Cartwheel – Technique Tuesday

The Cartwheel

Most athletes begin their tumbling at the cartwheel. Many times it is taught in the school yard or back yard and because of that, it often is learned with many bad habits in place. There are some very important steps that need to be mastered in the cartwheel to allow for a smooth transition to the round off.

Step 1: The Prep

Cartwheel Prep - PCT Cobras
Cartwheel Prep – PCT Cobras

The athlete should begin with their arms up by their ears, hands are turned out.

Step 2: The Lunge

Cartwheel Lunge - PCT Cobras
Cartwheel Lunge – PCT Cobras

The athlete should step into a long and strong lunge ensuring that their shoulders and hips are square. The arms should remain up by the ears and reaching forward.

Step 3: Hand Placement

The hand placement on the ground is one of the most important aspects of the cartwheel that carries over to the round-off. This ensures the athletes shoulders and hips are in the correct position to generate power and helps the athlete pass through a proper handstand position.


Cartwheel First Hand - PCT Cobras
Cartwheel First Hand – PCT Cobras

The first hand on the ground should be turned so that it is turned 90º toward the foot on the ground.

Cartwheel Second Hand - PCT Cobras
Cartwheel Second Hand – PCT Cobras

The second hand on the ground should be turned 180º so that it is facing in the direction you came from.

Step 4: The Finish

Cartwheel Finish - PCT Cobras
Cartwheel Finish – PCT Cobras

As the athlete finishes the cartwheel, the arms remain by the ears. This helps to left the athlete’s chest upwards and keep the shoulders square.

Cartwheel Ending - PCT Cobras
Cartwheel Ending – PCT Cobras

The athlete should finish the cartwheel in a strong lunge with both their shoulders and hips facing in the opposite direction they started.

Check out this video to see the Cartwheel in motion

Hopefully, you can use some of these tips to ensure that your cartwheel is building a strong foundation that you can continue to build on!

If you are interested in improving your tumbling skills, group classes or private lesson may be the answer you were looking for. Click here to see how you can get started today!


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