First Advisor

Gregory Martel

Second Advisor

Stacey L. Beam

Additional Advisors

George Lyerly


Due to the nature of the activity, competitive cheerleaders are susceptible to falls, which can lead to injury. However, cheerleaders that get put into the air ("flyers"), may have better balance ability as compared to those that hold or support flyers ("bases"). However, no previous research could be located comparing balance ability and fall risk between these positions. The purpose of this study was to assess balance ability and fall risk in female, collegiate cheerleaders. It was found that within the past year, 63.6% of cheerleaders experienced a fall, while 45% reported lower extremity injuries due to participation in their sport. Our data indicate that both positions are at high risk for falls, despite flyers having significantly lower fall risk than bases. The data also indicate that fall risk is related to recent injury and indices of leg strength. This suggests that conditioning programs should also focus on balance ability along with muscle strength.



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