Somehow, despite taking 2 years of gymnastics, I never conquered the cartwheel. Even worse, I took gymnastics to learn the cartwheel since I was the top-ranked ballerina in a can-can. Despite best efforts, we had to substitute a pirouette for mine.
Too Much Leg, Not Enough Arm
I’m built with long legs for my height. The downside is I’ve rarely had a lot of upper body strength and proportionally there’s a lot of lower body to support. There was a period when I was playing a lot of tennis and developed some, but right now it’s on the low end. Everything I’ve read about cartwheels emphasizes the handstand as an intermediary step (I’m a headstand-only chick) and makes a point that it’s all about the arm strength.
Pursuing the Cartwheel
I love watching people break into physical spontaneity – whether it’s dancing to a street busker, running thorough sprinklers or deciding to bust into some cartwheels on a freshly cut lawn. Last summer, I gave it a go after my bf did several in front of a restaurant – and, more recently, watched a bunch of people cartwheel it at a beach. In both instances, my heart said yes but my body said”awkward hopping motion.”So, the plan is to:
1. Hit the tennis court and some weights to get enough upper body strength to support these ridiculous legs. I figure 6 weeks should do it, but I admittedly just made up that figure.
2. Try to get a bona fide handstand going. (This may be interesting being that I anticipate balance issues.)
3. Attempt the cartwheel.
4. If all else fails, I may schedule a gymnastics class or two to see if the pros can help me. 1 week ago