There are many a kind of jumps in cheerleading. From basic to moderate to advanced. In this article we shall talk about pikes, a particular kind of cheerleading jump that can be labeled, difficulty wise, as moderate to advance. They can be really hard to perfect, but it is definitely worth the time and effort.
What is a pike jump in cheerleading? Pike is one of the several kinds of jumps, wherein, one jumps and bends into a ‘C’ in the air while keeping the arms and legs parallel to the ground. It requires a great amount of flexibility, power, and energy to perform this. Read on to know more about how you can prepare yourself and deliver a perfect pike.
Before going on to the intricacies and technicalities of pike jumps, how to do them, how to perfect them so on and so forth, we shall get an idea of how simple, basic jump entries are prepared for. A flyer has to exhibit the most difficult jumps in cheerleading. Learn What Are The Requirements To Be A Flyer For Cheerleading?
How to do a basic entry jump?
Step 1: Start the jump entry with the feet together. The performer’s arms should be straight down on the side and hands in wrapped in fists.
Step 2: Clap once and put your arms into a high and mighty ‘V’ position.
Step 3: While following the previous step, the performer should bend his or her knees and cross their arms down into an ‘X’ position placed in front of the knees.
Step 4: As the performer continues to swing their arms motioning back out and up into a “T” or a “V” (depending on one’s final position), prepare, get, set , ready and… jump!
It is to be kept in mind that of these steps are to be practiced non-stop in a consecutive manner, as if there are no breakdowns of steps.
How to perform pike jumps?
Step 1: Start the jump entry with your feet together. The performer’s arms should be straight down on the side and hands in wrapped in fists.
Step 2: Clap your hands and put your arms into a high and mighty ‘V’ position.
Step 3: While following the previous step, the performer should bend his or her knees and cross their arms downward into an ‘X’ position placed in front of the knees.
Step 4: As the performer continues to swing their arms motioning back out and up into a “T” or a “V”.
The performer’s legs will be bending, during entry into the jump, but not at all after that.
Step 5: Keeping the legs together, pull them straight out in front at a 90 degree angle, bring them up as high and close to the chest as possible.
Step 6: At the very same time, lean the upper body forward and reach for the toes (that shall be pointed at all times), keeping the arms straight and your hands in a fist. Try to keep the legs and arms parallel to the ground when jumping, and while in the air.
Step 7: Upon landing from the jump, the performer should bend his or her knees slightly to absorb any shock. Bend the arms toward yourself and pull them towards your chest, with your hands folded to fists.
Step 8: Straighten the knees and clap once again for the final touch.
Watch this youtube video for a more detailed learning approach.
How to perfect a pike jump? Practice and Practice
Some tips, if I may:
Cheerleaders should sit on the ground with both legs stretched straight in front. Try and reach for the pointed toes. This is known as a pike stretch.
They should practice pikes in front of a mirror to understand and correct their body posture.
Cheerleaders should always be well stretched and warmed up before attempting to jump. Otherwise there can be a profound possibility of spraining or pulling of any muscle.
They should always be chinned up, head straight and not be looking down in any instance. It causes the jump height to suffer, and also subjects the neck to possible severe injury.
During a pike, cheerleaders should consciously bring the legs as close to the body and hands as possible, not the other way around.
There you go! A perfect pike!
Preparation for the cheerleaders
One needs to be really flexible and motivated to perform any kind of jumps. They are very risky and if not done properly, can have unwanted results. Hence, practicing is of essential value here.
What is a toe touching in cheerleading?
One must practice splits and stretch every part of their body for starters. Also, keep the toes pointed and try to bend and touch them with your hands while in a standing position, sitting position with legs stretched in front, and sidewise while sitting with legs bifurcated diagonally.
Push yourself as much as possible, till the time you are easily able to hold the tip of your toes with your fists. Stretch back and forth, do twists, and some very basic exercises. Even if one is unable to perform pikes, it is mandatory for a performer, especially a cheerleader to be fit and energetic!
There are a lot of videos available on Youtube, where you will be able to see step-wise how various jumps are performed and how to train yourself to the extent that you have no difficulty in performing jumps.
Although pike is not a beginner level jump, but a bit inclined towards moderate, there is no harm in preparing one’s mind by watching the videos and doing some reading online (just like this article!).
Even if one cannot perform jumps, it never hurts to keep oneself pushing and learning and keeping oneself fit and fine.
Final Thoughts – Taking care of yourself
It is alright if on-field the jumps go wrong, any accident or a major blunder on the field is unprecedented in all aspects. So don’t be too harsh on yourself. Yes, rigorous practice is of utmost importance, but so is rest and being understanding towards your physique.
Taking care is as crucial as training your body and mind. Warm-ups and freehand exercises are important, but more so, on-field the most important things a cheerleader carries are their charming smile and positive attitude.
So, let’s get ready!