We are back with more tumbling tips! This week we are going to focus on cartwheels. Cartwheels are a great lead in skill for athletes to learn how to drive their hips over their shoulder while passing through a handstand position. Cartwheels are also essential for great round-offs later down the road.
Here are a couple of tip when learning or perfecting your cartwheel.
1. Start in a lunge position with your dominate leg in front, keeping your arms by your ears.
2. As you reach for the ground, keeping your arms by your ears, you want to make sure you are putting your dominate hand on the ground first, followed by your non-dominate hand in a straight line.
3. Once your hands touch the ground, you will kick your back leg in the lunge (or your non dominate leg), driving your heel up and over your hips. Once your non-dominate leg reaches the handstand position, you will then drive your dominate leg over your hips as well.
4. At the top of your cartwheel, your legs should be in a split position over your hips. As your legs come down, your non-dominate will touch the ground first. Like our handstand, as your non-dominate leg hits, your body will act as a sew-saw bringing your chest off of the ground. As your dominate leg comes to the ground in the lunge, you will finish the cartwheel with your arms by your ears.
A little trick you may find helpful when you are first learning your cartwheel; try saying this pattern in your head to make sure you are not rushing the skill. Always think, as you are reaching for the floor “hand, hand, foot, foot”. It can help remind yourself your hands need to be on the ground as you kick, and our feet come down one at a time.
It is important to practice and perfect both side cartwheels. While one side may feel “strange”, only practicing one side will make you more flexible on your dominate side. Also, working both sides teaches athletes body awareness, making it easier for them to understand how to twist and turn their bodies in more elite tumbling skills.
Hope these tips help! Come back next week to see what skill we choose to focus on next.