How to do a cartwheel for beginners

Updated March 24, 2017

A cartwheel can be a requirement if you want to join a cheerleading squad. Often times, a part of cheerleading tryouts is to perform a nice cartwheel for the judges. However, if you just want to learn to do a cartwheel for fun, it can be a great way to improve your overall fitness level. Regardless of your reason, even someone who has never done a cartwheel before can learn to do one in a matter of just a few weeks or less.

Practice on a soft surface. A thick mat or grass that's free of roots and rocks work well.

Put on sweatpants and tuck in your T-shirt. Loose, comfortable clothing is best for practicing your cartwheel. Take off your shoes and socks before you start to keep your feet from slipping.

Stand up straight and keep your feet together. Reach upward with both arms and move your dominant foot in front of you. This lungeing motion helps propel the cartwheel.

Lean forward slightly with a strong core. Your arms should still be upward, aligned with your torso.

Shift your body weight onto your forward foot and pivot downward until your dominant hand (same as the foot) is on the ground in front of you. At the same time, kick upward with your non-dominant leg to propel your body into a near handstand position.

Move the other hand onto the ground, as well. At the same time, kick upward with the dominant leg to get your body into the full handstand. Keep your legs in a "V" shape when they're up in the air.

Bring your dominant leg back to the ground first keeping your legs stiff and toes pointed. Then, bring your non-dominant leg down. Your body's momentum at this point will make this motion easier. Land on the ground in your beginning lunge position.

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About the Author

Mike Johnson has been working as a writer since 2005, specializing in fitness, health, sports, recreational activities and relationship advice. He has also had short stories published in literary journals such as "First Class Magazine." Johnson holds a Bachelor of Science in education and history from Youngstown State University.