out some or all of these flexibility drills next time you’re searching for a mix up to your workout routine!
Once you are warmed up and stretched, take some time to solely focus on your jumps. All too often, cheerleaders spend most of their time practicing tumbling or stunting. Spend a little extra time on your jumps, or even out the time dedicated to each activity, if you want to see improvement in this area.
It is always beneficial to do drills to improve your jumps. Some drills include: jump drills, leg explosions, straddle lifts or sitting toe touches. All of these drills can improve your jumps if done regularly. Practicing your jumps each day is the best way to see improvement quickly.
Ankle weights are a great drill “assistant” as well. Simply put some light ankle weights on and do a few sets of jumps. In no time, you’ll see serious improvement in the overall performance of your jumps, and you’ll build muscle, too! Added bonus!
Make It a Routine
Warm up, stretch, flexibility drills, perform jumps and stretch again!
Watch & Learn
Check out this awesome video from Gabi Butler for tips and ideas on how to bring your jumps to new heights!
Video via GabiButlerCheer
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Beatty Carpenter is an undergraduate student at the University of Mississippi, where she is on the Chancellor’s Honor Roll and studies Integrated Marketing Communications with a specialization in Public Relations. In her free time, she enjoys eating fried rice and watching Friends.