The cheerleading pike jump is a powerful, yet basic, move. Like all cheerleading jumps, the pike requires strength, flexibility and endurance. To add height to your pike jump, you can benefit from analyzing its components. You can learn a great deal by examining the individual elements of your jump and checking for points of weakness or imprecision. Once you break down and analyze your pike jump -- perhaps with feedback from a teammate or coach -- you can take specific measures to increase its height.
Engage your abdominal muscles as you rise onto the balls of your feet in preparation for your pike. Avoid arching your upper back, throwing your chest forward or spreading your arms too wide. Keep your center of gravity directly over your toes.
Bend your knees, pressing both feet firmly into the floor. Avoid shifting your weight or bouncing up and down before pushing up for the jump. Avoiding small weight shifts of this sort so will help you achieve a solid base from which to push upward.
Engage your abdominal muscles as you jump. Push off from the depth of your knee-bend, working through the balls of your feet and using the floor as a springboard.
Lift your torso as well as your legs, keeping your head in line with your back. Fully extend your legs in a pike position with pointed feet, drawing your legs up to your arms rather than lowering your arms to your legs.
Use strong, precise arm movements to help power your jump. Avoid lowering your arms below shoulder height. Keeping arms at or above shoulder-height can create the impression of greater elevation.
Tips & Warnings
- You can increase the height of all your jumps by engaging in conditioning exercises such as squat and box jumps, forward lunges and step-ups. Such exercises build strength in the leg muscles that power your jumps.
- Exercises that target the core muscles will help you gain stability during your take-off.
- Stretching your hip flexors, calves, quads and hamstrings can give you the flexibility you need both in your preparatory knee-bend and at the peak of your pike jump.
- "Complete Cheerleading"; Justin Carrier, et al.; 2006
- Ace Fitness: Upper Leg Exercises
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