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Gymnastics - How to do a One-Handed Cartwheel
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Gymnastics - How to do a One-Handed Cartwheel
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How to do a One-Handed Cartwheel in Gymnastics

In this lesson you will learn how to do a one-handed cartwheel in gymnastics. This exercise is a good preparation for the wushu cartwheel without hands. The one-handed cartwheel also helps straightening up slanted cartwheels and cartwheels without hands. If you jump from the left leg, use your left hand. If you jump from the right leg, use your right hand. This exercise doesn't work as well if you jump from the left leg and plant your right hand. You will twist and slant your cartwheel even more. The animation above shows a left, static one-handed cartwheel (static = from a standing position). Of course you can also do a little run-up or jump forward. Find more gymnastics skills at artistic gymnastics main.

Execution

  • Stand upright and close your legs. Lift your left arm so that your fingers point straight up and put your right hand on your right thigh. Extend your knees and both elbows. Look straight forward. This instruction is for the left-handed cartwheel. If you jump from the left leg, only practice left-handed cartwheels. If you jump from the right leg, do the whole thing the other way around.
  • Then lift your left leg and lean forward like if you were doing a normal gymnastic cartwheel. Keep your right hand on your thigh. For more info check the basic cartwheel instruction.
  • Plant your left hand as late as possible. Your fingers point to the left. However, at the beginning you can plant your left hand as soon as you kick up your leg. I don't want you to break your elbows on the first try. Once you grow more confidence, plant your hand later. Keep you right hand on your thigh until you reach vertical level. Then align your right arm horizontally - see illustration.
  • The right foot touches the floor first.
  • Keep your arms aligned horizontally and land with your feet pointing to the direction where you came from. Look straight forward. The left arm is extended in front of the chest, the right arm is extended behind the back. This way your you can't turn your upper body to the left.

Advice

  • Warm up and stretch before you try the one-handed cartwheel.
  • Keep your arms straight. Careful with your wrists. Try this on mats first.
  • Keep your abdominals tight throughout the entire exercise and fully extend your knees.
  • At the beginning you can plant your left hand as soon as you kick up your right leg. But once you grow more confidence, you should try to plant your left hand as late as possible.
  • Plant your left hand with the fingers pointing to the left - 90° to the cartwheel direction.
  • Before you try this variation, your cartwheel (with both hands) should be very smooth.
  • Before you try the cartwheel without hands, warm up with a couple of left-handed cartwheels off a reuther-springboard. There is a similar lesson for the cartwheel without hands off a springboard.

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