Spirit fingers and kicks are fun and typically expected from cheerleaders but tumbling adds a higher degree of flair and excitement to the sidelines, and while entrancing and exiting the floor during pep rallies or competitions. Getting the crowd excited and involved is the most important responsibility of cheerleader’s, right? Nothing makes this happen quite like giving the crowd a slew full of girls to watch as they show off their superhuman skills, flipping and flying through the air with grace.
Let’s be honest, if you have ever watched a squad perform, one of the most exciting aspects of the performance can be a good tumbling sequence. Even better, a strong and meticulous tumbling sequence. How can one work towards flawless tumbling? Is this even possible? Dedication and practice to condition the body for movement with ease during flips both forward and backwards is definitely a solid approach, as well as a confident mindset. But what if I told you that you can up the tumbling ante quicker and more effectively by taking advantage of the resistance the Myosource Kinetic Bands provide? Before enlightening you with such information, it is important to briefly go over some background knowledge in regards to squad placement based on tumbling and the two methods of tumbling.
Keep in mind that the tumbling skills required for cheerleading tryouts vary from squad to squad. A competitive squad may require more elite skills, such as a backflip or layout, while a squad that cheers at sporting events may not have specific tumbling requirements. Depending on what your personal goals are, tumbling may or may not be a mandatory requirement but having the ability to do so is always an advantage nonetheless. Whether it be for competitions or a high school football game, the base skill set needed to perform such technique remains the same. Because cheerleading has advanced into a much more athletic realm over the years, it requires training and conditioning much like any other sport. Cheerleaders must focus on working towards development in areas such as strength, flexibility and endurance if they desire greater success within their own tumbling capacity.
Let’s briefly go over the two types of tumbling cheerleaders can perform. Standing tumbling will be discussed first and is used by many competitive and school cheerleading squads for routines, cheers and chants, or as a part of a stunt sequence. The most common standing tumbling skills are back handsprings and back tucks. Standing tumbling is not limited to one trick but can consist of multiple, such as two back handsprings in a row or a standing back handspring into a back tuck. The second method is known as running tumbling. These tumbling sequences are often seen when cheerleaders take the field or court during a performance or during a competitive routine. Running sequences begin with a round-off into a series of one or more tricks out of the rebound. These tricks may include back handsprings, back tucks, layouts or full-twisting layouts. Keep in mind, competitive squads generally perform on a spring floor while most high school or collegiate squads are required to tumble on a gym floor. Regardless of a cheerleader’s situation, it is very important that such tricks be learned and practiced on mats with attentive spotters while properly supervised. Cheerleaders should never get to hasty when learning each skill because performing a trick that hasn’t been perfected can lead to serious injury. Therefore, it is important cheerleaders take their time and also condition their body both physically and mentally.
As promised, it is now time to discuss how cheerleaders can benefit from using the Myosource Kinetic Bands to improve tumbling by teaching body awareness along with the combination of strength, flexibility and the endurance it takes to train and perform such skills.
Whether it be standing or running tumbling, muscular strength is crucial for the explosive power needed for cheerleaders to get off the ground and have enough time in the air to do the trick. To create tumbling passes, a strong and controlled rebound will provide cheerleaders with enough power to link skills onto the initial round-off. In order to create an effective rebound from a round-off, the landing must be firm and stable. The ability to position the body properly cannot be underestimated because without control, power is nothing. Body position is what allows every cheerleader to control the flow of power from one skill to the next. Tumbling with the Myosource Kinetic Bands will aid in developing better control over the body, as muscles in the legs, hips and core are targeted and strengthened in a symmetrical manner by the resistance. When the bands are taken off, cheerleaders will experience landings with evenly placed weight distribution, making rebounds less sloppy and more balanced. The Myosource Kinetic Bands will also train cheerleaders to move and land with an ideal posture of a straight back with the chest and head upright. In addition to wearing the bands while executing tumbling passes, cheerleaders can also practice the jump in their rebounds by ‘bouncing’ across the floor while wearing the resistance bands to promote additional strength building and therefore enhanced power. The control, balance and coordination cheerleaders will gain from training with resistance will make tumbling transitions easier to execute with greater precision. In turn, giving cheerleaders the opportunity to generate and sustain longer passes with superior agility and force.
An important component of fitness for cheer tumbling includes flexibility, the ability to move a joint through a complete range of motion. Stretching and conditioning with the Myosource Kinetic Bands will allow cheerleaders to possess superior flexibility for the execution of forward and backward tumbling. Flexibility gained through resistance training will enhance cheerleaders’ coordination and balance for graceful tumbling sequences. The resistance bands aid to develop equal flexibility on both sides of the body, helping cheerleaders improve their skeletal alignment while reducing the possibility of musculoskeletal injury.
The ability of a muscle to exert force repeatedly, also referred to as muscular endurance, is a critical component for cheer tumbling. With the aid of the Myosource Kinetic Bands, cheerleaders will enhance stamina and reduce muscle fatigue. Cheerleaders use muscular endurance during a routine, which may require consecutive tumbling passes that use the same muscle groups repeatedly. To prevent muscle exhaustion near the end of a routine, cheerleaders must acquire substantial muscular endurance to sustain their performance level. Engaging in repetitive conditioning exercises with the Myosource Kinetic Bands will greatly increase muscular endurance for cheerleaders.