To this day, the toe touch is the most commonly know jump in the cheerleading world. With school cheerleading tryouts fast approaching, having hyper-extended jumps is an easy way to score 10 points on your tryout score sheet and separate yourself from the rest. Unlike tumbling, you can practice your jumps everyday at home, which will help to build the muscles required to have hyper-extended jumps. At MGA Cheer Extreme, we use 5 key jump exercises to help improve our members’ jumps in our Jumps to Make them Jealous class.
Approach and Arm Placement
The first thing a cheerleader should practice is the arm placement! When performing a toe touch, if you place your arms slightly below a t motion, you can create the illusion of hyper-extended toe touches. To start practicing the proper approach with proper arm placement, the athlete should perform T-jumps. Perform this exercise everyday focusing on make sure your arms are in the T or Low-T position.
Hyper-extended toe touches take speed, power, and your ability to roll your knees back (or sitting into your jump). By focusing on slow t- kicks, your athlete will develop the muscle memory of proper arm placement, the speed and strength to kick the leg to the level position, as well as develop the muscle memory to roll knees back. Standing tall with your feet together, you will hit a sharp low T on 5,6 hold 7,8, and then kick 1, and clean on two. Repeat the process 10 times on each leg.
While the slow T kicks will help you create one hyper-extended toe touch, fast t-kicks are designed to teach you to snap your legs back together and perform multiple connected jumps. Stand tall with your chest up and feet together. Hit your low T on 7,8. Kick on 1 together 2, then kick on 3 together 4, kick 5 together 6, kick 7 together 8. Repeat this exercise for 2 to 3 8 cts.
Seat Hip Rolls
“The hip flexors are a group of muscles in the front of the hip that act to lift the knee and bring the thigh towards the abdomen.” (Hip Flexors: strength & flexibility,) To perform a hyper-extended toe touch, you must learn to roll your hips back so your knees will face the back. Doing seated hip rolls will help you build the strength, plus teach you exactly where your legs should go in a toe touch. Start by sitting in a pike with your arms behind you. Next lift through your hip flexors, roll your knees back, and hold your legs in a toe touch position for an 8 count the bring them back to a pike. Repeat this process for a set of up to 10.
Approach Hip Rolls
Now that you have the concept of how your arms should work in a jump as well as how your legs work in a jump, you want to add both of them together for a seated hip roll exercise.
While there are a lot of exercises that you can do to help improve your jumps, these are our top 5 exercises that MGA Cheer Extreme uses to help develop the hyper-extended toe touch. If you would like to improve your jumps, give us a call today and ask us about our “Jumps to Make Them Jealous Class!”