Cheerleading tumbling techniques are an essential skill for any competitive cheerleader and mastering the fundamentals early is vital to learning advanced tumbling techniques.
According to, The Cheerleading Guide to Basic Performance Tumbling by cheerleadingblog.com (include link), most tumbling techniques sprout from one of three basic moves: handstand, cartwheel, and back bend.
Handstands are great for developing balance and core strength.
- Start by standing with your dominant foot forward and your arms stretched out.
- Begin to exhale and bend down until your palms are flat on the floor; your non-dominant foot should rise and become parallel to the floor
- Lock your elbows and kick off the floor.
- Once both legs are vertical, hold your weight over your shoulders, tighten your core, and maintain balance. o Keeping your hands flat with fingers spread out and shoulder-width apart can help improve balance.
- To dismount, shift your weight back and control your weight until your feet are firm on the ground. To improve your handstand’s form and duration, focus on arm and hand placement, while keeping your core tight to stop your back from arching and hips from bending.
To improve your handstand’s form and duration, focus on arm and hand placement, while keeping your core tight to stop your back from arching and hips from bending. Below is a short cheerleading technique tutorial for a handstand.
The cartwheel can be thought of as a handstand extension and is often used to increase a tumbler’s momentum.
- Start with the first handstand position, but slightly bend your dominant leg’s knee.
- With the hand that matches your forward leg, reach toward the ground, kick up your back leg, and turn your body slightly to the side.
- Once your leading hand touches the ground, place your other hand on the ground and kick the grounded leg up.
- Your fingers should be facing way from your head and your legs straight with point toes.
- Using the kick’s momentum, your legs should transition to the shape of a “V”.
- Begin shifting your weight; your non-dominant leg should be close to the ground.
- Once your foot is on the ground, lift your leading hand and push off the ground with your other hand using the natural momentum to swing your dominant leg to the ground.
To improve your cartwheel, focus on using your legs to launch your weight up and over, and practice holding a handstand position for 15 to 30 seconds.
The Back Bend
The back bend is a fundamental skill to learning more advanced tumbling techniques, like back handsprings and back tucks.
- Stand straight with your feet should-width apart and arms straight over your head.
- Begin to arch your back and reach behind you. If done right, you should be looking upside down.
- Continue this arch and movement until your palms reach the ground.
- Remember to keep your arms close to your head by keeping your thumb near your temple.
- To release a back bend, lift your head and lower yourself by bending your knees and elbows. To improve your back bend, stretch your legs and back consistently, and keep your heels firmly on the ground.
To improve your back bend, stretch your legs and back consistently, and keep your heels firmly on the ground.