Secrets for great cartwheels on beam

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momof5

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Proud Parent
Oct 26, 2007
375
What does it take to be able to stick a cartwheel on the beam? The L5 on our team are so inconsistent with this skill and now the my L4 DD is starting to learn her cartwheel on the low beam I am wondering what it takes to stay on the beam? What factors go into the cartwheels that fall off vs the ones that stay on?
 
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KBT

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The most common problem I've seen is not pushing through both shoulders as your hands come off the beam, and especially the second shoulder. It's very, very easy to let the second arm drop a bit and not push through the shoulder and keep the arm by the ear. A slight difference in the shoulder push will cause the gymnast to twist.

Landing with the legs slightly bent helps to absorb any wobbles, too.

Also, going right over the top is important but scary for some kids and harder to teach than the shoulder push and bent-leg landing due to that fear.
 

ginnymac

Parent/Coach
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Jun 26, 2008
386
When coaching, I find that if the kids consistently use a "t" placement for their hands it helps. First hand in cw goes down across the beam and on the second hand, the fingers point towards first hand. (hands form an uppercase "T") Also encouraging the kids to look with their eyes at the first foot to touch down on the beam.

HTH:)
 
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BlairBob

Guest
Yeah, GinnyMac we tell the girls to use the T-hands and look underneath their armpit at the beam.

Another is to train the cartwheel on beam just as on floor. Long and high. This takes commitment and courage. The only time this can be a problem is with older girls because of space issues in the routine.
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
My biggest problem is with kids not passing through the HS at the top. I spot a lot to try and have them get the feel of the speed and position.

As with most things on beam, I tell them to stand up and look for the other end of the beam, and anchor their torso in that position.
 

I-Heart-Beam

Active Member
Sep 9, 2007
964
Scotland
When coaching, I find that if the kids consistently use a "t" placement for their hands it helps. First hand in cw goes down across the beam and on the second hand, the fingers point towards first hand. (hands form an uppercase "T") Also encouraging the kids to look with their eyes at the first foot to touch down on the beam.

HTH:)

That is the most useful tip ever, IMO!! It keeps your hips in line also, so is really useful when you begin to train round offs.
 
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BlairBob

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Exactly why I prefer we do all of our tumbling on the border edges where the carpet sections connect. T-hand for cartwheels, T-hand and over the centerline for RO and tsuks.
 

momof5

Member
Proud Parent
Oct 26, 2007
375
I assume that you guys mean an upside down T. Is it hard to teach them this way if they have previously learned with both hands placed side ways?
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
I don't like the T hand placement (mostly for myself I mean) but it shouldn't be that hard to adjust. I feel like my main problem with it is you do cartwheel to side HS and don't turn in and at some levels I just find it too confusing for some girls to switch off (mainly the younger ones who are a little all over the place). It helps some so I intro it as necessary...otherwise I let them put their hands straight. I spot a lot to get a fast CW and I find the T placement slows it down for some girls who try to be too deliberate about it. Which is actually ideal in some circumstances when you're trying to get them more in control just to do a single CW on beam like in the L5 routine, but I start teaching it early and I train it pretty fast with a spot for quite some time. I'd rather they do it fast and tight and occasionally fall in L5, than do some of slow-mo ones I've seen and stay on. Ideally you have a consistent speed and control throughout but we are talking about an intro level so you can't always have it all. But everyone has a different end in mind and even for different individuals I'm okay with different things.

I definitely don't turn my second hand in on floor tumbling or tsuks either, and I was pretty high level. I'm not saying it doesn't work because I do believe it to probably be mechanically a basic sound idea, but I guess it's just not something I stress for every single kid in gymnastics and I don't think having both hands side vastly hinders you or something. It's a little strange because I find myself doing it with cheer more because we do a ton of RO drills early and a lot of kids don't turn sufficiently, but in gymnastics I rarely have this as my biggest problems. My focus on floor and beam is strong kick over the top and quick chest rise at the end. Arms by the ears going in - correct reach and kick "forward" first without turning out early. End of single CW needs strong lunge without stepping in or having the feet too close together, eyes toward the end of the beam, chest "anchored" in relation to the beam. Kick drills and work are important to me. Lack of flexibility through the back kick/hamstrings with the base leg and the first leg coming down hinders this.
 
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rachmeal03

Guest
one thing commonly overlooked on cartwheels is speed. so many young gymnasts try to do the slowest cartwheel imaginable hoping that it will help them stay on. try speeding things up by practicing on low beams first... and always use the t hand placement... it will when they start doing cartwheel and round off series and dismounts later on!
 
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