The Chemistry of Stunting (Cheerleading)


So what is stunting? Stunting is a cheerleading move that allows three people three people to put one girl in the air. Typically there are two bases, a backspot, and a flyer. The two bases, which are the two bottom people, hold the feet. Then there is a backspot that holds the ankles and pulls up. Last but not least there is the flyer which is the top girl. Stunting is one of the best parts of cheerleading thats requires balance, timing, and muscle strength.

Composition of ...

    • Muscles contraction
      • Muscles are made up of muscle cells that are made up of muscle fibers, Muscles are bundled into tube called muscle fascicles, Connective tissue that wraps around the entire muscle is epimysium, Connective tissue that bundles up the muscle fascicles is called perimysium, Within the muscle fascicles are muscle fibers that are bundled up by endomysium
      • All these are made up of proteins
      • Proteins are made up of Amino Acids
      • There are 20 different amino acid structures
    • Balance
      • Balance happens when the eyes, ears, and the person’s body has a sense of where space is around them
      • Full balance is not usually achieved until the age of 13
      • So if a child has a normal working vestibular system, visual system, and proprioception then they generally will have normal balance
    • As people grow older balance can change due to old age, hearing problems, or vision problems

Main Chemicals, Compounds, Components

There are two main components that are important in the process of muscle contraction. They are ATP and Myosin.

    • Myosin is a protein that bonds with actin and then that is when ATP comes into play.
    • ATP is energy and it reacts with water. When this reaction occurs it is able to break apart the bond between actin and myosin. This process of the actin bonding with myosin and ATP and water breaking that bond it causes the muscle to shorten and exert force.

Chemistry's Role

When muscles contract that allows the muscles to move and allow the cheerleaders to be able move there muscle and lift the flyer into the air.

Background Research

Cheerleading started when a man named Thomas Peebles introduced the idea of chanting for a team that performing. But it was Johnny Cambell whose chanting became known as cheer leading. This was in 1898 and cheerleading began. When it was first started cheerleading was a group of six men leading crowds in cheers and chants. Eventually cheer began evolving in the 1920’s and women stepped up. When women joined they added more gymnastic type thing to cheer, because the women were lighter and more flexible.This began what we know today as stunting.


Ability to maintain a line of gravity

Sway-horizontal movement of the center of gravity even when standing still

Vestibular system- sense organs that regulate equilibrium

Somatosensory system- info from skin and joints (pressure and vibratory senses)

Visual system- head location where things are in relation to the body

Effects of fatigue on balance

Breathing- amount of oxygen to the brain

Deep breathing helps provide all needed oxygen to the brain

Vision- seeing stability of an object

Seeing the body in relation to other objects

Vestibular system- head placement, speed

Physicalities of stunting

Bases job

What skills a base needs

Keeping your back straight




Makeup of muscles

Muscles are made up of proteins which are made from amino acids

Muscles are made up of muscle cells called muscle fibers

Muscle Fibers are made up of contractile fibers called myofibrils

Myofibrils are divided into units called Sarcomeres

Sarcomere is made up of two main proteins actin and myosin

Steps involved in muscle contraction

Contraction is started in the central nervous system

How muscles work

Types of muscle contraction

What causes the movement to occur

Makeup of muscles

Importance of Balance

How to achieve balance

Main components of muscle contraction

About the Author

Olivia Salyer is a junior at Billings Senior High. She is in choir and is a member of the Senior High Cheerleading Squad. She enjoys cheer and hopes to go on and cheer in college. At this point in time she plans on going into the medical field and attending Montana State University after graduating from Senior.