How to Become a Stronger Cheerleader Base

Опубликовал Admin
24-09-2016, 04:50
Cheerleading wows crowds with its dynamic energy and high-flying moves. If you are a cheerleader or want to be one, you know that behind those awesome moves is a lot of strength and training. You may even want to up your game a bit, though, and make yourself the best base you can be. You can become a stronger cheerleader base by building your leg strength, adding more upper body strength, and increasing your endurance.

Building Leg Strength

  1. Do walking lunges. A base is just that: a foundation for the team. You need to have strong legs that minimize weight and pressure on your back. One of the best exercises to strengthen all of your leg muscles is walking lunges. In addition, walking lunges can boost your abdominal strength when done properly.
    • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and rest your hands on your hips. Contract your abs by pulling your belly button towards your spine. Step forward with your right foot and bend your left knee until it is almost touching the floor. Push yourself back to standing and then lunge with your left foot.
    • Lunge from one end of the gym, field or your room to the opposite side. Repeat until you have 10-12 reps on each leg for one set. Gradually work up to 3 sets.
    • Hold light hand weights or dumbbells to build leg, arm, and core strength.
  2. Perform squats. Squats are another exercise to build overall leg strength. You can choose to do squats using your body weight or hold dumbbells or kettlebells to boost strength. If performed properly, you can also build key abdominal strength.
    • Stand up straight with your feet hip distance apart. Keep your toes, knees and hips in a straight line. Pull your abs towards your spine by contracting them.
    • Lower yourself slowly until your butt makes a straight line with your knees, which should be at 90 degree angles. Make sure to keep your knees are behind your toes to prevent injury. Slowly push yourself back to starting position.
    • Perform 10-12 reps for one set. Gradually build up to 3 sets.
  3. Do plies. Pliés are another great way to build leg strength. They also target some of the smaller muscles in your upper leg that help provide stability. You can also do pliés with light weights to increase your leg as well as upper body strength.
    • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and point your toes facing outward. You’ll probably think you look like a ballerina—this is the right position. Slowly bend your knees and lower down until your bum and knees are in one line. Then slowly raise back to starting position.
    • Perform 10-12 reps for one set. Build yourself up to three sets. You can also do as many plié squats as possible in 45 seconds, working up to 3-45 second rounds.
  4. Do calf raises. You need strong lower leg muscles to balance out your upper leg. Doing simple raises that engage your calf muscles can strengthen them and the smaller muscles of your ankles and feet. All of these will help you be a stronger and more stable base.
    • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on your hips. Push up slowly by lifting your heels off of the floor. You should now be balancing on the balls of your feet. Then slowly lower your heels back to floor. Do this 10-12 times for one set. Build up to 3 sets.
    • Hold a 5-10 pound dumbbell in each hand to increase strength in your calves and arms.

Adding Upper Body Strength

  1. Do pushups. In addition to needing strong legs to stabilize you and your teammates during moves, you also need a lot of arm strength. This helps you stabilize stunts when they are extended overhead. One of the best exercises to build arm and upper body strength are pushups. They target your chest, arm, and shoulder. Pushups can also build back and abdominal muscles.
    • Start in plank position. Extend your arms completely and keep your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Slowly bend your elbows and lower down your body until your chest almost reaches the floor. Engage your abs and leg muscles during each pushup to help build core and leg strength.
    • Perform half-plank, or knee, pushups if you can’t do full pushups from plank position. Get into full plank and then place your knees on the ground for half-plank position.
  2. Pull yourself up. Pull ups are another very effective ways to build the upper body strength you need as a base. Try different types of grips or pull up variations to develop your arm, shoulder, and back strength. In addition, pull ups can also challenge your core muscles.
    • Grasp an overhead bar with a narrow or wide grip. Hang securely from the bar and engage your upper body and abs. Then pull up your entire body until your chin clears the bar.
    • Try alternatives if you can’t do a full pull up from hanging position. Place a box under your feet and jump up until your chin is over the bar. Then return to starting position on the box. Keep doing the alternative jumping pull up until you build enough strength to perform regular pull-ups.
  3. Press weight overhead. Your shoulders also need to be strong to be a strong cheerleader base. Presses are a great way to build up your shoulders and arm muscles by lifting weight directly above your head.
    • Use a set of dumbbells or weighted bar for overhead presses. The weight should be comfortable but challenge you. Grip the dumbbells or bar slightly wider than your shoulders. Stand upright with your feet slightly apart and contract your abs as you press the weight straight upward until your arms are straight. Lower the weight back down and repeat for 10-12 reps.
    • Build up gradually to 3 sets of 10-12 reps.
  4. Dip your body weight. Tricep dips are another excellent exercise that can build arm strength and help you be a stronger cheerleading base. They also help build overall upper body and core strength.
    • Sit in a chair or on a bench with your back straight and feet flat on the floor. Hang on to the front edge and rotate your palms so that they face away from you. Walk your feet out in front of you so that your back lightly skims the chair or bench. Bend your elbows and slowly dip your body down. Lower down until your elbows are at a 90 degree angle. Straighten your elbows and push back up to the starting position.
    • Repeat for 10-12 reps for one set. Build up your strength until you can do 3 sets.

