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physics of cheerleading



Most people consider cheerleading a weak activity that requires girls dressing up in cute uniforms and waving around pompoms. However, cheerleading is an intense sport that requires practice, dedication, and knowledge of skills. Just like any other sport, physics is involved in cheerleading 100%. Physics is found in every single motion and stunt. Cheerleading is based on stunts, tumbling, and jumps and since physics is so involved in this sport it makes this sport actually exist.

A main factor of physics found in cheerleading jumps is force. Newton's Third Law states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This relates to cheerleading jumps because as the cheerleader is jumping into the air there is a force being applied which makes the force of gravity react, bringing the cheerleader back to the ground. To increase the height of the cheerleaders jump, they must increase the momentum to get the highest force. Momentum equals mass times velocity, so if you were to increase the amount of mass that is acting against gravity and increase the speed of the jump the momentum would be larger giving the cheerleader higher jumps.

In cheerleading there are multiple stunts that require alot of skills. The main factor of physics that affects stunting is gravity. In a stunt there are mainly four people, a flyer, two bases, and a back spotter. The flyers center of gravity may change based on how many people are holding her and what kind of stunt she is performing. If two bases are being used to hold the flyer, the flyers center of gravity would compare to those that are holding her. If she were to be doing a one legged stunt then her center of gravity would differ and it would counterbalance the other side that is being pulled to the ground. Gravitational acceleration is another form of physics found in stunting. When a flyer is being thrown in the air she reaches a maximum height which allows her to perform the movement in the stunt. One’s maximum height is the highest that object can go, because its velocity has reached zero. If the flyer does not wait to reach their heighest point then it can cause her to come down early and possibly hit the people who are holding her as she is coming down.


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