Saturday, January 21, 2012

5 Things to Know About Tight Cheearleading

Cheerleaders in all cheer positions are instructed to keep themselves tight during routines -- that is, to tense their bodies for greater stability and safety. Being tight is particularly important for flyers. Bases and spotters can propel a flyer into the air, catch her and land her much more easily if she is stiff than if she is loose. Although being tight doesn't change a flyer's weight, it makes her feel lighter to the bases and spotters. A tight flyer has better control over her body, which keeps her routines clean and safe.
Step 1
Strengthen your core muscles by working them at least three times each week. Do crunches, situps, oblique exercises, plank poses, bridge poses, lower back extensions and hip lifts. You need strong abdominals, glutes and lower back muscles to stay tight while cheering.
Step 2
Use a stability ball to increase the intensity of your ab workouts. Do crunches and oblique exercises with your feet on the floor and a stability ball supporting the center of your back. This gives you a greater possible range of motion, so you can work your abs harder. It also engages your back muscles more deeply than crunches on the floor do.
Step 3
Take a Pilates or yoga class. Pilates strengthens your core and lower body without adding bulky muscle, so it is particularly good for cheerleaders. Yoga develops your core strength while simultaneously improving your flexibility, another important element of cheering.
Step 4
Engage your abs and glutes as strongly as you can whenever you need to be tight in a cheer routine. Tilt your pelvis slightly forward, reducing the curve in your lower spine, and squeeze your core muscles.
Step 5
Practice being tight by doing board drills with your teammates. Lie on the floor and tighten your muscles. Have your teammates lift your feet. If you are properly tight, your hips and torso will lift off the floor as well. You should not bend at the waist.
Step 6
Do trust falls with a teammate to practice further. Stand with your back to your teammate and your arms extended to the sides. Tighten your core. Fall slowly backward and allow your teammate to catch you. You should remain straight and stiff, without bending at the waist.

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