Backward Roll Drills

By Roger Harrell

In Gymnastics/Tumbling

November 01, 2005

PDF Article

Initial Drill: "Pizza Rocks" Hold your hands, palms up, out to your sides at shoulder height, as if you're holding a pizza in each. Your fingertips should be pointed back and elbows pointed forward. Sit and roll back, keeping your eyes on your toes, to candlestick and "squash the pizzas" on the floor behind you. While pressing your palms into the floor by your ears, roll forward to stand. As you get more comfortable with the drill, you can push and begin to lift yourself a little off the floor.

Tucked Backward Roll: Start this skill standing stretched with arms straight up overhead, not allowing them to drop forward. Then sit and lift your feet to roll onto your back. As you rock onto your shoulders, "squash the pizzas." Keep driving your toes over your head in the direction you are rolling. Push on the floor with your hands as you roll over and stand up. Drive the roll by lifting your toes over your head, not by throwing your head or shoulders back. Keep your feet and knees together, and keep watching your toes throughout the motion. Do not allow your knees to land on the ground as you roll over.

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