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Strengthening
How to do a basic cartwheel? HELP!!!!
By DanceFreak8 Comments: 17, member since Tue Feb 03, 2015
On Wed Feb 18, 2015 08:25 PM

Okay.. So, I can do a cartwheel, but not so gracefully. It is more like a round-off than a cartwheel to be honest... And when I go into it, I just go right out of it, and I stomp my feet on the ground. Also, my legs Are bent... A lot. So can sombody PLEASE tell me any exercises that I can do to improve my cartwheels? Thanks!

5 Replies to How to do a basic cartwheel? HELP!!!!

re: How to do a basic cartwheel? HELP!!!!
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member Comments: 7417, member since Sun Apr 18, 2004
On Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:13 PM
You need to practice endless T-in, T-out before doing the upside down part.

From a lunge, keep your body and back leg straight...balance on one foot as that straight line of your leg/body/arms tilts forward to make a "T" and hold it, before putting your back foot back down exactly where you found it (keeping your body and back leg straight). When that feels stable, you will increase that, so you go through the "T" and continue until your fingertips touch the floor, and stand back up. Remember you do not want your hand close to your foot, you want them to reach away so your legs/body have somewhere to GO in your cartwheel. Staying stationary is MUCH harder.
re: How to do a basic cartwheel? HELP!!!!
By Moonlitefairy06member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 7177, member since Fri Apr 16, 2004
On Thu Feb 19, 2015 03:39 PM
T-in T- out is a great learning tool. I was taught thought for cartwheels on the floor and even more important on the beam when I was a gymnast. Setting up a straight line using chalk, measuring tape etc on the floor can help you to visually keep it straight. I think a big thing to remember is "hand hand, foot foot". You want to stretch it out as much as possible. Something that can really help is the basic handstand. I've noticed in dance and cheerleading and other activities that incorporate tumbling, the handstand is often overlooked. You can practice doing hand stands against the wall and holding them for strength. Then you can also practice the stepping down motion which will be the same for a cartwheel. This can also help with your problem of bending your legs. You can also cartwheel up against the wall, but if you aren't perfectly straight you'll bang right into it so I would save that drill for when you have improve your cartwheel and handstand.

A lot of problems people have with cartwheels is not lifting their hips. You want your legs to go up and not around. I used to be bad at this especially on beam since I was afraid to be totally vertical. One thing that can help with is doing your cartwheel over something. In a gymnastics class that would normally be a folded up panel mat. You put your hands on top of it when you do the cartwheel and that requires you to kick harder. If you notice your legs going around the mat instead of above it, you'll know you aren't kicking hard enough and aren't lifting your hips. If you don't have access to a mat to do this on, something like an aerobics block might work, I'm not sure about any regular household items.
re: How to do a basic cartwheel? HELP!!!!
By DanceFreak8 Comments: 17, member since Tue Feb 03, 2015
On Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:30 AM
This might be a slightly stupid question... But what is t-in t-out? I am not in Acro or gymnastics so I have no knowledge of this? Thanks!
re: How to do a basic cartwheel? HELP!!!!
By Moonlitefairy06member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 7177, member since Fri Apr 16, 2004
On Thu Feb 26, 2015 01:52 PM
The best would be to find some youtube videos that show it. I can try and find that later. Basically as you enter and exit your cartwheel, you want your body to be in the shape of a capital T. Your standing leg is the bottom of the T, your arms are one side of the top of the T and your other leg is the other hand of the T. Your head should stay neutral with ears between your arms throughout. Sticking out your head will cause your back to arch. In the T position You want your arms and leg to be completely even in the air with the balance on your standing leg. You pass through that position twice: At the beginning of your cartwheel before you put your hands down (T-In), and then at the end of your cartwheel before you put your second foot down (T-Out). Does that make sense?
re: How to do a basic cartwheel? HELP!!!! (karma: 1)
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member Comments: 7417, member since Sun Apr 18, 2004
On Thu Feb 26, 2015 02:27 PM
Image hotlink - 'http://fc08.deviantart.net/fs19/i/2007/227/2/c/Cartwheel_by_BrigetteMora.jpg'

Here's an image I found that demonstrates the T fairly well. The 2nd and 5th frames are the "T - in" and "T - out" positions.

If you go through the T position you have the good, solid, "easy" momentum/power...many people pike at the hips and drop their shoulders too soon, which makes it much much harder.

To demonstrate the "bad" or "wrong" way to do this is this video I found by googling "bad cartwheel". Now, if you freeze right before her hands are on the ground, her back leg is pointing down to the ground, her hands are pointed down at the ground...there is no "T" shape.

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