Think cheerleaders aren't real athletes? Try this endurance training workout from the Jets Flight Crew. We dare you!
Being a cheerleader requires cardiovascular endurance to perform fast-paced routines and the strength and flexibility to execute difficult stunts. But just how do these mega-fit women (and men) stay so in shape? We got a taste of the New York Jets Flight Crew circuit training workout, designed by New York Sports Club trainer Alyssa Exposito and modeled below by Flight Crew cheerleader Jacqueline. This HIIT workout combines plyometric moves and strength moves for a total-body workout that will leave you ready to tackle any challenge—on the field or off. (Have you heard about the NFL's new badass female coach?)
How it works: You'll start with two warm-up moves to get your body ready, then move into the strength portion. Next, you'll perform moves that test your power, followed by moves that build the endurance needed for long dance routines. Repeat moves 3-8 in a circuit 5 times, resting for 30 seconds between moves and 2 minutes between rounds.
Total Time: up to 30 minutes
1. Sideline Squats
Start with feet shoulder width apart, core engaged, chest up, shoulders back, and arms extended out at shoulder height.
Keeping heels on the floor, bend knees as you squat down, sinking weight into heels. Drive up with heels to return to standing position.
2. Jet Fuel Lunges
Walk hands out into a plank position, shoulders stacked over wrists, hips square, core engaged.
Step left foot outside wrist and hold for 2 seconds. Repeat on right. That's 1 rep.
3. Flight Prep Squat
Start with feet shoulder width apart, shoulders back, chest up. Hold weight vertically at chest height close to the body.
Keeping dumbbell in front of chest, bend knees and bring hips back as you sink into your heels until elbows touch knees. Return to stand. That's 1 rep.
4. Take Flight Jumps
Take a standard 20" box and stand 2-3 feet back with feet shoulder width apart, shoulders back, chest up. Bend knees, bringing hips back and dropping butt towards floor.
Explode upwards, using arms to propel you forward.
Land softly onto the box with flat feet. Pause on landing for 2 seconds. Step off box. That's 1 rep.
5. Cuts On Cuts
Start standing upright and balancing on right foot, legs slightly bent. Jump laterally to the left, landing on left foot with the left knee bent and right leg diagonally behind you, as if jumping from one yard line to another. Repeat, jumping to the right. That's 1 rep. Move back and forth as quickly as possible.
10 per side
6. Herkie Burpees
From standing, jump back into a plank position.
Bend elbows to lower chest to floor.
Push back to plank position and jump up to squat position.
Explode upwards, extending arms straight toward ceiling before landing softly with bent knees. That's 1 rep.
7. Halftime Lunges
Start with feet shoulder width apart, hands on hips.
Keeping chest upright, step with right leg and bend knees to drop hips down until back knee grazes floor. That's 1 rep. Repeat on left, moving forward.
12 per side
8. Squat Thrusters
Begin in a squat position with hands on the floor in front of you.
Jump feet back into a plank position, shoulders stacked directly over wrists. Return to squat position and stand upright. That's 1 rep. Repeat, moving as fast as possible.