Is Cheerleading the Most Hazardous of All Sports?

Is Cheerleading the Most Hazardous of All Sports?
Phil Hueston, NASM-PES; IYCA-YFS

While researching the facts surrounding the whole "Is cheerleading a sport?" debate, I came across a few interesting facts that seem to be overlooked. It seems that cheerleading is quite hazardous to many athletes. Back injuries, knee and ankle problems, broken fingers, wrists and arms and other serious injuries are all regular occurrences in the cheerleader's world.

Of course, scrapes and bruises are the most common injuries, just like in any sport. What might surprise the average person (but probably not a cheer mom or dad) is the degree to which catastrophic and career ending injuries take place in cheerleading and it's various offshoots.

By the way, cheer IS a sport - you train to create precise "plays" and you get scored on it...enough said!

According to this article

"71% of catastrophically injured female college athletes are cheerleaders" - Mueller F. O., Cantu R. C. Twenty-Sixth Annual Report for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research. Fall 1982-Spring 2008. Chapel Hill, NC: National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research; 2008.

Ankle, knee, shoulder and back injuries make up approximately 50-60% of all injuries to cheerleaders. (Several sources, including the American Association of Pediatrics and the National CheerSafety Foundation.

Unfortunately, head and neck trauma and spinal injuries from falls make up a significant portion of the remaining 40-50%.

Is there any good news here? YES! The ankle, knee, shoulder and back injuries that occur most frequently in cheer are eminently preventable with the proper kinds of strength, power, flexibility and core training!

When you employ the concepts and techniques of integrated sports fitness to the cheerleader's body and sports performance, joint stabilization and overall strength is greatly enhanced and cheer skills get sharper. The net result is the virtual elimination of non-contact joint injuries!

That's great news for cheerleaders AND those who love and support them!

Want to know more about how to cheer better and with fewer injuries? Contact us today!