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Article: Your Cartwheel Sucks: 3 Ways to Fix It

Your Cartwheel Sucks: 3 Ways to Fix It

Written by
June 24, 2014
Updated April 12, 2018
Category: Fitness

When first learning to do a cartwheel, there are three things to keep in mind to avoid some common errors. Square hips, arms by your ears, and hips over the top of your body.

Cartwheel Tip #1: Keep Your Hips Square

One common error many people face when learning a cartwheel is they believe it is a side skill. This is incorrect, it is actually a forward skill. You want to begin with your hips forward, keeping them square and leading with your dominant leg.

Cartwheel Tip #2: Keep Your Arms by Your Ears

A second common mistake people make is starting with their arms out to the side, or down by their hips. Doing this may tempt you to place your hands down close by your feet or out to the side, causing a short and horizontal cartwheel. A long, square, and over the top cartwheel is what we are aiming for. Starting with your arms straight up by your ears will force you to square out in the air resulting in a vertical cartwheel.

Cartwheel Tip #3: Get Your Hips Over The Top of Your Body

To get upside down in the cartwheel, you need to think about getting your hips up over your shoulders, not around the side. Attempting a cartwheel against the wall is good practice for getting your hips over the rest of your body. Start slow, showing control, and pause at the top for a three count if possible. Following the pause, step down.

There you have it, three things to remember: Square hips, arms by your ears, and hips over the top of your body.

Andrea competed for Illinois State University in Gymnastics from 2006-2010. She was named 2010 Midwest Independent Conference Athlete of the Year as well as 2010 MIC 1st Team All-Conference Selection. Andrea was a member of the Illinois State Gamma Phi Circus 2010-2011, competing in Hand Balancing, Teeter Board, Russian Swing, and Acro Sport. For 10 years she has been a member of the World Olympic Gymnastics Academy (WOGA) Team garnering 2 Junior Olympic National Qualifier honors. While training with the WOGA she trained alongside Olympic Gold Medalists Nastia Liukin and Carly Patterson and was coached by Olympic Coaches Valeri Liukin and Natalya Marakova. Not only is Andrea a competitor but she also has 4 years gymnastics coaching experience, Compulsory/Optional-Collegiate, as well as 4 years choreography experience, Compulsory/Optional-Collegiate. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Human Development and Family Relations.
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