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Transcript of Cheerleading
Four main muscle used in Cheerleading are:
Gastrocnemius, Soleus (calves)
Scientific advances in equipment
Exercise physiologist concentrate their research specifically oh how the body responds and adapts to the stresses placed on it by exercise.
Ergonomically correct for Women
Nifinity shoes are made specifically for female athletes. Here is a video providing the reason why it is important to think about women when making equipment for sports.
Three common Injuries in Cheerleading are:
2. Sprained/ strained wrists and ankles
3. Lower back sprains/strains and muscle spasms
The energy system required for Cheerleading is the ATP-LA system. Every Cheerleading routine consists of high intensity jumps, tumbling and stunts for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. The ATP- LA (anaerobic lactic system) and fast oxidative glycolytic muscle fibres (FOG) are used when performing a Cheerleading routine. Muscles breaks down carbohydrates into glucose to be further broken down to form 2 molecule lactic acid. The body uses ATP-PC up to 45 seconds in the routine. Lactic Acid begins to build up in the muscles and the ATP-LA system is used until the routine is over.
History of Cheer
Most people think of cheerleading as: http://cheerleading.isport.com/cheerleading-guides/history-of-cheerleading
How to benefit an athlete in the sport of Cheerleading
Brief History of Cheer
1898 was the birth year of Cheerleading. It first made its way into the public eye along side American College football, at the first ever University/College football game held in New Jersey .
An all male "pep-team" was rallied together to perform cheers/chants in order to motivate and excite the crowd to support their football team. the first team was led by Jonny Campbell.
Jonny Campbell and his "yell- leaders" at first ever College football game in 1898.
In the 1940's:
women became involved
larger teams were put together
enhanced skills were introduced (i.e tumbling, dancing and motions)
"flash cards" or now a days "signs" with the school letters were used (ICU,2015).
Here is an example of Cheerleading at the first World Championships
*Warning: Its loud*
It wasn't until 1961 that Cheerleading became a club sport. National Cheer Association (NCA) became a big program that introduced cheer camps in which all Cheerleaders across the country could join and learn new skills (ICU, 2015).
2004, or better known as the beginning of a new era in Cheerleading. This year marked the first ever Cheerleading World Championships in Florida at the ESPN center in Disney (it is still located there today) (ICU, 2015).
A decade after the first World Championships, I competed at Worlds on both Team Canada and my All Star team.
Good ways to train ATP-LA system is to train muscular endurance exercises:
cycling - constant change in gears every 2-5 mins for an hour total
circuit of: 40 burpees, 10 push-ups, 20 squat jumps, 50 mountain climbers
bear crawl suicides
Bear crawl suicides; watch from 56 sec- 1 min 47
All types of muscle contractions are used in Cheerleading:
- hamstrings in a squat to set for a stunt.
- hamstring when throwing rewind stunt (mid jump).
- hamstring when the stunt is held in the air and the flyer/top girl pulls her leg positions.
cycling (high gear 10 mins low gear 10 mins- total 1 hr)
alternating jump lunges (20 reps, 3 sets)
basket ball jumps (20 reps, 3 sets)
barbell full squat- max weight you are comfortable with (8 reps, 3 sets)
medicine ball squats- (throwing ball against wall) max 25 lbs ball (10 reps, 3 sets)
piggy back lunges- (10 reps, 3 sets)
slow squat walks with performance band around knees (30 steps left leg, 3o right)
bum raises on exercise ball (20 reps, 3 sets)
squats jump (40, 2 reps)
sprints (5 100 m sprints)
Notice how much Cheerleading has changed since 1920: from all male teams to all girl teams. Also notice the enhanced degree of difficulty (and no pompoms).
At different parts of the routine Vo2 demands differ. Motion sections or "rest sections" do not require too much oxygen because the cheerleader is not not bearing much weight or moving much. Stunt sequences require plenty of oxygen because they require plenty of strength and endurance. They can last from 20 - 50 sec, but there is more than one stunt section in a routine.
(Raffo, June 19, 2014)
handstand chicken pecs (20 reps, 3 sets)
handstand shoulder presses (30 reps, 3 sets)
rowing machine (changing gears every 10 mins, total time- 1 hour)
dumbbell press-ups (elbows stop at 90 degrees) 15lbs or more (12 reps, 3 sets)
Lateral Raises with Kettlebells 15 lbs or more (10 reps, 3 sets)
(Werner, December 2, 2014)
If unable to do full handstand, try feet on block first
calf raises plie, inverted plie and normal toes face forward (30 reps, 3 sets each)
one leg calf hops (jump for a min then switch legs, total 6-9 mins)
dumbell plie calf raises, 15 lbs or more (10 reps, 3 sets)
hamstring push ups (works both calves and hamstrings)
(Stajer ,August 2, 2010)
(Woods, March 30, 2012)
back/side leg raises with ankle weight (12 reps, 3 sets each leg)
back kicks with exercise band (10 reps, 3 sets)
deep squat with dumbbell on shoulders 30 lbs or more (8 reps, 3 sets)
(Woods, March 30, 2012)
(Brock, June 22, 2011)
There are two pieces of equipment used in Cheerleading:
Non-sprung and Sprung Mats
When Cheerleading first started, the only place athletes had to perform their skills on was football fields and basketball courts, which were all non-sprung/matted grounds. To this day cheerleaders of only University/ High-school teams use a non-sprung floor. Also country Cheerleading teams, competing at ICU World Championships use a non-sprung floor. (This type of Cheerleading is called Collegiate Cheer). This is because countries where Cheerleading does not have as much of a following, can not afford sprung floors as they are very expensive, therefore they practice on fields or in gyms. It would be an unfair advantage for teams such as Canada and USA to compete on Sprung floors (which we practice on all the time) against Jamaica (who has never set foot on sprung floor before).
