Common Mistakes that cause injuries in Cheerleading
Strength is often overlooked in cheerleading in preference of stretching. Whilst flexibility is important particularly if you are a flyer, strength is the most important factor in injury prevention.
Bases require a great deal of strength particularly in their core, their legs and their shoulders. Weaknesses cause other areas to have to work harder or you will find your stunts falling or wobbling.
Flyers require specific core and hip strengthening to maintain strong and stick their shapes in the air as well as on the floor.
Overloading injuries are common in cheerleading. Particularly when starting a new season, the build up to competition or starting with a new team. Progressing through the levels too soon also increases your injury risk. As each level requires more training strength and stamina this creates a big jump up in your training loads. It is likely it will increase the work you need to do outside of the cheer gym to be successful at your level.
Injury risk is increased when the amount you are training varies by more than 10% each week.
Do you groan when your coach asks you to go full out one more time? Do you make more mistakes towards the end of your training session?
Even though your routine is over in 2 mins 30 seconds your cardiovascular fitness is still really important. Most injuries occur during training when you are training hard. Reducing the fatigue with improved stamina helps prevent injuries during your longer training sessions.
There are lots of different ways you can achieve a stunt and different coaches will have different styles and ideas. However, there are some fundamental errors in technique which puts you more at risk of gaining injuries.
For example, if you are a base, your back posture has a huge impact on how strongly you are able to hold a stunt, how quickly you become fatigued and whether you feel pain. Many bases and back spots struggle to understand how to maintain good posture whilst stunting and this can come down to strength and the ability to separate your hip movements and your lower back movements.
Read more on strengthening exercises for cheerleading bases and back spots.
Training through an injury
How many times have you had an injury that you train through and never have looked at. Is your solution to tape your wrist or ankle for the rest of your cheerleading career?
Although the obvious disadvantage of training through an injury is that your injury may not resolve, but having this weakness makes you more vulnerable to picking up injuries elsewhere as you adjust your technique, developing bad habits.
The best way to resolve an injury is to have it looked at by a professional early on. This will mean you will have less time away from training and competing in the long run and you are more likely to resolve your symptoms.
If you are still struggling, talk to a physiotherapist who understands your sport. This will enable you to compete and train at your maximum potential.
How can Physiotherapy help you?
At Melbourne Sports Physiotherapy our goal is to get you moving pain free as soon as possible.
But, we also want you to actually move better and live a healthier, more active and fulfilling life!
If your work has been wearing your body down, book in with one of our expert physiotherapists so we can help you reduce your pain and bullet proof your body so that you can keep working in the long run.
If you are showing some signs of injury or simply want help staying injury-free then book in with one of our highly experienced Physiotherapists today!