There are many ways to improve on your jumps. Some techniques are better than others depending on which jump you perform. Here are some quick tips to on one of the most common jumps in cheerleading: the Toe Touch.
First, make sure you are getting the most out of your jump approach. It is the first thing that an audience will see when you perform your jump, so be sure to make a good first impression!
A lot of cheerleaders will sling their arms back after hitting their High-V. However, this doesn't help you! It just looks sloppy! So remember, if you hit your motions before the jump correctly it will help to make your jump sharper and cleaner.
It's all in the toes
Jump off of your Toes! Many cheerleaders think that using the whole foot to spring off the ground will make you jump higher. This however is a myth. Jumping off of the balls off your feet will actually make your jumps higher!
It is also very important not to bring your chest down. You don't actually want to "touch your toes" in a toe touch (I know this sounds silly, but it's true). When in the jump you want your arms to be in a "T" motion and your chest should remain straight up. You should be able to see what's in front of you.
Getting full extension
SIT BACK! Roll your hips under like you are sitting in a chair. You want to try to point your knees up to the ceiling instead of simply straight in front of you. This will help you achieve that "hyperextended" feeling in your jump.
Keeping your legs straight
Point your toes and smile! Flexed feet can make even the highest toe touch look sloppy. Also it is very important not to bend your legs during this jump. They should be straight out to either side of you. The only time you should slightly bend your legs is when you land.
Finishing your routine
The landing is the last thing the judges will see, so keep it clean! Make sure to snap your legs down fast and land with those feet together!
Kelly Fitzpatrick is a cheerleading and gymnastics coach for PJC Gymnastics. She is also a summer and competition staff coach for Cheerleading Technique Camps (CTC).