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Cheerleading: More Hardcore Than You Think

Jeffrey Beall / flickr

Football players may absorb insane amounts of physical harm, but those pom-pom wielding women on the sidelines are also facing a gut-check.

Between 1982 and 2007, there were 103 fatal, disabling or serious injuries recorded among female high school athletes, with almost 70 percent occurring in cheerleading. And cheer members accounted for 70.5 percent of catastrophic injuries among all female college sports.

“Progress has been slow, but there has been an increased emphasis on cheerleading safety,” said Frederick O. Mueller of the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “Continued data collection on all types of cheerleading injuries will hopefully show that these safety measures are working to reduce injuries.”

Recent research in the journal Pediatrics looked at less severe injuries and also found alarming numbers. Children ages 5 to 18 admitted to hospitals for non-catastrophic cheerleading injuries in the United States jumped from 10,900 in 1990 to 22,900 in 2002.

The bottom line: Cheerleading is a sport. A highly physical one. If your daughter wants to cheer, encourage her to take her training seriously.

About The Author

David Schipper – David began writing for CorePerformance.com in 2008, after spending six years at Men's Health magazine digging up the newest scientific research in health, weight loss, nutrition, muscle and cardiovascular fitness.

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Tags: Women, Injury Prevention, Outdoor Recreation, Injury, Prehab, College