The biomechanical advancement of non-sprung floors led to...
All Star Cheerleading on Sprung floor
. The sprung panel under the 2 inch mat helped Cheerleading evolve as a sport. Harder tumbling skills are practiced and performed, a faster pace routine is choreographed. Thus creating All star Cheerleading. The competitions for All Star cheer are held mainly in Canada and USA because that is where this type of cheer is most popular. Collegiate cheer and all star cheer have the same skills; tumbling, stunting, jumps and dance. The main difference is collegiate cheer actually performs a cheer/ chant, i.e:
"C A N A D A Canada, Lets Go Canada!"
Where as in all star Cheerleaders focus more on the executing difficult skills rather then chanting/ cheering.
The evolution shoe is designed for all star, to provide superior flexibility and support during elite stunts. The shoe weighs 6.5 oz, and has "grip grooves" so that bases can lift a flyer with proper technique (Nifinity, 2015).
Groove for the bases thumb
Groove for bases palm
The Game Day shoe is designed for collegiate cheerleaders. Tumbling and stunting on turf and gym floors can really damage shoes. Game Day has a low profile EVA midsole and 10-piece phylon outsole that provides extra flexibility and durability (Nifinity, 2015).
The newest shoe to Nifinity for both All star and Collegiate Cheerleaders. This shoe is designed to increase rebound on all matted surfaces by using a mechanical energy return system (HALO) and 300% more cushion. Defiance uses HALO technology; HALO = High Altitude Lift Optimization with an ergonomic shaped outsole for better stunting control and patent pending lift optimization for maximum height when tumbling (Nifinity, 2015).
My weakness is Distraction Control. Most days I plan to go to the gym and do a workout after my homework is completed, but I end up getting distracted by being on my phone. As a result much of my homework does not get done and then it ends up being to late to go to the gym. So i say, "tomorrow I will go", but the same thing happens again.
My strength is Positive Imaging. I love to listen to my cheer music and mark the routine in my head. I am really good at picturing perfect skills. I also like to watch other cheer routines. I can sit on YouTube for hours just watching different Cheerleading teams at competitions. I feel that watching some of the best teams will better my performance because I can see how they do certain skills and what techniques they use.
Self talk is very important in Cheerleading. There are plenty of skills that require lots of trust, and not only in your self but in other people. When practicing individual skills like tumbling, my most common phrase is "You can do this. You've done it once before you can do it again". I have actually been saying this even before Cheerleading, when I was a Power Tumbler. I had a huge mental block that stopped me from executing skills that I loved doing. A coach of mine said this to me once and it just made sense in my brain. If I have done the skill a few times before, then I know what I have to do to get my body around in the air and back on my feet again, so there should be no reason to be scared, and I need to "just do it".
I mentioned before, that positive imaging is my strength. I learned this from one of my cheer coaches. He said "imagine perfection, practice perfection, perform perfection". I always want to be the best I can in this sport, and a good way to start is by positively mentally preparing (open mindset) to achieve my goals. Before every competition my team sits in a circle lying heads to the center, our coach plays the music and he says "imagine perfection" and we mark the routine in our heads. My favourite part of team mental marks is, when ever there is a part in the routine where we know a teammate struggles a bit we shout things like "Common Michelle, you got this!" as if we were on floor doing the skills.
There is a girl on my team that is not up to level in her tumbling skills compared to the rest of the team. When I asked her if she would come in and tumble with me on open gym days she said sure. But every time open gym came and she was not there she made up excuses like "I had too much homework" or " I had a headache". She never once came to open gym and she continues to be below par when it comes to tumbling.
Two years ago my team was undefeated in Canada. We had this goal set out after we won two competition in Canada. This same year we had a bit of a let down because we didn't qualify for Worlds. But this negative lead us to a positive. We changed our perspective, we changed our goal and we ended up winning Nationals and stayed undefeated in Canada.
My movement intelligence started when I was 3 years old. I participated in gymnastics from age 3- 12. Gymnastics teaches great skill development such as; strength, flexibility, spatial awareness, and technique. With these four fundamental skills, the harder more advanced skills may come easier. I took my previous knowledge and developed skills that I learned from gymnastics and brought it to Cheerleading and found it easy to integrate into the sport.
