Hopefully on April 12th we can start getting back into the gym! Although those over 18 have to wait a little longer and we don’t know exactly what we’ll be allowed to do yet there’s finally a light at the end of this third lockdown. Just imagine the day when you can pack your cheer bag and hop in the car on the way to see all your friends!
Many of you have been training from home, keeping up your strength and flexibility so that when we’re back in the gym, we can do the stunts and tumbles we’ve missed so much but did you know that exercising can also strengthen your bones? Cheerleading is a high impact sport, tumbling and stunting puts a lot of pressure through your ankles and wrists which over time strengthens all the tendons, ligaments and bones we find in them. This means that if you start throwing back handsprings and full ups on day one, even with all that lockdown muscle you’ve built, you risk gaining injuries, and no one wants to have to rest up sore wrists when we’re finally allowed to tumble!
In the last few weeks at home, you can spend your time slowly building back up these weakened joints so that on your first session back you can throw tumbles safely. We don’t always work this into our conditioning sessions so you might not know where to start, below are examples of a couple of exercises and stretches for both ankles and wrists to do a few times a week. Don’t worry, they don’t feel anywhere near as difficult as conditioning your arms, legs and core but they are just as important to be able to do your skills well.
Let’s start with a little programme for our wrists:
10 Wrist curls – Baby bicep curls for your wrist keeping your arm at 90 degrees by resting it on the end of a chair or table.
10 Upside-down wrist curls – Again, keep your arm at 90 degrees.
Handstand holds – Start with 30 seconds and build this time up as much as you can.
Then, after doing the exercises above a few times and when your wrists are feeling strong build up to pop-push ups and handstand hops, aiming to do 10 of each.
And next a plan for your ankles:
10 Single leg swings – Swing one leg back and forward and once this is easy you can move your leg side to side or in circles, remember to do both sides!
10 Single leg calf raises with hold – Try to stay at the top for three seconds, hold onto something for balance if you need to and again remember both sides.
10 Side to side rebound jumps – Focus on driving through your toes and rebounding instead of jumping.
As always, make sure you finish your workout with a stretch.
For your wrists rock slowly back and forth on your hands and knees, 10 times with your fingers facing forward then another 10 with your fingers facing out and a final 10 with your fingers facing inwards.
For your ankles, sit in a pike and pull your toes towards you lifting your heels slightly.
Doing these exercises as often as you stretch and condition the rest of your body will leave you ready for a strong and injury free return to Cheerleading. Please watch the video below for some examples of the above exercises. As always, please make sure you have the supervision of a qualified cheer coach whenever practicing cheer!
Want to join the AV Family? We have spaces available for ages 3 and up for beginner recreational classes through to Allstar Elite competition squads. For more information, head to our new starters page or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org