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Physics of cheerleading - Term Paper Example

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Physics of cheerleading

It is a jump which combines force and velocity of the body acting against gravity in a vertical motion. The cheerleader is expected to be a specialist on rotational physics in that when thrown to rotate in the air, the angular momentum will enable the cheerleader to rotate with ease. According to Newton’s law of reaction, when two objects act together the force on one object becomes the same as the magnitude but in opposite direction to the other. Studies reveal that, when two objects act together, there are several forces. This is because, one object tends to exert force on the other one which acts upon it hence the reaction forces defined in the third law of motion. The action forces always accelerate towards the earth while the reaction moves away from the earth. This can be presented in an equation with variables in the normal force which acts on both forces as: Fg – action force hence equals to mg Fg1 – reaction force N - Force acting away N1 - force acting towards earth Therefore, this when represented in an equation becomes: Fg1 = -Fg N = N1 The angular momentum is therefore: ?=Mass x Velocity The speed of rotation into the air can increase or decrease when the distance of mass and axis is changed. When performing a stunt, the cheerleader may not gain momentum if on the ground since velocity and position are zero. Force = Change in Momentum Change in Time Incase one jumps to decrease the distance between the body and axis of rotation, then the angular momentum remains constant since there is no outer torque which has taken place in the radius of X. Today, most of the cheerleaders are expected to poses athletic shape with gymnastic foundation. So as to gain the force required to spin into the air without anybody increasing or decreasing the momentum while in the air. According to Hewitt, Paul and Wolf (2008, p 136), the main principle behind physics of cheerleading is to set up a good weight allotment in the stunts, for example in pyramids. This is created by putting a great number of people at the bottom than at the top. The strong members of the group form the base while the lighter members are put on the top. This makes it possible for the team to perform stunt that involve holding and tossing the cheerleader up in the air. Stunt depends on having the right number of people forming the top and bottom in the pyramid. In stunt, balancing is important so as to help in supporting the weight exerted at top of the pyramid level. Even distribution of weight aids the cheerleader in maintaining the level of the pyramid besides the supporters. This will make the pyramid not to dip on one side hence making it look more attractive to the audience. In advanced stunt tossing of the body is accompanied by flipping and twisting concurrently while in the air in conjunction with gymnastic knowledge to add dynamic component of physic in cheerleading. On landing, the supporters are forced to bend their knees so as to receive the cheerleader from the air to reduce force which is acting on the cheerleader from above. When the cheerleader is rotating into the air, the arms are expected to cross over the chest inwardly and open them on landing so as to slow down the speed. This is referred to as torque. It is also defined as the product of force and radius when an individual rotates with the ability to overcome resistance to rotation. Torque is therefore calculated as: Torque = Force x Radius When calculating torque of the cheerleader, one considers that the further the axis, the more an object revolves. With change of time and force involved in the travelling of the cheerleader into the air, other ...Show more


Hewitt, Paul and Wolf (2008, p 134) defines cheerleading as a physical activity involving dancing, jumping, cheering and stunting which aims at drawing attention of spectators in a particular event to applaud on sports team in a game or competition…
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