Roundoff into other skills - Cartwheel & Roundoff Tutorial

If the basic cartwheel has gotten a little boring for you, you may want to spice it up a bit. That explains why some of you have asked about how to do roundoffs into other stuff. So, today we’re taking the roundoff up a notch and we’re teaching how to do roundoffs into other skills. What other skills you might ask? Things like the roundoff back-hand swing, roundoff back tuck, roundoff layout, and roundoff full, just to name a few.

Knowing The Basics

If you’re familiar with how to do the cartwheel and already have that down, great! The roundoff and cartwheel are very similar. Now, today, we’re not focusing on how to do the roundoff, so you should also know how to do a roundoff. That’s essential you can’t roundoff into other skills unless you already know how to do the roundoff. The good thing is, if you’ve mastered the cartwheel, you should be able to easily do a roundoff, and vice versa. If you can do one, you should be able to do the other. Our main focus today is positioning to connect into higher-level skills coming out of the roundoff.

However, I will briefly touch on the cartwheel and roundoff below, and then we’ll move on to what makes them different and how we need to position for doing a roundoff into other skills.


As you should already know, with the cartwheel, you want to be nice and straight, facing forward, and as you’re reaching forward, use your arms to flip while standing. Keep it basic; no need to point your toes or any of that. Definitely focus on good technique and perfect body lines if you’re doing it for a certain sport, like gymnastics, But for the sake of this tutorial, we’ll keep it pretty basic; no need to get nit-picky.  I should point out that the cartwheel is not a sideways skill. You should be straight, facing forward when you do it.


This will be similar to the cartwheel starting out. The major change is going to be your foot placement. When you land, you’ll be landing on both feet. Your hand placement will change just a tad when you’re putting your hands onto the ground.

The Difference Between the Two

There’s just a slight difference between the cartwheel and roundoff. With the cartwheel, I would proceed by putting both hands onto a line. Both hands are on the line. Start with your preferred leg out (it can be right or left). Start with the preferred foot in front. The hand on that side would go down first and then do your cartwheel.

Here is the change with the roundoff: What will change is where you put your second hand. Your first hand will go on the line, the second hand will come around a bit, and then you land on both feet. So, one hand goes down before the other. You can do the roundoff from a standing position or a running position.

Connecting the Roundoff into a Higher Level Skill

The first thing you want to remember is that you always want to finish your roundoff with your arms up. This way, your arms are already up and ready to go where you need them. Now, you just need to make sure your feet are where they’re supposed to be in relation to your upper body. 

For instance, if you want to do a roundoff into a back handspring or a whip, you would land with your feet slightly in front of you, so you have a backward falling motion to go backward. (Feet in front to go backward).

When you go from a roundoff into a high-level skill that requires you to go up, like the layout or double-back, your feet should end up a bit behind you to help you set up to go high. (Feet behind you to shoot you up high).

So that’s the secret sauce you want to make sure you come out of roundoff with your feet in front to go backward, and you want your feet behind you to shoot up high.

Bring it All Together

Some of the basic things to know when connecting the roundoff into a higher-level skill is: 

  • Make sure you have proper hand placement (knowing the difference between the cartwheel and the roundoff).
  • Land onto both feet and know where your feet should be (based on your higher-level skill). 
  • Know where your arms should be coming out of the roundoff. Land with both arms up.
  • Land with feet together for the roundoff.
  • Depending on what you’re trying to do coming out of the roundoff will determine if your feet should be in the front of you or behind you.