Basic Cheerleading Jumps

Cheerleading jumps are part of what makes the sport so interesting. You can improve your routine just by expanding your repertoire of jumps. However, the jumps explained here should be used only after a lot of practice. Trying difficult jumps too soon can result in injury.

Pencil Jump
This is the most simple of jumps. It is also called a T jump. In this jump, a cheerleader will simply jump straight up. It's the first jump that cheerleaders learn. Once other jumps are mastered, you'll use this jump as a way to correct yourself after another type of jump.

Spread Eagle Jump
Once you prep for this jump, you swing up and jump with your arms up in a V and your legs spread apart. The visual effect is that your body looks like an X.

Toe Touch
After mastering the spread eagle jump, you can move onto the toe touch. At the peak of this jump, your legs will be straight out from your body like a split that is done on the ground. Your hands should not actually touch your toes during this move, despite the name of the move. Your arms will be out in front of you stretched out farther in front of your legs.

Hurdler And Side Hurdler
In this simple jump, your leap into the air with one leg bent and one leg straight. In the case of a front hurdler, your arms are straight over your head and your bent knee is facing the ground. With a side hurdler, your arms are in a T and your bent knee faces the crowd.

This jump was named after the founder of the National Cheerleader's Association, Lawrence R. Herkimer. It is similar to a side hurdler; however, instead of forming a T formation, your arms will do the opposite of what your legs are doing. If your left leg is straight and your right leg is bent, your left arm would be bent and your right arm would be out.

The Tuck Jump
This is a common jump, especially with partner jumping. When doing a tuck, you should use your stomach muscles to pull your legs up so that your thighs are parallel to the ground. Your legs will be then pulled toward your chest with your toes pointed.

This jump is mainly done when a partner throws you up into the air. Once you are up in the air, both legs are straight out with your knees locked. Your arms are positioned so that that they are over your head, in a motion similar to what a referee uses to indicate a touchdown.

These jumps just scratch the surface of what is used in modern cheerleading competitions. With practice, you'll be able to master them all.

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