How to Do a Cartwheel & Come Down Into a Split

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Dancers and cheerleaders pair cartwheels and splits together for an impressive trick at competitions or recitals. This move showcases speed and flexibility, so you need both to complete the move. If you cannot do a split independently of cartwheels, focus on increasing your flexibility in the split alone before you try this trick. You can come out of a cartwheel into either a side split or forward split. If you have never attempted this trick before, start with the forward split, as people tend to be more flexible in this direction.

  • Stand up straight and tall with your arms extended above your head, hands flexed. Make sure there is at least 8 feet of free space to your right side. Point your right toe to your right side and lift it a few inches off the ground.

  • Step onto your right foot quickly by pushing off your left foot, then bend sideways to your right at your waist. Keep your momentum slow as you go into the cartwheel. The faster you complete the cartwheel, the harder your body will be thrown into the splits, potentially leading to injury.

  • Place your right hand on the ground, followed by your left, as you rotate sideways. Your hands will support the weight of your body for a moment while your feet are in the air above you. Your hands and feet should all follow the same line in the air; your legs should be straight.

  • Land flat on your left foot. Try to place as much weight onto your left foot as you can when landing. In a traditional cartwheel, you distribute your weight evenly between both feet during the landing, but to complete the splits you need one foot to be weight-free.

  • Rotate your body back to standing as you put your right foot on the ground, as far from your left foot as you can. Orient your hips so they are squarely facing forward instead of sideways. Your right leg will be the front leg in the splits.

  • Engage your inner thigh muscles to control your descent toward the ground as you slowly slide your right foot forward. Your left leg can shift backward as well if you need to. Never slam down into your splits; ease your muscles and ligaments into the pose. Hold your arms out to the side to help with balance as you sink into the splits.

  • Extend your arms above you in a “V” position and point your front toe. This will be the finishing position and add showmanship to the splits.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images
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