Another Thursday means another tumbling tip. This week we are going to focus on the forward and backward rolls. These tumbling skills are the building blocks in learning body control, as well as what you should do if you find yourself over rotating in higher level skills.
Let’s start with the forward roll. Here are a couple of tips for learning or perfecting your forward roll.
1. Start in a squat position, with your arms by your ears and your head looking forward.
2. As you reach for the ground in front of you, tuck your chin into your chest, and look for your belly button. This action will round out your back, allowing your body to roll.
3. Push off of the ground with your feet, keeping your chin into your chest and your arms by your ears. As you push off of the ground, keeping your chin in, you will push your hips over your head, causing your body to rotate.
Keep in mind, as you roll forward, aim to land on your shoulders and upper back in the forward roll. Do not roll over your head. If you find yourself rolling on your head, you need to push off of the ground harder through your toes, and keep your chin tightly tucked into your chest.
4. As your hips come over your head, keep your knees tucked in, so your feet land on the floor. Continue to reach forward to pull yourself up onto your feet.
Now the backward roll. Here are a couple of tips for learning or perfecting your backward roll.
1. Start in a squat position, with your arms by your ears and your head tucked in.
2. As you sit back, keep your chin tucked into your chest, looking for your belly button, and your arms by your ears. Your hips will touch the floor first, and as you roll to your head, keep your arms by your ears the whole time.
3. Once your hands reach the floor, push through your arms, while keeping your knees tucked into your chest.
4. As you push, your tucked knees will come through, with your feet leading and your feet will make contact with the floor. Continue to push through your arms to end in a standing position.
The key to a great backward roll is to push through your arms aggressively, trying to straighten your arms and block through your shoulders. The more aggressively you push, the easier it will be to later learn a backward roll to push up position or back extension roll.
As for over rotating in higher level skills, doing a forward or backward roll out of your over rotation is a great way to avoid injury. Rather than trying to stop the momentum in which your body is traveling during your over rotation, it is easier to control your body by trying to roll out of the rotation. Forward or backward rolls allows you to regain control and land either safely on your feet or in a back safety roll, with your arms by your ears.
Hope these tips help! Come back next Thursday to see which skill we choose to focus on then.