Pyramids are routinely executed by cheerleaders, gymnasts and dancers at the end of routines.

How to Do a Gymnastics Pyramid

by T. Marice Huggins

The pyramid is one of the most recognizable stunts in gymnastics, cheerleading and dance. It is also one of the most involved stunts to pull off. Doing the pyramid requires balance, grace, flexibility and agility. Most importantly, it involves the trust of the others on your team. However, with enough practice and determination, you'll soon be able to build a sturdy pyramid amongst your teammates.

Examine the agility and balance of each participating person to determine his or her position. Determining a person's spot in the pyramid depends highly on his or her strength, weight and balance. The base of the pyramid is usually composed of people with a lot of strength. They tend to be the tallest of the group. Conversely, the shortest person is usually at the top of the pyramid. He or she is generally the lightest person and has the most balance and flexibility.

Visualize the order of all participants. Once the base and top positions are determined, it's important to arrange the order of each person in the pyramid prior to executing the pyramid in the air. This will make it easier for each participant to become comfortable with the positioning of their bodies. You can do this by standing in place in triangle formation. Participants may also choose to visualize their positions by drawing an illustration of what the pyramid will look like on paper.

Line up the three people who are designated to the base of the pyramid and have them get on their hands and knees while keeping their arms strong and backs straight.

Position the two people assigned to the middle of the pyramid behind the three people at the base. Have them climb on top by slowly lifting their legs, one at a time, and firmly placing them in a comfortable spot on the middle of the base people's backs. Hands should be placed on shoulders. Everyone's back should be straight once in position.

Help the sixth person climb onto the backs of the two people in the middle, slowly lifting each leg one at a time and placing each knee on their backs.

Once at the top, the sixth person kneels and lifts his or her hands straight above his or her head.

Items you will need

  • Six participants
  • Gym Mats
  • Pen
  • Paper


  • Only attempt a gymnastic pyramid with a trained gymnastics, cheerleading or coach to supervise and offer guidance.

About the Author

T. Marice Huggins has been published several times in both the New York and New Jersey editions of "Contemporary Bride Magazine." She has also been published in national publications such as "Redbook," Dance Magazine" and "Caribbean Travel and Life." Thanks to extensive dance training in college, she is very well-versed in the areas of health and fitness.

Photo Credits

  • Jack Hollingsworth/Photodisc/Getty Images