What It Is: The Cheer Balance Pro Pedestal is geared at boosting strength and helping to build athletes’ balance for stunting and other cheer skills. Founder David Ciolkosz was inspired by two circus veterans (one a world champion and the other a Guinness World Record holder for balance), who introduced the concept to him using handstand poles. The natural vibration of the pedestal’s pole creates shockwaves of energy, resulting in improved balance strength.
Our Testers: The cheer squad at Georgia Tech, under the direction of coach King Harrison. Harrison owns four Cheer Balance pedestals, which he rotates among his flyers and uses during summer training. Each flyer follows the same circuit: liberty, arabesque, stretch, scale, bow & arrow, scorpion. “When you pull all of those, you really have to work your hip flexors, abs, core, ankle and leg—really focusing on keeping yourself centered over the pole,” Harrison explains.
What they loved: “I teach stunting a lot like people teach tumbling; I’m very focused on body alignment and positioning,” says Harrison. For those reasons, he’s a big fan of the way the Cheer Balance pedestal shows athletes how to position themselves in the air and hold their weight properly. He also appreciates the “instant feedback” the product provides: “If your weight isn’t centered, you’ll fall right off,” he explains.
What they thought could be improved: “It doesn’t teach you how to do a full-up or how to be sharp [in a stunt], but that’s not the point,” says Harrison, who also was a stunt coach at Stingrays for six years.
The verdict: “[The Cheer Balance pedestal] is fun to stand on and do different body positions. It’s not a cure-all, like ‘Bam! I’m a better flyer instantly!’ but if used properly, it can really help flyers find their balance and center,” says Harrison, adding that he recommends it most to newer flyers or those who need to work on flexibility.
How to get it: www.cheerbalance.com