cheer motion mistakes to avoid

8 Common Cheer Motion Mistakes

I know I’ve said it quite a few times, but that’s only because I truly believe it – Motions really are the most important technical cheerleading skill. They are the foundation of every cheer, chant, routine, and jump, and they help cheerleaders start to gain the proper body awareness needed for stunts and tumbling. 

There are a lot of motions to learn, and with that comes the potential for errors, especially when you are first starting out. Today, we are going to talk through a few of the most common motion mistakes I’ve seen (or made) over the years, and how to correct them. 

Don’t worry if you have made several of these mistakes, because that is one of the best ways to learn. I have broken them down in video form, but have also made graphics for each that you can save, share, or pin – just in case you need a reminder on a specific one or two 😉

Common Cheer Motion Mistakes


cheerleading fist

Starting with the smallest detail, let’s look at the fists. The thumb should be squeezed tightly around the outside with fingers tucked in. 

High V Placement

high V mistake

This next mistake is pretty common, especially when first starting out, and that is letting high V go too far back. Motions should always stay slightly in front of the body, so that you can just see them out of your peripheral vision

Broken Wrists


In every motion, be careful to not let the wrists bend. Wrists should extend straight out from the arm. This is most common in high Vs and Ts.

Statue of Liberty Hand

punch motion

This one I did wrong for years without realizing before a camp instructor finally pointed it out. Double check your hands in your punch to make sure your fist is staying flat across the top and not doing this Statue of Liberty motion like you’re holding a torch.

Hitting the Crowd

hitting the crowd

When you are hitting the crowd, be careful not to throw your arm forward like you’re Thor throwing his hammer. No matter how excited you get, make sure that punch stays up close to your ear. 

Clapping in Front of Your Face

cheer clap

The crowd wants to see your beautiful smile! Keep those clasps and claps below your chin with elbows tucked into your side. The high clasp is fun to do every so often to mix up a routine or dance, but for your regular sideline material, it should stay low.

Hyperextended Elbows

cheer motion mistake

This one isn’t really a mistake, but it is a common problem area for my fellow cheerleaders with hyperextended elbows. The key to fixing hyperextended elbows is to not lock out your arms in motions where it is visible. You will need to practice in front of a mirror (a lot!) to gain the muscle memory needed to know when your arms are straight.

Loose Claps

photo coming soon

This last one can sneak up on even the most experienced cheerleaders if they  become complacent – not having tight clasps. When doing a clasp, elbows should stay touching the sides and the hands should not come out wider than the elbows between clasps. 

The good thing about these common motion mistakes is that they are pretty easy to fix. Check out this post for some tips on how to improve your cheer motions. What mistakes have you made or do you see often that I missed?

cheer motion mistakes