I was cleaning out my closet the other day and I stumbled upon my old Ben-Gals pom-poms. Along with great memories, they also brought back my sense of team spirit! These cheer-inspired moves demonstrate the athleticism that the sport is known for. These movements are about precision. Make sure all your motions are swift and crisp. Many of these moves also involve balance work, which immediately kicks those core stabilizers into gear. Join my team and let’s get pumped!
Fire It Ups: Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, hands comfortably at your sides. Step back with you right leg and cross it behind your left. Bend your knees, keeping your chest up and cross your right arm over your body, landing outside your left knee. Don’t bend over, keep your hips straight. Lift your right foot off the ground as high as you can while maintaining good form. Stand up straight, swinging your right arm across, around and up to your right ear–making a semi-circle motion. Lift your right knee up as high as you can. Pause for a moment. Swing your arms and legs back to the lunge position without touching the ground. Do as many “fire it ups” as you can in 30 seconds, then switch sides for another 30 seconds.Side Lunge with L Curls: Step out with your right leg in a side lunge, bending your right knee at a 90-degree angle. Make sure your chest is up and your knee is behind your toes. Push off of your right foot and tuck your knee up and into your body while simultaneously creating in “L” shape with your arms. Your right arm should be next to your right ear and your left arm should be aligned with your shoulder. Bend your right arm down, tucking your hand behind your head and bend your left arm so that your left hand is at your chest. That is one complete motion. Repeat this move as many times as you can for 30 seconds, and then switch sides and step out with your left leg for 30 seconds. Booty Pops: (My fave!) Stand with your feet a little more than shoulder-width apart. Straighten your back and stand tall, rolling back your shoulders to relax. Sit down in a deep squat: weight in your heels, knees behind your ankles and chest up. Bring your arms up and bend them at a 90-degree angle, palms facing down. Now, push your butt up and back. Your chest should naturally puff up and out. Allow your arms to naturally move with your chest. You elbows should fall behind your back. The key is to keep your core engaged the whole time! Tuck your booty in now, feeling the crunch in your lower abs. Make the movement deliberate and strong. Contract your core as if you were in a crunch. Your arms again can follow your torso’s movement. Pop it out for 60 seconds or add some steps and pop and step side to side.
Arabesque Hold and Pulses: Stand with your feet a little more than shoulder-width apart. Shift your weight onto your right leg and slowly lift your left leg up and back. Try to keep both legs straight, aiming for a 90-degree angle between the legs. Stretch your arms outward and tilt your lower body down. Now try to lift your upper body up just a little bit, so that your back is slightly arched. Begin to pulse your left leg up. Keep up the pulses for 30 seconds, then switch legs and repeat for another 30 seconds. If you want more of an upper-body workout, do small circles with your arms: 30 seconds with a clockwise rotation and then 30 seconds with a counterclockwise rotation.
Victory High Kicks: Stand tall with your arms up in a “v.” Step back with your right leg. Keeping your knee straight, kick your right leg up and try to get it as close as you can to your hands. Go to the height that pinches but doesn’t cause pain–don’t over extend or work your muscles. The more you do this exercise, the higher you will kick each time. If you are only able to bring your foot to a 45 or 90-degree angle, bring the opposite arm down to tap it. Alternate legs with every kick. Go as fast as you can for 60 seconds.