How to Cartwheel to Handstand

Three Principles.

  1. Leg Tension
  2. Repetition
  3. Playfullness

Exercise 1

Start with your hands on the floor. Got from one foot to the other. The main focus is to keep the legs straight and feet and toes pointed like a ballet dancer or gymnast.

Exercise 2

Keep your hands on the floor but begin hopping from side to side. Your legs will make a windmill motion.

Exercise 3

Continue jumping from side to side but gradually jump your bum higher each time. As you bodyweight gets more over your hards you will begin to flow. Eventually you will hit the balance points and be able to stay there.

Exercise 4

Come to your feet and begin practising normal cartwheels backwards and forwards. By doing it each way on the spot, we are practising both sides and breaking our reliance on one side. The focus should be on keeping the legs and feet straight and pointed.

Exercise 5

Long Cartwheels. Lunge further, reach further. Try to travel as far as possible with one cartwheel.

Exercise 6

Short Cartwheels. Place your first hand down as close to your foot as possible. Then land you other foot as close to the other hand as possible.

Exercise 7

Star Cartwheel. Try to keep arms and legs straight tumble over sideways.

Exercise 8

Cartwheel in and then push back and leave the same way you entered. This conditions our shoulders to be able to control and resist the sideways forces rather than just carrying the normal momentum.

Exercise 9

Cartwheel in and stop in straddle.

Exercise 10

Consistency. Once you can balance. Try hitting 4/4 attempts.

Exercise 11

Cartwheel to straight handstand. This is more difficult than finishing in straddle.

Exercise 12

Jump up into the handstand from crouched position.


For Ben’s free Handstand tutorials visit

For Ben’s Ultimate Handstand Tutorial visit

Cirque Physio Active Flexibility Programs can be found here

Physio Flex flexibility training

Additional stretching exercises will help increase the shoulder mobility and make all Handstands easier.

Additional gymnastic conditioning such as GMB will help overall movement ability

Resistance bands, parallettes and other bodyweight fitness equipment can be found at Rubber Banditz

Ben Lowrey’s UK Handstand Workshops can be found here

The Acro Library Podcast can be found here