The Forward Roll

By Roger Harrell

In Gymnastics/Tumbling

October 01, 2005

PDF Article

The forward roll has a tremendous number of applications outside the gym. In a forward fall, most people will sprawl. Practicing and getting completely comfortable with a forward roll will change this reaction. In a forward fall, rolling out will greatly reduce impact and allow for a continuation of movement that gets you to your feet with little or no interruption. Just performing the forward roll improves kinesthetic awareness and engages a large number of muscle groups.

Initial Drill

Candlestick roll to stand: Start in a stand, squat down, roll into a tucked candlestick (http://www.drillsandskills. com/images/display?path=candlestick.jpg) position, and roll back up to standing without using your hands. Repeat this drill with extending to a full candlestick before rolling up to a stand.

Tucked Forward Roll

Start in a squat on the balls of your feet with knees together. Place your hands flat on the floor with spread hands. While maintaining pressure on your hands, tuck your head and place the back of your head between your hands while pushing with your legs to roll over forward. Maintain a rounded back by contracting your abs, and keep looking at your knees. As you roll forward, try to maintain momentum to roll up onto your feet and stand up without pushing off the floor with your hands. Your arms should just reach forward at the end of the roll.

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