How to do a Cartwheel

How to do a cartwheel


Are you interested in learning how to do a cartwheel?

But you aren’t sure where to start?




Start With A Baby Cartwheel

You can learn a cartwheel in one day, but you will first need to start with a baby cartwheel and then work on perfecting it. In the cartwheel below the gymnast kicks around the side and does a baby cartwheel. Whereas, in the cartwheel above she correctly kicks vertically over her head. As you practice you will get better and better, and be able to do a correct cartwheel.

How_to_Do_a_baby Cartwheel


One of the keys to learning a perfect cartwheel is practice. In our article on the power of repetition, we share a personal example about learning how to do a cartwheel.  In order to learn the same way as in our story, complete this 1,000 cartwheel challenge. You can download it below. Remember, practice makes perfect!


how to do a cartwheel
Click Here to Download Cartwheel Hands to Help you Learn How to Do a Cartwheel


Now, let’s get into it…

Note: If you aren’t sure if your gymnast should be trying a cartwheel with their right leg going first or their left, there are a couple things you can do. You can have your gymnast do a cartwheel on both sides and see which side is easier and more natural. You can also have your gymnast do a cartwheel over a mat or a block (like here below) and see which way their hands turn. If they naturally turn 90 degrees to the left, they are most likely going to be doing a left cartwheel. And if they turn 90 degrees to the right, they are most likely going to be doing a right cartwheel.

How to Do a Cartwheel Step by Step

Here are step by step instructions for learning a cartwheel.

 1. Start in a lunge.

To start your lunge, put your dominant leg in front and bend it slightly. Your back leg should be straight. Your arms should be straight above your head, near your ears.
How to do a cartwheel step by step

2. Put your hands on the ground.

Put your hands on the ground with your hands turned 90 degrees.

How to do a cartwheel step-by-step
3. Kick your feet over your head.

Kick your feet over your head one at a time. The foot that kicks first should land first.

How to do a cartwheel step-by-step

4. Land in a lunge.
Land in a lunge facing the opposite direction you started from. Your arms should be over your head near your ears. Your front leg should be slightly bent, and your back leg should be straight.

How to do a cartwheel step-by-step

When you are starting out, just try to kick your feet around the side of your body. Then, as you work on improving your cartwheel, you can try to kick your feet more over your head.

While you can learn a cartwheel without the help of tools, it can be easier to learn one with help. Especially for young gymnasts.


cartwheel learning tools

Tools for Learning a Cartwheel

The Original Block: Cartwheel over the Cartwheel Block

My favorite way to teach a cartwheel is to teach it over an object. And this cartwheel block is perfect for learning this way. It’s much easier to kick your feet around or over your head in this method, with your hands being raised a little bit off the ground.

To do a cartwheel over the block:

  1. Start in a lunge.
  2. Turn your hands 90 degrees to either the right or left (depending on your gymnast’s dominant side).
  3. And kick your feet over the block to land on the other side.

You can also help determine which side, right or left, will be your gymnast’s dominant side when they are tumbling with this tool. If your gymnast automatically turns her hands 90 degrees to the left, she should probably do a left cartwheel with her left foot in front in her lunge. If she automatically turns her hands 90 degrees to the right, she will probably be doing a right cartwheel.


Join an online gymnastics community where gymnasts improve their gymnastics skills at home.


Tumbl Trak Cartwheel Beam Mat: Cartwheel on the Cartwheel Mat

Learning a cartwheel with a cartwheel mat is a great method for preschool children. The foot-prints and hand-prints make it easy for preschool age children to figure out where their hands should go. You can also use the back of this mat to practice doing a cartwheel in a straight line.

Nastia Liukin Pink Foam Balance Beam: Cartwheel on a Foam Training Beam

Once your gymnast has learned a cartwheel, it’s time to make it perfect! One of the ways to make sure your gymnast is doing a straight cartwheel is by doing it on a beam. This foam balance beam is slightly raised, but not enough that your gymnast will hurt herself if she doesn’t land directly on it.

Sticky Beam Strip: Cartwheel on a Line on the Floor:

A sticky beam strip is a great way to help your gymnast practice on a line, when you don’t want to put chalk or tape on the floors in your house. You can put this strip down, use it to practice, and take it right back up. By practicing your cartwheel on a line, you will make sure you are going right over your head.

I hope this helps you master your cartwheel!

Once you have mastered your cartwheel, check out 9 other basic gymnastics skills you should master.


