Ultimate List of Cheer Stunts and Cheerleading Moves

The basics of cheerleading are simple but important to learn. Perfecting the proper technique of simple cheerleading moves will not only allow you to progress to more-advanced skills, but also ensure you are safe while doing so. This article will break down how to do cheerleading for beginners.

Motions

Motions, simple arm movements, are the most basic cheerleading moves. Although there are many cheer motions, the clasp, high-V, T-motion, touchdown and cone are most frequently used in a routine. It is important to practice the correct technique of every motion and perform each one sharply.

Clasp

The clasp is the way cheerleaders clap. Start with your arms by your side. Bend your arms at the elbow, cup your hands together and clap. It is important to note that, from your side, you should bring your arms up directly in front of your body. Make sure your clasp is placed in front of your face and your elbows are together.

High-V

To execute a high-V, lift your arms to resemble the letter “V”. Arms should be straight and placed slightly in front of the rest of your body. Your hands should be in tight fists with your fingers turned away from the body.

T-Motion

Start with your arms by your side. Lift your arms to resemble the letter “T”. Arms should be straight and placed slightly in front of the rest of the body. Your hands should be in tight fists with your fingers facing the floor.

Touchdown

To execute a touchdown motion, lift your arms until they are above your head. Your arms should be straight and your biceps should be touching your ears. Your hands should be in tight fists with your fingers facing each other.

Cone

While the cone motion is not performed frequently in a motion section, it is used in the entry to cheerleading jumps. The cone is very similar to the touchdown motion, however, your hands should be clasped at the top of the motion.

Jumps

Jumps are a fundamental part of cheerleading. Each team performs a jump section in their routine, so it is crucial to learn proper jump technique and make sure you can execute jumps on the right count. All jumps should be performed to an 8-count. A jump section is typically comprised of a toe touch, a hurdler and a pike jump. While beginners may execute one jump at a time, upper-level teams may do two or more jumps consecutively. The motions explained earlier in this article will be key to properly executing these cheer moves.

There are two sets of motions that are commonly used when beginning a jump. Below is the breakdown of each motion and its designated count.

High-V Approach

1. Clasp.
2. Hit your high-V.
3. Squat into a sitting position. Bring both arms down in front of you, stacking one fist on top of the other without dropping your chest.
4. Execute the jump.
5-6. Land with your feet together.
7-8. Stand up clean. Arms should be by your side.

This approach is used for entry into toe touches.

Cone-Motion Approach

1. Clasp.
2. Hit your cone motion.
3. Squat into a sitting position. Bring your cone motion down in front of you, keeping your hands clasped and your chest up.
4. Execute the jump.
5-6. Land with your feet together.
7-8. Stand up clean. Arms should be by your side.

This approach is used for entry into hurdlers and pike jumps. It also can be used for entry into toe touches.

Toe Touch

Select one of the jump entries to begin your toe touch.

From the squat, jump and lift both legs into a straddle position. Hit a sharp T-motion. Make sure your chest is up, legs are straight and toes are pointed. Snap your legs down and bring your arms in tight by your side. Complete the jump by landing with your feet together.

Hurdler (left and right)

Begin the jump with the cone-motion approach.

From the squat, jump and lift either the left or right leg straight in front of you. The goal is to bring your front leg to your chest, but do not drop your chest to do so. Keep your chest up and eyes facing forwards. Kick your back leg behind you and bend at the knee. Both legs should hit these positions at the same time. Hit a sharp touchdown motion, but place it slightly in front of you (as opposed to your arms being by your ears). Make sure your legs are straight and toes are pointed. Snap your legs down and bring your arms in tight by your side. Complete the jump by landing with your feet together.

Pike

Begin the jump with the cone-motion approach.

From the squat, jump and lift both legs straight in front of you into a pike position. In this jump, you are allowed to drop your chest to meet your legs at the top of the jump. The motion you will hit is similar to a touchdown motion, but your arms should be extended straight in front of you. Make sure your legs are straight and toes are pointed. Snap your legs down and bring your arms in tight by your side. Complete the jump by landing with your feet together.

Stunts

Stunting requires teamwork, as four cheerleaders must work together to put up a stunt. A stunt group consists of a flyer, two side bases and a back spot. Adding a front spot is always preferred but not required. Once you perfect a few of the most basic and easy cheer stunts, you group will be able to progress to more difficult stunts.

Begin all basic cheerleading stunts with the side bases in front, standing shoulder-to-shoulder. The flyer should stand behind the bases with the back spot directly behind flyer.

