What is a cartwheel?
A cartwheel is a basic skill in gymnastics that every young gymnast dreams of having! The gymnast will start in a stance with one leg in front and one leg behind them, this stance is called a “lunge”. From there they turn their hands sideways and kick their feet over their head to the other side of their body. The gymnast then lands back in their “lunge” shape that they began in. One caveat, the lunge they end in will have their opposite foot in front than the lunge they started in.
How do we work cartwheels in class?
In a beginner class we focus on drilling the portions of the cartwheel in addition to the cartwheel as a whole. We will take the lunge shape we mentioned earlier and make sure the gymnast has a strong lunge stance to help support the cartwheel. We focus on the upside down portion of the cartwheel to make sure the gymnast has strong arms and bellies so they don’t crumble onto their head or fall over when attempting the cartwheel. The cartwheel can be a difficult skill to master and can vary from each child. Some children pick up on the cartwheel after a few times of trying while others will work on this skill for months before achieving a cartwheel. The cartwheel is a basic gymnastics skill that does transition into “big” tumbling skills later on such as round-offs and aerials, which is why we want to make sure each gymnasts achieve a solid cartwheel from the beginning.
Written by Courtney Promes, Youth Class Dept. Leader