This study aims to determine the ground reaction forces that are encountered by bases and flyers of a co-ed stunt group when performing a basic toss, a toss hands, and a toss extension. The ground reaction forces of other activities, such as those encountered in figure skating and gymnastics, have previously been studied, but the forces produced by cheerleaders have never before been tested. Data was collected by having cheerleading stunt groups (four males and three females) perform trials of each stunt on force plates. The data showed that both the base and flyer were exposed to large ground reaction forces upon take-off and landing of all of these stunts. The vertical ground reaction forces on the take-off of the bases increased in magnitude as the height of the stunt increased, but none of the others varied statistically significantly based on the type of stunt. On average, the presence of a cushioned cheerleading mat did not significantly affect the ground reaction forces. This was determined through the analysis of the cheerleading stunts and through the conduction and analysis of two other tests. The first test involved measuring the ground reaction forces of EKU women’s soccer players when performing standing vertical jumps. The second test was conducted by measuring the landing forces when a medicine ball and shot put were dropped from various heights onto three different surfaces. These studies will hopefully inspire other researchers to continue studying the ground reaction forces of cheerleaders and other aspects of cheerleading, in general.
Semester/Year of Award
Dr. Michael Lane
Exercise and Sports Science
Open Access Thesis
Exercise and Sport Science
IRB Approval Number (if applicable)
Eckley, Kacy, "The Physics of Cheerleading: Force Production of Cheerleading Stunts" (2018). Honors Theses. 577.