Bases, back spots, and flyers need tools to help them get better. We’ve got what you need.
Training Equipment for Flyers
Training Equipment for Bases and Back Spots

Thigh-stand

Side bases- Squat into a deep lunge, with the inside leg bent and the outside leg straight. It is crucial for the bases to get close to one another to create a stable foundation for the flyer to stand on. Ensure the bases’ legs are be lined up from the knee to the foot.

When the flyer steps into the thigh stand, the side bases will hook their arms behind her knees with their inside arm. Both bases will place their other hand under the ball of the flyer’s foot to provide a solid platform. For more advanced groups, bases can hit a motion with their outside arm, like a high-V.

Flyers- Start with one foot at the top of the base’s thigh and both hands on the bases’ shoulders. Dip, push off the bases, and place the remaining foot on the other base’s thigh. Stand up straight and squeeze. Hit a high-V motion at the top of the stunt.

Back spot- Start by gripping the flyer by her waist. Guide her up to the top of the thigh stand. Do not release the flyer until she is safely back on the floor.

Prep or Half

Side bases- Begin by facing each other. It is crucial for the bases to get close to one another to create a stable foundation for the flyer to stand on. Bases will bend both legs into a deep squat, keeping their chest up and core tight at all times. Arms should be bent at the elbow with one hand placed over the other.

When the flyer jumps in, the bases will simultaneously dip using their legs, stand up and lift the flyer up into a prep. The flyer’s feet should be directly under the bases’ chins.

Flyers- Begin by gripping the bases’ shoulders. Based on preference of the stunt group, flyers may choose to start with one foot in the base’s hand or jump into the stunt with both feet.

Jump into the stunt, keeping both legs bent and ankles together. This position is called a “squish” or “smoosh”. From this position, push off the bases’ shoulders, stand up and squeeze. Hit a high-V motion at the top of the prep.

Back spot- Start by gripping the flyer by her waist. When the flyer jumps into the smoosh position, place your hands on her glutes and drive her to the top of the stunt. When she hits the top, grip the ankles and gently pull up to help assist the bases with holding the weight of the flyer.

Extension

All positions of the stunt group will execute the same steps as the prep; however, the bases and the back spot will straighten their arms, progressing the prep into a full extension.

Tumbling

Tumbling is one of the most exciting elements of cheerleading to watch but usually the hardest for cheerleaders to learn. Although cheerleaders do not compete handstands in a routine, having a perfect handstand is essential to being able to throw round-offs and back handsprings. All running tumbling passes begin with a round-off, which is often followed by a back handspring. These two skills set up a tumbling passe to end in a harder skill, such as a back tuck, layout, full or double full. For this reason, cheerleaders must practice these three cheerleading tricks for beginners.

Handstand

Start by placing one leg in front of you Your front leg should be in a lunge position, while you back leg is straight. The leg you place in front can be determined by which hand you write with, but ultimately, you must decide which feels the most comfortable leading you into the handstand. Your arms should remain by your ears until completion of the skill.

Lift your back leg while simultaneously reaching towards the floor. Kick up into a handstand. In the handstand, your entire body should be tight. Hold it for 1-3 seconds. When you are ready to come down, bring your front leg down first. Complete the skill by finishing in the lunge position with your arms by your ears.

Round-off

Before you begin, determine which way you will be turning your hands in the round-off. If you start the round-off with your left leg in front, you will be turning your hands to the left. You will turn your hands to the right if you begin with your right leg in front.

Start in the same lunge position you began your handstand in, with your arms by your ears. Lift your back leg while simultaneously reaching towards the floor. As your hands are about the touch the floor, turn them 90 degrees to the left or right. Kick the remaining leg and continue your rotation until you are in a handstand position. As you snap both feet down, you will do another 90 degree twist and lift your chest up. Upon finishing the skill, you should be facing the direction you came from, having completed a 180 degree turn. Your arms should remain by your ears until completion of the skill.

Back handspring

Begin the back handspring by bending your legs into a sitting position and swinging your arms behind you. Be sure to keep your chest up during this step. As you stand up from the squat, swing your arms up and jump backwards into the handspring. At the top of the handspring, you will hit the handstand position. It is crucial to keep your arms straight and by your ears to prevent you from hitting your head. Be sure your core is tight and your legs are together. Snap both feet down and lift your chest up. Your arms should remain by your ears until completion of the skill.

Kiara Nowlin is a 3x cheerleading and power tumbling world champion. For 10 years, she has traveled across the US and internationally hosting tumbling clinics. Nowlin won three national championship titles as a member of the Baylor University Acrobatics & Tumbling team, where she also earned spots on both the Academic and NCATA All-American team. She graduated with a major in public relations and minor in Mandarin Chinese.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright 2018 Cheerleadingstuntstand.com All Rights Reserved