Plyometrics increases speed, power, force, and rapid movements. Many of the gymnastics movements are considered plyometric. This can help greatly in your cheerleading practice because of the great way you can increase all of these elements.
Plyometrics are great to add into any athlete’s workout routines. Plyometrics help to increase speed, agility and power of a muscle’s contraction. In other words, you will jump higher and run faster, as my dad used to say about any new pair of shoes I would get! To have power and force behind your jump is going to increase your ability in cheerleading for any of your routines. Especially in competitive cheerleading, your body will be tasked for many high jumps.
So, fitting in any type of explosive movements into your routine is a great way to add plyometrics into your workouts. For instance, jumping squats are a great exercise to use for a plyometric exercise. Using weights, you will squat down, and when you get to the top, you will explode up as hard and fast as you can.
Another great plyometric exercise you can use is the weighted medicine balls. Get a comfortable weight (such as 10 pounds or more), and use a wall in your gym. You will explode with the ball throwing it up into the air hitting the wall as high as you can. When the ball comes back down, make sure to catch it. Then, in one movement, press up and explode the ball out of your hands and onto the wall as high as you can throw it. This is a great plyometric exercise for your upper body.
Being a huge lover of push ups, I have to throw this exercise in as well. You will start on your knees and let your whole body drop forward and catch yourself with your palms. Drop your body down into a push up. (Of course, you are on your knees, so, it’s a ‘girl’ push up.) Then, when you are pushing yourself back up, explode up pressing yourself back up to where you are upright on your knees. This is a plyometric push up. I love this one!
There are many other plyometric exercises you can add into your workout routines. It is going to benefit your cheerleading skills greatly! You will get more precise in your movements and more explosive in your movements. Move with a purpose, and it will show in any cheerleading competition!