Cheerleading – is it for you?

If your current workout routine is leaving you feeling unmotivated it may be time to try a new activity to put the excitement back into getting fit.

The solution for this common dilemma may be found in an energetic and sociable sport which has y become popular in the UK. Give me a ‘C’, give me a ‘H’, give me a ‘E’, give me a ‘E’, give me a ‘R’!

Cheerleading arrived in the UK from America in the 1980s. Stereotypically, this is an activity for 16 year old American college students, cheering on their team from the side of a sports pitch in frilly skirts and waving pom poms, but that’s way off the mark from today’s physically challenging athletic routines which are a spectacle to see and thrilling to participate in.

The solution to your problems

The UK Cheerleading Association’s mission is clear: “To provide a channel for health and social education through Cheerleading to all young people regardless of sex, class, creed, culture, race or physical limitation”.

Their aims are as follows:

1) To raise self-esteem, build confidence and encourage self-discipline.
2) To develop friendship, mutual trust and respect through teamwork.
3) To educate through ‘fun’ on health and social issues.

If you are still not convinced it may help to look a little further into what Cheerleading has to offer and following this you may just be tempted to ditch the gym and give it a go.

Fitness – tick!

To be a cheerleader you’ve got to be fit in order to successfully complete the routines. Tumbling, dancing andjumping require both stamina and endurance. Although a single routine may only last a few minutes, learning the technical choreography requires hours of practice, which will greatly improve your fitness.

Strength – tick!

It’s not just your cardiovascular fitness that will improve. Lifting, carrying and holding certain positions (we’ve all seen the pyramid stunt) rely on a lot of strength, most notably your core and upper body.

Flexibility – tick!

Cheerleading is a form of dance and many routines require high jumps, kicks and, in some cases, the splits. All of these moves require a huge amount of flexibility.

Balance – tick!

It is a simple fact that jumping on one leg, moving in very close proximity with others and holding certain positions require a lot of balance and coordination. It is highly unlikely that you will ever see a cheerleader who can’t dance and balance is an important skill for any dancer to hold.

Discipline – tick!

Working to such a strict routine requires dedication and application. You won’t be able to complete the ‘perfect routine’ without training, which is built upon willpower and discipline.

Teamwork – tick!

No other exercise epitomises teamwork more than cheerleading. A whole routine relies on the entire team; you have to put a significant amount of trust in others in order to perform a great routine as well as ensuring your own safety and that of others.

Confidence – tick!

Cheerleading is an act; it’s a true performance. Working in a team and often performing in front of judges requires a great deal of showmanship, which will help build confidence and self-belief.

A sport like no other

Cheerleading is a sport and exercise designed to improve health and fitness like no other. Nothing will compare to the dynamic, energetic and often risky nature of this particular sport. It’s an exhilarating activity, which will push your whole body to the limit.

However, Cheerleading does come with a warning: any exercise that involves jumping and flipping, plus placing a lot of trust in your teammates, increases the chances of accidents occurring. Our insurance policy – in association with UK Cheerleading – covers coaches and cheerleaders for any accident which results in an injury. This provides the whole team with peace of mind when taking their routines to the next level in this great sport.

Are you interested in becoming a cheerleader or want to know more, then visit UK Cheerleading at www.ukca.org.uk

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