Robbins Sports Blog

July 21, 2006

How to do a Cartwheel

Filed under: Cheerleading — admin @ 12:23 am


Performing the Skill
A cartwheel is probably the most basic tumbling skill in gymnastics. If you do not know anything about tumbling, this is where you should begin. Cartwheels are also very fun to do. To do a cartwheel you need to first pick your lead foot. This is usually the foot that feels most comfortable to put in front of you at the start of a race. Most people have one foot that naturally feels better starting with; this is probably also your stronger leg. If you do not know which foot should be your lead foot, you can try each. You will quickly start to see which foot you are most comfortable starting with. (For most people, their lead foot is opposite their dominant hand. The lead foot for a right handed person is normally their left foot).
Place your lead foot in front of you and raise your arms high above your head. Put your weight on your back foot and point your toes on your lead foot. Rock back on your back leg; then lunge forward into your front foot. Your front leg will bend, but your body should form a straight line with your back leg, body, and arms.

Keeping your body in line with your back leg, move your arms toward the ground and twist your body so that you are looking sideways. Your hands will hit the ground at slightly different times. The first hand you should place on the ground is the one closest to your lead foot, or the foot that is furthest forward.

With your hands on the ground, arms fully extended, use your lead leg to push off the ground and propel your body upward. Your legs will be spread like a V in the air, and your body should be perpendicular to the ground.

The end of the cartwheel should be a mirror image of the beginning. What was once your back foot will land first on the ground, and your lead foot will land behind it. You should be looking the opposite direction you were looking when you started, and your arms should be raised in the air.
Buy a Tumbling Cartwheel Practice Mat from RobbinsSports.com Cartwheel beam mat for practicing tumbling More…

Helpful Tips
Your body should travel in a straight line. It may help to draw a line on the ground with a piece of chalk. Start with your lead foot on one side of the line and your other foot on the other side. You should end with one foot on each side of the center line. This will help your cartwheel look more graceful and will be important in helping you do future tumbling skills.

When your body is in the air, your arms and legs should be completely extended. Video tape your cartwheels so you can see where you need to improve. Keep control of your body throughout the cartwheel. It will not be easy to add additional tumbling skills later if you end your elementary tumbling skills off balance.

29 Comments »

  1. I NEED REAL HELP ON CARTWHEELS! I THINK IM FAT. TOO FAT TO TO THEM. THE ONLY ONES IVE SEEN DOING THEM, ANYWAY, HAVE BEEN SKINNY LEGGED GIRLS. MY LEGS ARE TOO FAT.

    Comment by eMZee — August 26, 2006 @ 8:53 pm

  2. No matter how hard I try I cant put my legs straight up in the air and I am the only boy in my gymnastics class who cant do a perfect cartwheel.my legs are always bent. and when I land I land on my but. please help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Mohammad — September 22, 2006 @ 9:45 pm

  3. Anyone can do a cartwheel with enough practice. If your legs are bent in the air, your probably need to get more momentum. Work on getting a a good, deep lunge to begin with and pushing off hard with your back leg. You might find it helpful to get a running start until you get better since that will give you more power to put into your cartwheel.

    Comment by Lisa — October 12, 2006 @ 3:03 pm

  4. is there any way to overcome the fear of it? i know i can do a cartwheel, it’s just that i haven’t tried in a looong time so i cant get past the stage of actually putting my hands to the ground!

    Comment by tami — January 5, 2007 @ 7:48 am

  5. i need help i push off hard and my hands hit perfectly then my leg fall infront of my face they dont go over my body what should i do i am 12 and me and my friends started a cheer squad i am the only one who cant do a cart wheel i have no gymnastics ablitiy but i am a great flyer, i dont need to do them but i want too

    Comment by taylor — January 9, 2007 @ 5:18 pm

  6. no matter how i try i cant left my legs up high enough, and they end up falling on the ground, how can i left them up????

    Comment by Help — April 4, 2007 @ 2:46 pm

  7. I am goin out for cheerleading where I have to do a cartwheel, but i am having trouble with it. I understand the flipping part but I can’t tend to keep my legs straight when they are in the air, and my flip isn’t coming straight. It is coming out crooked and I really neep help.

    Comment by Anonymous — April 22, 2007 @ 7:42 pm

  8. I cannot do a cartwheel however i try my feet never goes up and i just got in the cheerleading squad and i cannot even do a cartwheel all the girls in the cheerleading squad noes execpt me i will get kicked out of the team if i still don’t now how to do it by june the 2nd and it is just 8 days away i really need help and i don’t undersand the flipping part and i really need help and i always end up landing on my but.

