"without a conductor there is no orchestra, without cheerleaders it's only a game!"
Before beginning any type of routine for jumping (or any cheerleading activity) stretch out. This is very important. Without stretching, jumps will not hit the best position possible. Plus, injuries can occur when the body is not fully stretched. Make sure the entire body is stretched, including neck and arms! The whole body is used in jumping, not just the legs. Once stretched jumping may begin.
There are a lot of things one must do to get jumps high, and have legs hit a great position. It is essential to practice jumping at least every other day. For best results, jump daily. Without practice it will be nearly impossible to get the best jump your body is capable of. Do not get discouraged if you do not see results right away. You can not expect miracles over night. Just keep practicing.
Parts off the Jump Prep: The prep is what helps get the jump off the ground. There are several types of preps used in cheerleading today. Described is the most popular prep used in cheerleading today. Most other preps are variations of the described prep.
1. Start with feet together, and hands by side.
2. Quickly bring arms into a high V. Pull up through the shoulders and go up onto tipytoes. (This motion should be done fast, and with a lot of power.)
3. Next, swing arms in front of body. As arms come down cross one over the other. Bend knees at the same time. Be sure to stay tight throughout this motion.
4.Now, swing arms back up, lifting through the legs. Concentrate on pushing off the ground. Use toes to get extra height.
Jump: When in the air keep the head up, and back straight. Looking
down will cause the rest of the body to follow. Keep toes pointed at all times. This is very important for the visual appeal of the jump. Do not reach for the toes in jumps. If you touch the toes, it may stop the jump from achieving the hyper-extended position. Instead, reach for the inside of the shoe.
Landing: Landing seems to be one part of jumping that people do not put a lot of emphasis on. However, landing is a very important part of the jump. Without a great landing, the whole jump can look awful.
Whip legs shut when coming down from a jump. Use the same, if not more power going into the jump. Do not float down from a jump. This could result in the famous "legs apart" landing.
When hitting the ground absorb the pressure through the balls of the feet. Avoid landing flat footed. If a loud thump is heard when landing, most likely something is wrong. When landing bend the knees to absorb some of the shock. Do not land with the knees locked. This is very dangerous.
Jump drills help with form, control, height, and overall execution of the jump. Jump drills are extremely important to improve jumps. Try doing these jump drills daily, or every other day.
Prep Drill: The first drill is for beginner jumpers. However, all cheerleaders can benefit from the drill. For this drill use the prep approach for jumping explained above, but don't jump. This will
train you as to how to control your upper body.
First put arms in a high V, shrug shoulders and raise the whole body up. Make sure to say tight throughout the arms. Next bring arms in front of the body, crossing them . Then, hit a T motion and go on tipsy toes. Do this a few times daily do get the feeling of the motion.
Leg Whip: The next drill is designed to help landings. It helps eliminate landing with the legs apart. Hit a T motion and kick one leg up as high as possible, without losing the correct form (back straight, leg not bent, and toes pointed). Make sure to whip the leg back down. Do not whip them up, than let them glide back down. Make sure it goes down just as fast as up, if not faster. If you have a weaker (less flexible) leg. Do double on that side, this will even them.
Jump Jump Jump: You want height in jumps, but you are only going to get this if you have strength and power. Doing many jumps will help obtain this. Do 10 verticals, 10 tucks, 10 frogs, 10 verticals, 10 tucks, 10 frogs. Then move onto the more advanced jumps. Do one toe-touch, one herkie, one front hurdler...etc. Next, move to 2, 3 and 4 jumps in a row. If slighlty out of breath during this drill, that is ok. However, you should not be breathing excessively hard, and be able to carry on a conversation. It is suggested to build up to doing at least 100 jumps in a sitting (this includes the verticals, tucks and frogs). However, increase the amount done over time. Start with 25-50 depending on the current physical fitness. Extra
Find a friend who will do jumping drills with you. You can encourage one another to hit one more jump! Also, video tape yourself jumping. You can go back and look at what you need improvement on. If you tape yourself save it, than tape yourself a couple weeks later, you will see an improvement in your jumps!