Saturday, January 21, 2012

Excitement and Difficulty of Cheerleading Stunts

Cheerleading is a many faceted activity that requires a high degree of athleticism and skill. A cheerleader has many tools at her disposal: cheering, dancing, jumping, tumbling and stunting. She uses all of these to engage the crowd and impress the judges. Each component of cheerleading, including stunting, is important and worthy of attention.
Stunting is when cheerleaders lift or toss another cheerleader into the air. The main positions in stunting are base, the cheerleader lifting or tossing; top person, the cheerleader being lifted or tossed; and spotter, an extra helper in the stunt. Stunting can be broken up into several categories. Partner stunts, such as a chair or a shoulder sit, typically involve only two cheerleaders but could also include an extra cheerleader to spot. Group stunts involve two, three or four cheerleaders lifting another cheerleader into the air, such as in an elevator or a liberty. Pyramids are two or more group or partner stunts connected together. For example: A hitch pyramid connected when a top person places her foot in the hand of another top person. Finally, tosses, such as a basket toss, involve three to four cheerleaders tossing a top person into the air where she executes a skill at the peak of her ascent.
Stunting is important to cheerleading because of the excitement it adds. Possibly the most appealing component of cheerleading is the stunting. It is the part that catches the crowd's attention, which helps you get them cheering with you. A well-executed, properly placed stunt can be just what you need to rally your crowd and get them behind your team. Stunting is also exciting for cheerleaders. The challenge of mastering new and more difficult stunts is one that many cheerleaders consider the best part of cheerleading. Although stunting is exciting, it must be done safely. Stunt only under the supervision of a qualified cheer coach.
For competitive cheerleaders, stunting is important because it adds difficulty to your competition routine. Score sheets vary from competition to competition, but one thing is universal: Your stunting shows the judges the difficulty level you have attained. Properly executed stunts earn more points for your routine, and impressing the judges with them can increase your points in other areas, as well. Do not perform stunts you have not mastered or you will lose points. It is better to do an easier stunt perfectly, than a difficult stunt sloppily.
Training Benefits
One final importance of cheerleading is the effect it has on your physical fitness. Stunting is a physical activity that improves strength, flexibility and balance. Lifting another cheerleader in the air strengthens the muscles of your thighs, butt, shoulders and arms. Posing on the top of a stunt improves your balance and core strength. Many stunting positions you will hit in a routine, such as a heel stretch or a scorpion, challenge and improve your flexibility. Stunting is a full-body workout.

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