    Comment by Roxy — May 23, 2007 @ 11:05 pm

  9. yes i have had a lot of practice doing catweel, just for the fun of it! with enough practice it is possible although i can only do a cartweel in its most basic form…yes starting withmy left hand and landing on my lead foot hehe i guess i need more practic, i can almost do a hand stand starting with cartweel form, anyway keep trying and youll get it! just remember hand hand foot foot and most importantly DONT BEND YOUR ARMS keep em locked

    Comment by anon martial artist — June 7, 2007 @ 10:23 am

  10. I understand how you are surpose to do it but then when i try to do it i am i always falling on my butt or i can hardly get around. I always fall going around.

    Comment by sarah — June 30, 2007 @ 2:10 am

  11. I REALY NEED HELP IN DOING CARTWHEELS BECAUSE I AM AFRAID AND I DONT DO IT RIGHT BECAUSE IN 2 WEEKS I AM GOING TO TRY OUT FOR CHEERLEADING AND I REALLY NEED HELP.. PLEASE!!!

    Comment by sarah — September 25, 2007 @ 7:04 pm

  12. I ALWAYS KEEP FALLING I CANT PUT MY LEGS UP STRAIHT..HELP

    Comment by sarah — September 25, 2007 @ 7:06 pm

  13. i am 10 year old and i can not put my leg and the air what will i do :(

    Comment by kourtney — October 6, 2007 @ 1:11 pm

  14. I used to be TERRIBLE at cartwheels. It only took me three months how to learn though! I practiced in my living practicly all the time. You probably just need some inspiation. So, if you want to take my advice, just keep practicing and be confident in yourself. Oh, and remember to always HAVE FUN while doing cartwheels.

    Comment by Brooke — October 13, 2007 @ 5:27 pm

  15. i am trying out for cheerleadind tommarow and i can’t do a carywheel. i am always bending my back too much!help me!!!!!

    Comment by mananana — October 14, 2007 @ 1:49 pm

  16. I am trying out for cheerleading in a week. I know the steps to do a cartwheel, but yet not how to acctually get my legs over my head for a hand stand position. I am having alot of trouble! help please!

    Comment by Brianna — October 27, 2007 @ 1:21 pm

  17. aww breh. girl i had the hardedest time doing those cartmobiles but when i set my mind right to it i was like flippin all true tha aira. its like chicken grease in my fryin pan after while

    Comment by barb — November 1, 2007 @ 5:14 pm

  18. hey you guys ok first i couldnt do cartwheels but you need confidence so then you will maintain balance and keep legs straight..noobs snu.

    Comment by dragonspearx — November 2, 2007 @ 5:58 pm

  19. im a fat 10 year old

    Comment by natuska fagfutarp — November 25, 2007 @ 6:42 am

  20. okay, i’ve been trying to do a cartwheel for a long time now, but somehow i can’t leave my legs straight!! plz help!

    Comment by Maegan — December 15, 2007 @ 10:50 pm

  21. Well, I understand the steps very very well. But, the thing is… I realized that I can only do a cartwheel whenever I feel hyper. Sure.. I’m a little tubby. But, just like what that Anon person said. Whenever I sucessfully do a cartwheel, I have to make sure that my arms are as strong as bricks and to kick up like a professional ninja :) And I think this is right:

    * It takes time and practice just to conquere it.

    * Always make sure you stretch before doing it.

    * Don’t ever bend your arms.

    Comment by Kurni — December 21, 2007 @ 9:14 pm

  22. i am nine years old and i’ve always dreamed of learning how to do a Cartwheel and i still can’t do it i think it’s because i’m not putting my leg straight up in the air what do i do?

    Comment by Anna — December 22, 2007 @ 12:05 am

  23. Dear all fat girls,
    dont feel bad. we all have some pros and cons about us! im not trying to be mean but just try your best and you will get better. DONT HIRE A PROFESSIONL! THEY ARE CHEEPSKATES!
    REMEMBER,
    STAY IN SCHOOL MY YOUNG DUCKLINGS!

    Comment by Skye — January 24, 2008 @ 2:43 pm

  24. i’ve tried so hard to do a cartwhhel but i cant kick off hard enough

    Comment by Danielle — May 2, 2008 @ 6:45 am

  25. I have tried all of this and I still can’t do a cartwheel.

    Comment by Paris — March 23, 2009 @ 8:24 pm

  26. I CANT DO A CART WHEEL!!!

    Comment by Leana — May 20, 2009 @ 10:27 pm

  27. I CANT DO IT!!!!

    Comment by Leana — May 20, 2009 @ 10:27 pm

  28. For some reason whenever I do a cartwheel I don’t land in the right direction. I’m starting cheerleading and they don’t require cartwheels but I really want to do well on my first day. I do everything right but I can never land correctly. Please help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Mandy — June 21, 2009 @ 6:31 pm

  29. hi my name is jacky and i want to bacome a cheerleader but i dont have a flexable body and i want to laern how to do the split.

    Comment by jacky — July 18, 2009 @ 12:40 am

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