Increase Power for Jumps and Tumbling With Compex

By Fara Rosenzweig

Sure you can train hard and eat right to boost your performance. But a missing element in a cheerleader’s and gymnast’s routine is improving muscle imbalances.

Muscle imbalances overwork one side, leaving you more prone to injury. One way to balance your body out is to find where you’re weak and strengthen that area, which Compex, an electric muscle stimulation device (EMS) can help do.

Injuries don't come from weak muscles, injuries come from when only muscle is great in strength compared to another weaker muscle. The stronger muscle in some cases is over-stressed and develops problems, or the weaker muscle leads to other problems associated with the imbalance. Using a Compex device, we can identify the weakness and bring them into balance”, says John Welbourn, a nine-year veteran of the National Football League, CEO of Power Athlete and creator of CrossFit Football.

Compex sends small electric currents to your nerve fibers, firing them and activating your muscle. An athlete can recruit more muscle fibers and generate more force when using Compex.

In order to improve tumbling and jumps, you first need to identify any imbalances. For a cheerleader and gymnast, combining Compex to you strength and condition program can help you track your muscles and improve any weaknesses. Think of Compex as a supplement to an athlete’s strength-training program. “EMS can elicit strength gains in individual muscles equal to conventional strength training, but it does not provide the inter-muscular coordination elements introduced by conventional training exercises such as the barbell lifts, dynamic movements, plyometrics and sprinting. Compex (EMS) should be viewed as a supplement to an athlete’s regular training regime,” Welbourn expresses.

Welbourn suggests this training program to help improve your jumping and tumbling performance and to prevent injury. Start with program Endurance 4 and work up to Strength 5, moving up programs every two weeks. Use this electrode placement video guide for help.

Compex + Strength-training Workout for Cheerleaders & Gymnasts


  • Back Squat 3x5
  • Standing Press 3x5
  • Push Ups 3 x max reps



  • Deadlift 3x5
  • Hamstring Curls 3x12
  • Pull Ups 3 x max reps



  • Rest


  • Back Squat 3x5 (add 5 pounds to Monday's weight)
  • Handstand Holds 3x max time
  • Push Ups – 100 reps (done as quick as possible)



  • Power Cleans 5x3
  • Chin Ups 3x max reps
  • 3 Consecutive Broad Jumps for max distance - 10 attempts


This program assumes the athletes are training and competing in their sport. The strength work and Compex are done injunction with a well-developed skill based program that teaches with progression.

By adding this Compex workout to your normal cheer practice and routine, you can address muscle imbalances and the improved strength can help you jump and tumble better. Always be sure to cool-down after each workout with these post-workout recovery tips.

If you are currently recovering from a cheerleading or tumbling injury, you can use muscle stimulators to help maintain muscle strength while you heal.