How to do a Cartwheel
The cartwheel is a basic movement in both Gymnastics and Cheerleading but don’t be fooled although it looks easy it takes a lot of practice and dedication to do a proper cartwheel.
So where do we start? Firstly we need to know which leg is your strongest (usually your lead leg) this will determine whether you flavor right handed or left handed cartwheels.
For this example we will be for right handed cartwheels. If you wish to perform left handed cartwheels you will need to reverse these instructions.
Reach out with your right arm aiming to place it on the ground as far as is comfortable from your feet, kicking your left leg up as you do so. The left hand should follow very quickly, and at the same time as it touches the ground, your right leg should also be off of the ground (You should pass briefly through the handstand position) Your left leg will reach the ground 1st, followed by the right, which you will place in back, finishing in a lunge, just as you started, but with he opposite leg in front.
You need to perform the whole Cartwheel in one continuous motion with the arms and legs placed to the count of 1,2 and 3,4 as follows:
- Left arm placement
- Right arm placement
- Whole body inverted in the handstand position as count reaches (and)
- Left leg meets the ground
- Right leg meets the ground
Please note: The basic Cheerleading Cartwheel is different, it is more open and finishes with the whole body facing in the same direction as it started.
Don’t be put off if you keep throwing your legs out to the side. Most learners begin like this as it takes time to teach yourself a level of confidence to the point where your brain will allow your legs to pass over your head in one straight continuous motion.
Lastly, don’t forget to smile - it’s no good performing the perfect cartwheel if you look grumpy and strained doing it. Cheerleading is supposed to be fun!