Teach a 12 year old girl how to do a cartwheel?

Teach a 12 year old girl how to do a cartwheel?

Trying to teach a 12 year old girl how to do a cartwheel. She has no upper body strength. She cuts around the corner and lands on her starting leg in front. Suggestions and Help PLEASE!

Gymnastics CoachCoach
Lee-annes NetballCoach, Australia

hey alex are you the tumbling coach for a certain PCYC in brisbane?

Ian MarshCoach, England

Hi Lee-Anne, nope not me,

it must be another Alex!

Lee-annes NetballCoach, Australia

no probs...just thought id ask.

abby i use to coach tumbling for a trampolining club, and something we did to help show the kids how their hands and feet were landing was to coat them in Mag chalk and get them to do cartwheels.  this is also good for roundoffs if their takeoffs arent quite right.  (good for you too as you will be able to see exactly where everything lands, and how much length they are getting, and which hand or foot needs correcting.)

Gymnastics CoachCoach

She is a righty and I just can't seem to get her to push through her leg to get it off the ground more than 6 inches. Therefore her right leg just cuts around the corner. She is landing with her feet together. Her hand position is fine. I think she is just nervous about putting all her body weight on her arms (she is quite weak and I am working with her on that). I am also working with her on handstands and she does the same thing, I mean won't get her starting leg off the ground more than six inches. I am teaching her and my sister-in-law a few basics just to get them ready for 7th grade cheerleading. Neither of them had ever done any gymnastics before.

Lee-annes NetballCoach, Australia

lots of donkey kicks or skorpians, and one legged handstands (only one leg goes up and the other legs is used to push).  make races or games out of it.   lots handstands against walls, and you spotting her while you hold her hips.  when she does get a little better, we use to play games using a tunnel of crash mats.  you get some of your parents or other coaches to hold up 2 crashmats on their side, to create a corridor for them to cartwheel into.  wide at first, and then slowly make the space shorter.  the kids love the challenge.  they can also do roundoffs into them to make sure they are straight.  she will get there.

when i use to coach tumbling (and when i did gymnastics many moons ago) we always taught to do cartwheels in both directions, left and right in order to make sure we strengthened our back muscles evenly.  so it shouldnt matter when side she cartwheels on.  teach everyone to go both ways.  

Gymnastics CoachCoach

Abby, one trick I did all the time with cartwheels is to put a panel mat up on edge and have them do the cartweel with their belly next to it. If they kick it over they got conditioning, usually 10 pushups or so. That way they self-correct, especially if they do not like doing pushups. Another way is to do the dissapearing sticker. You put a sticker on their front leg and they have to make sure it 'dissapears' at the end of their cartwheel.  Other than that, a lot of spot may be needed, where you stop her in the middle and fix her so she can feel the way it is supposed to feel

Tanya GibsonCoach, Australia

Hi Abby,sorry I can not find how long ago you posted, so your gymnast may already be doing cartwheels. We have a lot of gymnast who come & start around 12 & personally I have found, as you stated that if they can not handstand it is due to 2 things usually. 1. upper body strength 2. being scared of being upside down. The most successful thing I have found to work is to get them to do handstands on the wall, this gets them use to being `upside` down & it shows them that they can hold their own body weight

Login or Join Now for FREE to post your answer


  • search our library of 1000+ gymnastics drills
  • create your own professional coaching plans
  • or access our tried and tested plans


Use our expert plans or build your own using our library of over 700+ drills, and easy-to-use tools.



See the whole archive of questions.



  • search our library of 1000+ gymnastics drills
  • create professional gymnastics coaching plans
  • or access our tried and tested gymnastics plans

Sportplan App

Give it a try - it's better in the app

YOUR SESSION IS STARTING SOON... Join the growing community of gymnastics coaches plus 1000+ drills and pro tools to make coaching easy.