How to Work Out Like an NFL Cheerleader

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Even if you don't really care what's happening on the field, you could learn something from the fit women on the sidelines. Do this before hitting the nachos.

The Denver Broncos Cheerleaders
The Denver Broncos Cheerleaders (Photo:


There's this little thing called the Super Bowl happening today, and even if you don't really care what's happening on the field (wait, who's playing?), you may be able to learn something from the fit women on the sidelines.

Cheerleaders have to be in serious shape to execute their routines, says Gotham City Cheerleaders trainer Danielle Wechsler. (Her squad cheers for the New York Giants.) But they're often putting a lot of stress on their bodies—and missing a training component: "They're practicing [routines] day in and day out and they don’t always strengthen or work on conditioning. They're just throwing people in the air and pounding their knees, hips, and shoulders into the ground. And then they're tired and get hurt."

Danielle Wechsler (Photo: CheerFIT)

So Wechsler created CheerFIT, a training program that helps cheerleaders build endurance and strength. It's a circuit-style workout that uses efficient, total body exercises (focusing on stability, cardio, strength training, abs, and flexibility), so that they can get results and get back to practicing their sexier dance moves.

And even if you've never picked up a pom-pom, Wechsler says her training style can work for you, too, which is why she now teaches the method to the masses. "Everyone needs stability and endurance—whether you’re balancing in the air or running to catch a bus," she says.

Ready to work out like you're rooting for a touchdown? Here's a CheerFIT program from Wechsler that you can do at home (pre-Super Bowl noshing, perhaps?). —Lisa Elaine Held

CheerFIT Circuit Workout

Do each exercise in the circuit for 45 seconds and complete each circuit twice. Ready? Okay!

Circuit 1: Stability

1. Backwards lunge to single leg bicep curl (right leg)
2. Single leg deadlift (right leg)
3. Backwards lunge to single leg bicep curl (left leg)
4. Single leg deadlift (left leg)
*For an extra challenge, shut your eyes in your single leg stance.

Wechsler training the Gotham City Cheerleaders. (Photo: CheerFIT)
Wechsler training the Gotham City Cheerleaders. (Photo: CheerFIT)

Circuit 2: Cardio

1. Turkish get-ups with a jump
2. Mountain climbers (45 seconds), right into plank hold (45 seconds)
3. Jump squats (45 seconds), right into squat hold (45 seconds)
4. Monkey jumps (How-to: Start in a slight squat and lower palms to the floor. Push though your shoulders as you kick up with both feet, as high as you can, landing back into a squat hold position.)

Circuit 3: Strength

1. Push-ups (45 seconds), right into Supermans (45 seconds)
2. Tricep dips (45 seconds), right into V-ups (45 seconds)
3. Plie squats (45 seconds), right into plie squat pulse (45 seconds)
4. Inchworm push-up (45 seconds), right into plank push-up (45 seconds) (How-to: Start in standing position and lower palms to the floor keeping legs straight. Walk your hands out into a plank position and complete a push-up before walking hands back in to meet toes.)

Circuit 4: Abs

1. Double crunch
2. Plank hold
3. Russian twist
4. Plank hold
5. V-up

Circuit 5: Flexibility

1. Straddle stretch
2. Single leg quad stretch (right leg, left leg)
3. Backbend bridge (How-to: Find a wall and face your back to the wall. As you stretch back, reach your palms to the wall and walk your hands down to until you feel a stretch in your back. Everyone is at a different flexibility level so go to where you feel most comfortable.)
4. Cobra stretch
5. Cat stretch

Finish the workout out with this Challenge Move: Stand with right leg on the floor and left foot off the floor and simply shut your eyes and see how long you can balance for. Repeat with your left leg. Warning: It's much harder than it looks!

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