Learning the Cheerleading Jumps

Cheerleading Jumps

No matter whether they are part of an overall routine or performed after your team scores a victory, cheerleading jumps add a lot of excitement to your performance. Jumping starts with the most basic moves such as a spread eagle and progresses to more complex maneuvers such as the double hook or the double nine as you advance. 

We will be showing you some of the most well-known jumps over the next couple of slides and explaining the positions you need to reach to be able to perform them flawlessly.

Spread Eagle

This is one of the most basic jumps that cheerleaders usually learn first because it is one of the most important ones. The jump is performed with the hands in a high “V” motion and the legs are extended out to the sides at the height of the jump. Hence, the jump is also called the “X Jump” because it looks like an “X” and it is also called an “X Jump”. 

Cheerleaders who are new to cheerleading may not be able to get their legs as high as those who have been cheerleading for some time. Your coach can help you practice jumping over and over until you are able to improve the height of your jumps as well as your flexibility by teaching you some simple stretching exercises.

Toe Touch

There is no doubt that the toe touch is one of the most common jumps. Cheerleaders of all levels are able to perform this routine, whether they are beginning or advanced. A straddle split is performed in this jump in which the legs are out to the side in a straddle split and the arms form a “T.” 

The legs are parallel to the ground and the toes are pointed to the side. It is important to keep the back straight at all times. The jump pictured here is a basic cheerleading jump, but it takes a lot of practice to ensure you get the form correct and gain the height needed to be able to execute it as well as the girl pictured here.

Toe Touch Toss

When a flyer has perfected his or her toe touch, he or she is able to perform it with the rest of the squad during cheerleading stunts. When the flyer reaches the height of the throw in the Toe Touch Toss, the base throws the flyer into the air and when the flyer reaches the height of the throw, her legs make contact with the ground. 

Her legs are then snapped together and straightened as she snaps them together. As she descends, she keeps her legs and chest up in order to keep them from collapsing, and the base catches her in a cradle as she falls.


Even though this is a cheer move that even the most novice cheerleaders can learn, when performed correctly, it is one of the more advanced moves in cheerleading. There is a straight line between the legs and the knees are locked. 

A straight line is drawn from the shoulders to the toes with the arms straight out in front. The body is almost folded in half as it flies through the air in mid-air. There is also an alternative name for the pike, which is the candlestick.

This photo shows a pike that is in the process of being built. In the blink of an eye, the cheerleaders will be in position, and within a second their arms and legs will be straight and touching their toes.


Founder of the National Cheerleaders Association (NCA), Lawrence Herkimer is well known for creating interesting jumps and stunts that cheerleaders loved to perform. As a result, this jump is named after him and is one that he came up with. In order to perform the herkie, you can do it either left, right, or in front of you. In this position, one leg is straight out in front of you while the other is hooked to the side. 

With the arm on the side with the straight leg, a fist is made around the waist and the elbow is extended, and with the arm on the side with the bent leg, a punch is made straight upwards. As you can see in the photo here, the cheerleader has excellent leg position, but in order to be a true herkie, she would need to place her right hand on her hip while standing.


The hurdler is a more advanced cheer jump because it requires the cheerleader to strike an unusual position she may not have been accustomed to before. To perform the hurdler, one leg must be straight forward and the arms should be in a touchdown position. In the other leg, either the knee is pointing toward the ground, or it is bent completely behind, with the toes pointing toward the ground.

Side Hurdler

There are a number of similarities between the side hurdler and the front hurdler, but the side hurdler has one leg out to the side and its arms are placed in a “T” shape. On the other leg, the knee is bent out to the side, facing the crowd instead of the ground, with the other leg bent out to the side as well. In spite of the fact that the two jumps have similar names, they look quite different when they are executed.

Beginner’s Tuck

When cheerleaders first learn to do a tuck, it can be quite intimidating to pull their knees up all the way to their chest and then snap back down to land on the ground after pulling their knees to their chest. It is better for beginning cheerleaders to use a beginner’s tuck like the one pictured here in order to improve their skills. 

With her arms lifted over her head in a touchdown, the cheerleader bends her knees with her kneecaps pointing down to the ground as she lifts her arms over her head.


Tucks are performed by cheerleaders in which they pull their knees up to their chests. In this picture, the cheerleader is not quite doing a full tuck, but she is getting closer to it every day. When a tuck is performed, the arms are out to the sides in a “T” shape, the knees are at chest level, and the thighs are aligned with the ground.

Double Hook

In a double hook jump, the arms of the jumper form a high “V” and the legs are attached to one side of the jumper’s body. There are some people that refer to the leg position as the “cheer sit.” This is the position cheerleaders are taught to use when sitting on the floor during a basketball game or other sporting event. In this example, one leg is on the front and it is hooked to the side while the other leg is on the back and it is hooked to the same side as the front leg.

Think Outside the Box

Any cheerleader who is on a squad or is trying to make it on the squad will find that learning the basic cheerleading jumps is a great asset. As far as thinking outside the box is concerned, it is fine to come up with performances that are out of the ordinary. It is possible that you may follow in Herkie’s footsteps and one day invent a jump that is named after you like he did and follow in his footsteps.

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