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How to Do a Cartwheel

Connect with your inner gymnast by learning the steps for executing a proper cartwheel.


  • Step 1: Find a safe area Choose a large area with a soft surface, such as an area with a mat, a padded carpet, or soft grass to practice your cartwheel.
  • TIP: Don't attempt a cartwheel if you do not have the upper-body strength to support yourself as you go over.
  • Step 2: Extend your arms Extend your arms straight above your head.
  • Step 3: Position your feet Point your leading foot in the direction you will move and point your back foot slightly outward for balance. Bend your leading knee in a slight lunge.
  • TIP: Lead with the hand and leg that are the strongest. For instance, if you are right-handed, lead with your right hand and right leg.
  • Step 4: Focus on your first landing Focus your sight on the ground where you will place your hands.
  • Step 5: Start your turn Reach outward and down with your leading arm, kicking your back leg up. Put a powerful thrust behind the turn.
  • Step 6: Lock your elbows Lock your elbows when as land on your hands or else you will likely fall.
  • Step 7: Follow through Bring your second hand quickly to the ground while simultaneously swinging your back leg up and over your body.
  • Step 8: Practice good posture Keep your back straight, your toes pointed, and your legs straight and spread apart as you move through the cartwheel.
  • TIP: Visualize that you are in a narrow hallway as you move through the cartwheel, striving to keep you hands and feet on a single plane.
  • Step 9: Do a handstand Do a brief handstand and then continue the rotation until both feet are back on the ground. Keep practicing until you get it right.
  • FACT: The term "gymnastics" comes from a Greek word meaning "to exercise naked."

You Will Need

  • Soft surface
  • Upper-body strength

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