How to work out like a Detroit Lions cheerleader

Lions cheerleaders share their tips for a good, balanced workout

Rhonda Walker poses after practice with Lions Cheerleaders
Rhonda Walker poses after practice with Lions Cheerleaders (WDIV LOCAL 4)

DETROIT – The Detroit Lions aren’t the only ones on the field getting a good workout in.

The Detroit Lions cheerleaders work hard to stay in shape, even when warming up before a game.

More: Fitness Friday: Warming up with the Detroit Lions cheerleaders

Below, we’re sharing some of the tips and routines that the ladies in Honolulu blue use to stay in shape.

Dynamic warm-up

Dynamic warm-ups are the best way to begin an exercise session, compared to static warm-ups.

The purpose of a dynamic warm-up is to prepare the body to safely participate in physical activity. These types of warm-ups include jogging, running, lunges, high knees and skipping.

When warming up this way, your heart rate should begin to rise, which means oxygen and blood flow to the muscles will increase, as well.

Dynamic movements within warm-ups are incredibly beneficial to increase mobility in joints, prevent injury and help you to get the most out of your workout.

Dynamic warm-ups are particularly beneficial for professional athletes, but everyone should warm-up like this prior to intense exercising to protect joints, prevent injury, and maintain mobility for basic life movements.

Building strength with weight training

Weight training, or exercising with weights, is a great way to strengthen your muscles and improve your agility.

When weight training, it is important to practice good form so that you don’t injure yourself. You should build reps and sets based on a weight that challenges you, but won’t hurt you.

For professional athletes, weight training builds strength to add power, explosiveness and mobility, the cheerleaders say. It helps them to project their dance moves.

Some benefits of strength training include:

  • Injury prevention
  • Functional benefits (being able to complete daily tasks with more ease)
  • Better circulation and reduced risk of stroke, heart attack and other illnesses
  • Increased metabolism
  • Improved mobility (like a rubber band, muscles need to be strong enough to come back from its end range of flexibility)

The team says it’s important to push yourself for optimal physical and mental growth and progress.

This type of mindset and training applies specifically to professional athletes, but they say the goal is for anyone to create sustainable workouts that will help them build overall strength throughout life.

Time to Dance

Exercise should be stress free and fun.

The most underrated form of exercise is walking. The team says 10,000 steps every day is highly recommended for mental clarity, mobility and weight maintenance.

But if you can’t walk every day, dance to build mobility, to feel good and to have fun! It doesn’t need to be perfect -- just let yourself go and relieve life stressors through music and dance.

Cool Down

It’s important to cool down after exercising while your body is still warm to prevent injury and build strength and mobility.

Cooling down includes static stretching, or just stretching in place. The cool down allows your heart rate to decrease at a gentler rate, reducing the chance of dizziness or lightheadedness. Non-moving stretches help your body safely access its end range of motion, which can reduce soreness, the group says.

Some light discomfort while stretching is OK, however, if you feel sharp or extreme pain, lower the intensity of the stretch or move on to a different stretch.

Final tips from the team

  • The secret is: There is no secret. There is no magic diet.
  • Lift weights, move and stretch, and eat the rainbow.
  • Build sustainable habits. Walking is sustainable.
  • For those starting out: Make a list of the things that you will do to sustain a healthy lifestyle.
  • It’s s lifelong journey. Our bodies change all the time.
  • The older we get, the more we should move and more weights we should lift to keep our bodies agile.
  • Plan and create a program that works for you. Everyone needs something different.
  • Combine fitness and nutrition elements for a comprehensive approach.
  • Allow yourself some grace. Don’t be hard on yourself if you miss a day, just do what you can when you can.
  • “We’re all better when we’re dancing!”

More: Sports news


About the Author:

Rhonda Walker has been helping Detroiters get motivated and ready for the day for the past 22 years. A confessed morning person, this award winning talented and versatile journalist starts her day at 2:00 am to co-anchor the weekday morning newscast at WDIV-Local 4 News. A position she’s held since 2003.