Love ‘Cheer’ on Netflix? Try This Cheerleader-Inspired Workout

Unfortunately, mat talk is not included.

Netflix's reality docuseries "Cheer" follows the cheerleading team of Navarro College, a community college in Corsicana, Texas, as they prepare for the annual National Cheer Competition in Daytona, Fla. It may be the best cheerleading production since "Bring It On" (except better, because this time, it's real life). 

The team is full of inspirational members and impressive physical capabilities. It may be too late for you to try out for a spot on the mat in Daytona. But you can do a workout routine that gets you a step closer to their stunt-sticking, high-jumping, stand-out stamina skills.

The 'Cheer' Workout

This workout addresses everything cheer athletes need to reach peak performance. 

"It includes core stability, flexibility, power, balance, and endurance," said Danielle Donovan, ACE-CPT, former Syracuse University cheerleader, founder of CheerFit, and creator of this workout. "Each exercise of this workout is designed to work the muscles cheerleaders need to keep fit and prevent injury." 

On the show, the cheerleaders are constantly exercising with the following:

  • Crunches
  • Push-ups
  • Burpees
  • Lunges
  • Squats

So, there will be some of those exercises included in this workout. You'll get a taste of the blend of dance, Cirque du Soleil, and gymnastics talents that the "Cheer" cast needed to crush the competition.

To complete this workout, do each exercise below for 12 reps. Then, repeat from the top for a total of three sets. You can do more if you want that high-energy endurance build. Here are the moves you need to hit trophy-worthy shape.

Split Squat to Liberty

  1. Start standing with your feet hip-width apart. Step your right foot back into a reverse lunge with both knees bending 90 degrees and your back knee hovering just off the floor.
  2. Drive through your feet to jump up, switching your feet midair so your left foot lands behind and in a lunge position.
  3. Step back up to stand and pull your left knee toward your chest. Repeat from the top.

Side Lunge to Kick

  1. Start standing with your feet together. Step out to the side with your right foot, keeping your left leg straight. Send your hips down and back into a squat position on the right side. Keep your knee and toes pointing forward.
  2. Drive through your right heel to step back up, bring your right knee toward your chest at the top, and then kick your right leg straight out in front of you.
  3. Step back into a right-side lunge without placing your right foot back down. Repeat, then switch sides.

Single Leg Stretch

  1. Start lying on your back, legs extended, and arms straight out in front. Lift your head, neck, and shoulders off the floor, and lift your feet a few inches. Hold.
  2. With your toes pointed and your legs straight, pull one leg toward your chest and grab your calf with your hands. Pause for a count.
  3. Then, switch legs. Continue alternating with your legs straight.

Squat Jump to High V

  1. Start standing with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and your arms by your sides. Push your hips down and back to lower into a squat.
  2. Push through your feet to explode up into a jump. Straight your legs and simultaneously lift your arms overhead into a V-shape. You should see your arms out of the corner of your eyes.
  3. Land softly in a squat position with your knees bent and your arms by your sides. Repeat.

Side to Side Burpee

  1. Start standing with your feet hip-width apart. Place your hands on the floor in front of you, quickly hop your feet back to a plank position with your shoulders over your wrists, and form a straight line from shoulders to heels.
  2. Immediately jump your feet back up toward your hands.
  3. Explode up, jumping with both feet to the right.
  4. Jump back to the left with both feet.
  5. Repeat with the burpee, adding a side hop at the top each time.

Straddle Leg Lifts

  1. Start sitting on a mat with your legs extended and out to the sides in a V-shape. Place your hands on the floor in front of you.
  2. Press through your hands, engage your core, and lift your right leg off the floor. Your toes should point slightly outward, and you should lift through your heel. Aim to raise it above your hip.
  3. Lower it back down without it touching the floor, and repeat. Then switch sides.

Plank With Water Bottle Transfer

  1. Start in a forearm plank position, your shoulders over your elbows and forming a straight line from head to heels. Place a water bottle between your hands, arm's length away.
  2. Extend your right arm and grab the water bottle with your right hand. In a semi-circle motion, move the water bottle to the side to align with your right shoulder.
  3. Then, bring the water bottle back between your hands. Next, extend your left arm and grab the water bottle with your left hand. In a semi-circle motion, move your arm to the side to align with your left shoulder.
  4. Bring the water bottle back between your hands and continue alternating.

Turbo Lunges

  1. Start standing with your feet wider than hip-width apart. Then, jump your feet in together like a jack.
  2. Then, jump your left foot back and lower down into a lunge with both knees bending 90 degrees and the back knee hovering off the floor.
  3. Next, press through both feet to jump up and bring your feet back wider than hip-width apart.
  4. Repeat from the top, jumping your right foot back for the lunge. Continue with the jack and jumping lunges, alternating sides.

Benefits of Cheer Workouts

Cheerleading has a positive impact on strength and endurance skills. A study analyzed the strength and endurance of girls aged 15 to 17 after they completed cheerleading exercises. 

Those exercises included basic motor actions, jump elements, stunts, and dancing. The researchers found that both strength and endurance improved in the participants, especially strength in the muscles in their hands.

A Quick Review

Netflix's docuseries "Cheer" has given viewers the inside scoop on how challenging, intense, and rewarding the sport of cheerleading can be. 

With exercises like burpees, lunges, and squats, you can improve your strength and endurance and work up to the level of the "Cheer" squad.

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1 Source uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Krivoruchko NV, Masliak IP, Bala TM, Skripka IN, Honcharenko VI. The influence of cheerleading exercises on the demonstration of strength and endurance of 15-17-year-olds girls. Phys educ stud. 2018;22(3):127.

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