Do you want to learn how to do a cartwheel? Check out this cartwheel hands download.


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37 comments… add one
  • Precious June 17, 2017, 10:05 pm

    • ... October 21, 2017, 9:55 pm


      • bisma bilal January 14, 2019, 5:46 pm

        i am too scared to kick my legs in the air!afraid i will fall

  • Precious June 17, 2017, 10:12 pm


  • Mary Harris June 20, 2017, 2:01 pm

    I didn’t do it perfect

    • Nora February 24, 2018, 10:32 am

      Neither did I.

  • Alexandra June 22, 2017, 3:53 pm

    I sprained my arm doing that and probably pulled a muscle

    • Kate July 6, 2017, 12:15 am


    • Kate July 6, 2017, 12:16 am

      Hey how are you

      • BTS IS VERY NICE December 7, 2018, 7:20 pm

        I’m splended

    • Akon July 12, 2017, 10:42 pm

      When you do any type of gymnastic move, you must stretch your muscles. That’s probably where you went wrong.

  • me June 23, 2017, 6:39 am

    when I do a cartwheel, I’m sure my legs aren’t quite straight up and down, I’m sure that I’m wonky while doing it, how do I go ‘straight up and down?? Please!! :):)

    • Nora February 24, 2018, 10:34 am

      I need to know that as well.

      • Emma July 24, 2019, 5:03 pm

        Pretend you are a T with your body and legs staright

    • Nora March 21, 2018, 9:52 am

      Did you remember to point your toes?

  • Rim June 24, 2017, 12:03 pm

    Insta d of landing in a lunge I always land like a rou d off

    • Nora March 21, 2018, 9:54 am

      Try doing the splits in the middle of the cartwheel and landing one foot at a time.

  • Horsey133 July 22, 2017, 6:45 am

    My legs are bent when i do it how do i get them straight . Other than that its great!

  • Thel September 11, 2017, 5:48 pm

    I am not flexible I did not do it I couldn’t stretch my leg

  • Breanna October 11, 2017, 5:54 pm

    Thanks for your help!!!.

  • WeirdGymnast January 14, 2018, 7:35 am

    Can you use a mattress while perfecting?

  • Adriene March 8, 2018, 4:03 pm

    How do I make my legs strait?

  • Adriene March 10, 2018, 10:04 pm

    What do you do when your legs aren’t strait?

    • Nora March 17, 2018, 2:18 pm

      Point your toes!

  • Los March 16, 2018, 12:35 am

    This site is very helpful. I was trying to learn how to do a cartwheel because we are doing a freestyle tinikling routine in my gym class and I was trying to self tech because I learned when I was about 4 or so, but forgot. But, easily once I followed the steps, it all just come back to me and if I practice over the weekend then I’ll be good by Monday!
    Thank You!

  • Nora March 21, 2018, 9:56 am

    Thank you! This website was incredibly helpful in teaching me how to do a lunge cartwheel.

  • Sarah May 15, 2018, 7:34 pm

    How do you do the cartwheel if it is on carpet instead of grass?

  • dereon May 29, 2018, 12:48 pm

    dplble musically follow me dereon5000

  • victorinox lommeknive July 3, 2018, 8:08 am

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  • sarah September 29, 2018, 3:27 pm

    Wow. Thank you so much ! i have wanted to learn a cartwheel for soooo long and now i can do one

  • Leila October 15, 2018, 9:00 pm

    Hi I am in 6th grade and have now just starting cheer for the first time. Any Tips? Also, I can’t do the splits or any kind of leg flexibility movement will I get better over time? Please respond!

    • Claire October 23, 2018, 9:44 pm

      If you want to do the splits, all you need to do is stretch every day. If you search online, there’s lots of stretching exercises for splits. Sprinting also helps because you move your legs really wide. I did the kneeling quad stretch and I sprinted 2/3 times a week for 30 minutes and it took me 3 months to do the splits.

  • Megan January 24, 2019, 6:59 pm

    i just cant get my legs in to the handstand part it is impossible for me so can i please get some tips

  • Denise Fulton July 13, 2019, 6:41 pm

    This way of how to do a cartwheel is dumps I live in az

  • Emma July 24, 2019, 5:04 pm

    I already know how do do one ask me for any questions

  • Emma September 20, 2019, 8:40 am

    I tried it at home but boom, i hit my head on the ground and my legs hurt so badly


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