Increasing Your Cardiovascular Endurance

  1. Do cardio three or more days a week. Being a cheerleading base requires not only physical strength, but also endurance. Combining your strength training with cardio can boost your overall strength and ability to perform routines that usually last a few minutes. You should get at least three days of cardio every week, but may want to do up to 5 -6 days.
    • Aim for 150 minutes of activity every week. This total can include your cardio and strength training. You may want to do 75 minutes of vigorous cardio and 75 minutes of more moderate strength training.
    • Choose cardio that challenge your body and complements your cheering. For example, running, biking, and jumping rope can build endurance and leg strength. Other sports such as rowing swimming boost endurance while building overall body strength. You can mix these sports to get the most benefit out of them.
  2. Participate in fitness classes. If you find it hard to motivate yourself to do cardio, consider trying out different classes at a local gym. Cardio burn, barre, and boot camp classes can help you get build endurance. Many classes work with free weights that also make your muscles stronger. Take part in a class as an alternative to cardio.
    • Ask a coach for suggestions about the types of classes that may benefit you as a cheerleading base. Something that is a mixture of cardio and strength may be a great option for you.
  3. Try yoga or Pilates. Consider adding a day of yoga or Pilates to your weekly exercise to be a stronger cheerleading base. You can take a class in a studio or online. Yoga and Pilates are lower-impact exercises that can strengthen and stretch your muscles. They may also boost your cardiovascular endurance.
    • Recognize that yoga and Pilates have poses and exercises that can target specific muscle groups, such as your legs and arms. They are also great at building flexibility, which is an important part of being a strong base.
  4. Allow yourself to rest. Every individual needs enough rest to recover from any type of activity. This is especially true if you’re training hard to be the best cheerleader and base you can be. Allowing yourself to rest when your body is tired can help your body recover as well as promote strength and endurance. Not getting enough rest may even reverse all of your hard training.
    • Sleep for 8-9 hours every night. Take a 30 minute nap to relax and refresh if you feel tired.

Practicing Cheerleading Moves with Others

  1. Ask fellow cheerleaders to practice with you. A great way to build more strength to your bases and put your conditioning to work is to practice your routines. See if your teammates or fellow cheerleaders would like to practice with you. This can help you—and them—become stronger and better bases or flyers.
    • Figure out what skills you and your fellow cheerleaders need to practice. It could be things such as dipping to lift, timing, or hand position. Once you’ve done this, come up with a plan to practice the skills you and your teammates want to develop. Remember to build up skills gradually.
    • Make sure you have someone who can spot moves as you practice. This can minimize the risk of injury.
  2. Rehearse lifts. As a base, it’s your job to boost flyers and be their stable foundation and landing spot. Using the strength you built with weights and endurance training, practice your lifts with your teammates or fellow cheerleaders. This can not only refine your base skills, but also build more strength.
    • Use any routines you may have as your guide post for what lifts to practice. Specifically targeting moves you’ll use can help you be a stronger base and develop your skills.
    • Consider starting out with toss drills, which can prepare you to move on to full lifts. For example, maybe you need to work on dipping deeper to lift your flyer higher. You could start out with some deep squats by yourself, move to practicing deep lifts with a partner, and then try a few full lifts.
    • Make sure you’re paying attention to elements such as proper hand position and timing. Both are components of being a strong base.
  3. Improve your catching. Another key job of a cheerleading base is catching flyers. After you lift or boost your flyer, you’ll need to catch the person in the most stable way possible. As you work on your lifting skills, make sure to practice your catching as well.
    • Work on catching as a unit with other bases as well as individual catches. Focus on elements such as hand position, timing, and keeping your muscles as engaged as possible. These elements can ensure that you and your flyer stay safe during catches.
    • Talk to flyers and coaches to get tips on how you might be a stronger and more effective base.


  • Pay attention to your body. If something doesn’t feel right or hurts too much, let your coach or a trainer know. This can minimize your risk of injury that may keep you from cheerleading.
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