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
The athlete should begin with their arms up by their ears, hands are turned out.
Step 2: The Lunge
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.
The first hand on the ground should be turned so that it is turned 90º toward the foot on the ground.
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
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.
The athlete should finish the cartwheel in a strong lunge with both their shoulders and hips facing in the opposite direction they started.
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!
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