Lifting the Spirit: The Vital Role of Strength Training in Cheerleading

Strength training is essential for cheerleaders as it helps them build the necessary muscular strength, endurance, and power required to perform the various physical movements of cheerleading safely and effectively. Many of the movements used while stunting and tumbling are unilateral which oftentimes creates imbalances in the body. Regular strength training is the most effective way of fixing these problems and more importantly preventing them. 

The stigma about strength training

There is a belief that weightlifting will result in gaining too much muscle mass too quickly and make cheerleader’s ‘become bulky’. For this to happen you have to be eating, training and living a very specific way. This style of training is counter productive to what we are trying to do in cheerleading. The style of strength training we need to focus on is going to make the athlete stronger and more powerful but size wouldn't be affected much.

The Benefits of Strength Training: 

  • Improved muscle strength
  • Increased endurance
  • Better flexibility
  • Reduced risk of injury
  • Enhanced cognitive function
  • Increase execution of stunting and tumbling technique
  • Increased mobility

Improved Muscle Strength

Strength training is one of the best ways to improve muscle strength, which is critical in cheerleading. Cheerleading requires explosive movements such as jumps, tumbling, and stunting that rely on the strength of the lower body and translation through the core and upper body. Regular strength training can help cheerleaders build and maintain the necessary strength to perform these moves safely and effectively.

Increased Endurance

Cheerleading is a demanding sport that requires a lot of endurance. Cheerleaders need to be able to maintain their energy levels throughout long routines that can last several minutes. Strength training can help improve endurance by increasing the number of muscle fibers, making them more efficient at using oxygen.

Better Flexibility

While cheerleading requires a lot of strength, it also requires a lot of flexibility. Cheerleaders need to be able to perform various moves that require a high degree of flexibility, such as splits and kicks. Strength training can help improve flexibility by increasing the range of motion of the joints, which can help cheerleaders perform these moves more easily and with less risk of injury.

Reduced Risk of Injury

Speaking on injury, one of the most significant benefits of strength training for cheerleaders is that it reduces the risk of injury. Cheerleading involves constant high-impact movements, which can put a lot of stress on the body. Regular strength training can help build the muscles and connective tissues that support the joints, making them less susceptible to injury.

How Can Cheerleaders Engage in Strength Training?

There are many ways that cheerleaders can workout, including weightlifting, bodyweight exercises, and resistance band training. Weightlifting is an excellent way to build muscle mass and increase strength, but it requires proper form and technique to avoid injury. Bodyweight exercises, such as push-ups, squats, and lunges, are also effective at building strength and endurance and can be done anywhere. Resistance band training is another effective way to build strength and improve flexibility, as it allows for a wide range of exercises to be performed. The optimal strength training routine will involve all of these forms of strength training.

How strength training can reduce the risk of mental blocks

We have all heard the phrase, “Tumbling is 80% mental and 20% physical.” While this is true it's going to require  an athlete to meet a certain requirement of strength. My point is that stunting is the same way. Many people who start cheer are expected to pick up stunting and completely be able to execute the technique. While this would be ideal, it's not accurate. Athletes are constantly building mental blocks because they physically aren't strong enough to throw a skill but still do and build bad habits. The mind is smart and while you think you are just holding yourself back from doing the skill, your mind is telling you not to so that you don't hurt yourself. 


In conclusion, strength training is an essential component of cheerleading that can help cheerleaders in many fascists of their sport. Any athlete or team wanting to do more and be more is going to need to incorporate strength training to their training regiment. While its beneficial to the sport, it's a very uncommon activity for cheerleaders to engage in. Instead of trying to just figure it out, reach out to us at Hybrid so that we can teach you the correct movements and give you the correct training routine. 

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