How to Do a Backward Roll
a backward roll is a basic skill to master. It may be harder to learn at first and take a bit of practice get it right. Start by learning how to work up to a backward roll, then move on to completing one.
Part 1Working Up to a Backward Roll
1Start in a squat position. Hold your hands close to the body with the palms flat towards the ceiling. They should be shoulder height. Drop your butt down like you are sitting. Roll back while lifting your legs straight. That should put the pressure on your hands and your shoulders. Roll forward again. As you get used to the exercise, start pushing with your hands to lift yourself off the floor a little bit. You are working yourself up to being able to push yourself over without hurting your neck.
2One way you can learn to master the backward roll is to set up your mat in a V shape. This helps you to protect your neck and learn how to roll in a straight line. To do a backward roll, you need enough abdominal strength to lift your legs and hips over your head. You also need enough arm strength to push your body over and protect your neck.
3One way to learn the basic movement of a backward roll is to use a wedge. Sit on the higher end of a wedge. Hold your hands close to your body. Face the palms flat towards the ceiling. Tuck the chin. Roll backwards down the wedge. Reach for the mat while keeping your hands close to your shoulders. Kick your toes over your head to roll yourself. Land on your feet.
4If you are still unable to complete the roll, ask someone to spot you. The spotter stands to your side. As you roll back into your backward roll, the spotter will grab your hips. They lift your hips as they help guide your body over while keeping the pressure off your neck. Spotters help you learn correct hand placement. They also can help you build enough arm strength to push yourself off the ground.
Part 2Completing a Basic Backward Roll
1Start with your knees together and your back straight. Your thighs should be parallel to the floor. Hold your hands out in front of you if you need help balancing. As you begin master the backward roll, start trying to begin in a standing position.
2Bend your arms close to your body. Place your palms facing towards the ceiling just above your shoulders. Tuck your chin to your chest like you are looking at your bellybutton. This is called having "pizza hands." Your hands are flat like you are carrying two pizzas in them.
3From the squat position, drop your butt down by bending your legs. Push back with your heels. You'll start to roll onto your back. Another way to think about dropping down is to treat it like you are sitting down. Make sure that your back is rounded as you fall back onto it. Keep your legs together. Don't let them separate.
4As you roll backwards, keep your knees tucked to your chest. Roll quickly enough so that you get some momentum. Your weight needs to shift from your lower back to your upper back then to your hands. As the knees and legs start to go over your head, push with your arms and shoulders. Drive the backward roll by moving your toes over your head, not by throwing your neck and head backwards. You should engage your hands and arms when your body rolls towards your neck. You always want to protect the neck and head. If you've kept your hands in the flat position, they should easily make contact with the floor so you can push yourself over. Your hands will be flat against the floor while your elbows will be pointing towards the ceiling.
5As you straighten your arms, your hips will start to lift up. This will roll your body over your head. Land on your feet. If you land on your knees, try tucking yourself into a tighter ball.