Are you interested in learning how to do a cartwheel?
but not sure where to start?
start with a baby somersault
You can learn a cartwheel in a day, but you’ll need to start with a baby cartwheel first and then perfect it. In the bottom somersault, the gymnast kicks around and does a baby somersault. while, in the previous somersault, she correctly kicks vertically above her head. As you practice, you’ll get better and better at being able to cartwheel correctly.
One of the keys to learning a perfect cartwheel is practice. In our article on the power of repetition, we share a personal example of how to learn to do a cartwheel. To learn the same way as in our story, complete this 1,000 flip challenge. you can download it below. remember, practice makes perfect!
Click Here to Download GymnasticsHQ’s Cartwheel Hands to Help You Learn How to Do a Cartwheel
Now, let’s get into it…
Note: If you’re not sure whether your gymnast should attempt a cartwheel right leg first or left leg first, there are a couple of things you can do. you can have your gymnast do a cartwheel on both sides and see which side is easier and more natural. You can also have your gymnast do a cartwheel on a mat or block (like below) and see which way her hands rotate. if they naturally turn 90 degrees to the left, they will most likely do a left somersault. and if they turn 90 degrees to the right, they are most likely doing a right hand roll.
how to do a cartwheel step by step
here are step by step instructions to learn a cartwheel.
1. start in a lunge.
To start your lunge, put your dominant leg in front and bend it slightly. Your back leg should be straight. Your arms should be straight above your head, near your ears.
2. put your hands on the ground.
put your hands on the floor with your hands turned 90 degrees.
3. Kick your feet over your head.
kick your feet over your head one at a time. the foot that kicks first must land first.
4. Land in a lunge. Land in a lunge facing the opposite direction you started from. Your arms should be over your head near your ears. Your front leg should be slightly bent, and your back leg should be straight.
When you’re starting out, just try to kick the sides of your body with your feet. then, as you work to improve your cartwheel, you can try kicking your feet over your head more.
While you can learn a cartwheel without the help of tools, it may be easier to learn one with help. especially for young gymnasts.
how to make a cartwheel video
tools to learn a cartwheel
the original block: side wheel on side wheel block
My favorite way to teach a cartwheel is to do it on top of an object. and this wagon wheel block is perfect for learning this way. it’s much easier to kick your feet around or over your head with this method, with your hands slightly off the ground.
to do a somersault on the block:
- start with a lunge.
- turn your hands 90 degrees to the right or left (depending on your gymnast’s dominant side).
- and kick the feet the block to land on the other side.
It can also help you determine which side, right or left, will be your gymnast’s dominant side when turning with this tool. If your gymnast automatically turns her hands 90 degrees to the left, she should probably do a left somersault with her left foot forward in her lunge. if she automatically turns her hands 90 degrees to the right, she’s probably doing a somersault to the right.
tumbl trak cartwheel beam mat: somersault on the cartwheel mat
Learning a cartwheel with a cartwheel mat is a great method for preschoolers. Footprints and handprints make it easy for preschoolers to figure out where their hands should go. You can also use the back of this mat to practice doing a straight cartwheel.
nastia liukin pink foam balance beam: somersault on a foam training bar
Once your gymnast has learned a cartwheel, it’s time to make it perfect! One of the ways to make sure your gymnast is doing a cartwheel is to do it on a beam. This foam balance beam is slightly raised, but not high enough that your gymnast will injure herself if she doesn’t land directly on it.
sticky beam strip: fly in a line on the floor:
A sticky beam strip is a great way to help your gymnast practice in a line, when you don’t want to put chalk or tape on your floors at home. you can put this strip down, use it for practice, and come back up. By practicing flipping on a line, you’ll make sure you’re going over your head.
I hope this helps you master your cartwheel!
once you’ve mastered your cartwheel, check out 9 other basic gymnastics skills you need to master.
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