Easy Drills to Improve Your Cartwheel
The first thing you need to do to before attempting a new skill is make sure you are strong enough and flexible enough to perform the skill. If you aren't strong enough to support your body weight in a handstand, the cartwheel will be virtually impossible. If this is the case start with the strength drills below. If you can already hold yourself up in a handstand, the cartwheel should be safe to attempt. Try onto the cartwheel drills below to improve your strategy.
Improving Your Strength
- Handstands against a wall- Stand with your back facing a wall, place your hands on the floor in front of you and walk your feet up the wall until you are in a handstand with your body against the wall. Try to hold as long as you can, then come down and repeat.
- Handstands against a wall with a straddle split- This is an important cartwheel position and ill help with the flexibility of your hips.
- Push ups- Forward push ups, reverse push ups, triangle, wide-armed... All will help with arm strength
- Planks- These will help with the core strength you need to perform gymnastics skills. Lay on your stomach on the ground with your elbows and forearms on the floor in front of you. Push up on your toes, holding your stomach up parallel to the floor. Hold for at least 30 seconds, then come down and repeat.
Cartwheel Drills and Tips
- Cartwheels over a mat- Begin by placing your hands on a mat in front of you and kicking your feet around to the other side. Once this becomes easy, start standing in front of the mat and lunge into the mat, placing your hands on it and cartwheeling over. The goal is to get your legs to travel straight over your head. Once you can do this, a cartwheel on the floor will be easy!
- Cartwheels into a pit- If you have access to a foam pit, start on the edge facing the foam pit and cartwheel into it, again focusing on getting your legs to travel directly over your head
- Cartwheel down a wedge mat- The slant will help accelerate your legs over your head. It's a good place to start if you've never tried a cartwheel before.
- Levers- Start standing with one foot pointed forward like you're getting ready for a cartwheel. Keeping your arms close by your ears, reach down and place your hands on the floor while lifting your back leg up. From there, push off the ground, keeping your arms by your ears, and bring your body up to a standing lunge.
- Reach out far!! The spacing for your cartwheel should look like this: Foot------Foot-----------hand----Hand----------Foot------Foot
- Rhythm is important; it should be like this: Hand, Hand, Foot, Foot