If sports are defined as competitive activity involving physical exertion or skill, cheerleading has to be considered a sport. Cheerleaders constantly put forth time, effort and dedication, and the following benefits are enjoyed by all who take part:
Tumbling, stunting and performing our choreographed routines involve cardiovascular stamina and endurance. Although most choreographed routines last two minutes or less, practicing those two minutes repeatedly is an effective aerobic workout. Repeatedly practicing the routine builds the cardiovascular stamina necessary to perform the several stunt sequences, tumbling passes, and dancing involved in the routine. Like other performance sports, such as ice skating or gymnastics, practice is where you exert the most energy. Performing is the easy part.
Whether you’re a base, a backspot or a flyer, physical strength is an important element of cheerleading. Bases and backspots lift and support the bottom of a stunt or pyramid sequence, which involves strength, focus and balance. Flyers, though their jobs look effortless, must work with the bases to get into the air. Flyers also require balance and control of their bodies during the stunt. Rebels will perform strength training and conditioning exercises to build the muscle needed to perform stunt sequences, tumbling passes and jumps. These moves build powerful muscles in the lower body, shoulders and core.
Like dancing, cheerleading teaches coordination through cheers, dancing and stunt sequences. Coordination, or the ability to move your body through a sequence of motions, is essential for the timing and rhythm involved with cheerleading. Proper coordination helps ensure that each squad member hits their motions on the proper count. Most cheers and dances follow a count or rhythm, which helps cheerleaders learn to perform motions on a certain beat. Cheerleading teaches squad members to control their bodies through coordination, and this is the basis of what will be taught in our younger classes.
Cheerleaders are well-known for their flexibility, a necessity when performing high kicks, jumps, splits and stunt sequences. Stretching and conditioning are two elements of cheerleading practice that build flexibility in the limbs. Flexible ligaments and muscles helps prevent muscle strains and other injuries involved with tumbling, jumping and dancing. Rebels will always ensure cheerleaders stretch before and after practice, to improve and maintain flexibility.