A senior at the University of Kentucky and member of the U.S. national team, Whitney Agee has won three Universal Cheerleader's Association national championship titles as well as a National Cheerleader's Association partner stunt title and a gold medal at the International Cheer Union World Cheerleading Championships.
She relies on a regular regimen of cardio and whole-body strength training to develop the power and muscle control she needs -- and shared the details on one of her toughest training moves:
The move: Pushup block
How to do it: Start in a traditional pushup position, hands directly under your shoulders and core engaged. Without using your legs or bending your arms, block through your shoulders to raise your arms up by your ears. Immediately lower your arms back to the ground to catch yourself. Re-set, and repeat, doing 3 sets of 10 reps and resting a minute between sets.
When I do it: I incorporate this move into my workouts about three times a week.
Why I do it: It helps me to keep my speed up in tumbling and basket tosses (being thrown into the air by teammates). It's also a great strengthener for the shoulders and back.
Why it's so killer: I think this is one of the most challenging exercises because after about the first seven reps, it really starts to burn, especially through the arms. It's a constant push to keep yourself fast. (Go too slow and you'll face plant.) But once you get the hang of it, you'll definitely feel a satisfying burn.