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How to do a Cartwheel

The cartwheel is one of the simplest gymnastic moves to perform. But that doesn’t mean you do it and then forget about it. Or that it can’t be made harder.

But let’s start at the beginning. The basic cartwheel involves you going through a handstand position from one side to the other. Your body gets completely vertical then you come back down to your feet. This can be done from a run or standing position.

Once you get the placement of your hands and feet down it’s a simple move to complete. This image will show you how to do a cartwheel starting with your left foot. For the right foot just look at the image in reverse.

Cartwheel Hand and Foot Placement

And speaking of right and left sides, you’re likely to find that one direction is easier to pull off then the other. But with this move you’ll want to work on going both ways until you can do both with ease.

The important part is to get your weight completely up and over. You are not doing a real cartwheel if your body does not go vertical. Some may attempt to stay close to the ground and their body will be some degree of horizontal. But if you’ve been doing handstand you are already no stranger to being upside-down, so throw your body up and over.

The knees can bend slightly as you do this move on both the take-off and landing legs, but you want to keep the arms locked out at all times when they‘re contacting the ground.

When a single cartwheel is easy, do several reps in a row, not even taking a step in between them. Just pivot on the foot you land with and step into the next cartwheel. For more variations be sure to check out Tumbling Illustrated.

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