Tumbling is an integral part of cheerleading. Many cheerleaders find a gym where they can take cheernastics classes that are geared for cheerleaders desiring to learn tumbling skills. Choose a tumbling instructor with experience in tumbling specific to cheerleading, as there are tumbling skills that are illegal in cheerleading, such as a dive roll or any double rotating flips or twists. Only practice tumbling with a qualified and knowledgeable instructor.
"Building Skills" Edit
One of the most important building skills for cheerleading tumbling is the handstand. A handstand is a basic skill that will be used in many advanced skills. If you cannot perform a handstand with good form, you will not be able to do the more difficult skills with good form either. Start your handstand against a wall until you feel comfortable trying it free standing. With one foot in front of the other lunge forward, placing your hands on the ground shoulder-width apart. Keep your eyes on your hands as both feet meet in the air. Your body should be completely straight. Do not arch your back. Keep your legs together and straight and your toes pointed.
A round off is an important skill for tumbling passes in cheerleading. A round off is the skill that turns you from a forward facing run to ready you for a backward facing skill. Lunge with your right foot forward, placing your right hand on the ground first. Execute a one-quarter turn as your left hand comes to the ground. Your feet should meet in the air and there should be a split second where you hit a handstand position facing the left of the position you started in. As your feet snap together, make another one-quarter turn and use your core muscle to pull your feet down to the ground as you push hard off the ground with both hands. Land and then rebound up with the power gained from your round off.
A back handspring is the gold standard of cheerleading tumbling. Most coaches and cheerleaders aspire towards this as their singular goal for their tumbling skills. It is done standing or as a part of a tumbling pass with a round off before it. Perfect your back handspring standing before attempting it in a running pass. Stand with your arms over head and your feet together. Swing your arms down next to your legs bending your knees deeply and sitting back slightly. Reverse the swing of your arms, jumping off the ground and reaching over your head and back. Land on the ground with your hands, passing through a handstand position as you snap your feet down to land on the ground. Again push off the ground with your hands and rebound after your feet hit the ground.
A back tuck is an advanced skill. You should not attempt one until you have mastered both a standing back handspring and a round off back handspring. When you are ready, make sure you have a spotter until you have perfected this skill. Rise up on the balls of your feet with your hands above your head. Swing your arms down as your bend your knees deeply. Swing your arms back up, pushing hard off the ground with your feet and jumping straight up. Keep your torso tall and your head looking forward until you reach the top of your jump. At that point, pull you knees in toward your chest to initiate the rotation of your body. Do not throw your head back at all. As your body rotates around, watch for the ground. As soon as you see the mat, shoot your body open to a straight position so you can land standing straight up.