This is a tumbling skill used in Cheerleading from levels 2-6 (6 is highest). Most commonly found in standing and running tumbling sections. It is a binding skill, meaning other skills are connected with it, such as a roundoff, or a back tuck.
Prep for Back Handspring
Breakdown of Back Handspring
Rehabilitation for a Concussion
A blow to the head resulting in bruising of the brain is not an easy injury to recovery from. It takes plenty of patience. A visit to a concussion specialist is recommend.
Steps to Cure a Concussion
Pre-game guidelines for Cheerleading
Cheerleading practices are very high intensity. My practices are 3 times 8 hours a week, plus open gym times and at home workouts. My body needs to be well prepared before workouts. Meals should be eaten 2-3 hours before practice.
A good meal to have before my evening practice would be:
1/4 cup of rice pasta pasta (carbs)
cooked tomatoes, basil and 1/4 cup of ground chicken (protein) as sauce
Garden salad with 2tbsp of quinoa (protein)
1 tbsp of homemade Italian dressing (olive oil, lemon, red wine vinegar and garlic)
For my morning practices a good meal for me would be:
1/3 a cup of steel cut oatmeal (carbs)
1/3 cup strawberries and blueberries
1 tbsp of cashew butter (protein),
1/2 cup of orange juice.
No pop (I do not like the bubbles)
I drink almond milk
Very little do I eat out
I am very good with trying to incorporate greens into every meal (i.e spinach in morning smoothie. Lettuce, spinach and green pepper in my sandwich at lunch, and broccoli soup at dinner ( 1/3 cup chicken broth, broccoli)
My comfort food is broccoli soup, I crave it.
No cows milk, I drink almond milk
I do not eat red meat
I binge eat hummus (its my favourite thing to eat after school with some grain crackers and cucumbers, but some times I end up eating almost half the tin without realizing it. From now on I will spoon out 2 tbsp of hummus then eat it).
A cup of coffee everyday. I am trying and replace coffee with tea.
I love orange juice. I am most likely not going stop drinking it.
Gluten free, Almond milk, and not eating Red Meat can be both good and bad things in my diet.
Gluten: sometimes added gluten in foods such as bread and crackers can be bad for the digestive system. I have recently noticed a dramatic change in the way I feel not eating gluten (less bloated, less tired). The dangerous aspect of gluten free foods are the replacement ingredients for gluten. They can be just as bad as gluten itself such as; corn starch, carrageenan (thickener), and xanthem gum. When shopping I try to look for ingredients such as rice flour or buckwheat flour instead.
Almond Milk: In my opinion Almond milk is really great; it has the same amount of calcium and vitamins as milk, it also has less calories and less saturated fat then regular milk. Although, the con is I am not getting the same amount of protein intake.
Red Meat: I have not eaten red meat since grade 10. I tried to be a full vegetarian but my body could not handle the lack of protein with the intense workout hours the came with Gymnastics and Cheerleading. I know red meat is a great source of protein and iron, but I feel that I can get these nutrients from other foods in my diet. There are plenty of saturated fats in red meat that can raise cholesterol, and I think it is unnecessary to ingest.
The brain needs to rest and in order to do so no stimulation is aloud. Therefore, a full week of doing nothing. No screens (TV, phone, computer). No bright lights or loud music and No exercise.
If the symptoms subside and athlete has gone a full week with no symptoms then refer to next step. But if after a week headaches, nausea, blurry vision, sensitivity to light and sound are still present then go back to step 1.
: Return to play Guidelines:
Start with light aerobic activity, to increase heart rate (i.e stationary bike at 50 RPM, for 5 mins). If no symptoms occur next step. If symptoms occur go back to step 1.
The next day or two days later, try to increase the intensity (i.e 70 RPM, for 15-20 mins). If no symptoms occur, continue.
Two days later, increase intensity even more (i.e 70 RPM for 30-60 mins).
Then take 2 or 3 days break. The next exercise would be moving the head up and down at different speeds (i.e lie on ground, stand up quick, sprint 100m).
If not symptoms occur the athlete is aloud to go back to practice but without contact. They can do work outs with the team, rep their tumbling skills, but absolutely not stunting.
Then after 1-3 weeks of no contact, the athlete is ready to train full contact. It is very important the athlete is monitoring how they feel throughout practices.
stage symptoms reoccur, athlete
return to Step 1*
Athlete needs to be flexible in their shoulders; Bridge stretches will help improve flexibility.
These drills will help improve technique for a back handspring
Athlete needs to have strong shoulders that can bare weight of their entire body; Handstand holds will improve strength.
Handstand shoulder pops are a good drill to help simulate the back handspring, and to create proper technique.
Handstand snap-down is a good drill to help simulate the end of a back handspring and to create proper technique.
Back swing/ Recovery