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Handstand Forward Rolls

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momof5

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Oct 26, 2007
375
This is one skill that my dd has been working on for a long time and she just can't seems to figure it out. She is at the point now that she goes up into the handstandthen immediately "crumples" (my word for how it looks) into a ball and rolls out. She has no clue how to lean in the handstand before she rolls out. Any ideas for helping her get this skill?
 

MoonKid

Gymnast/Coach
Jun 26, 2007
95
Ontario, Canada
You could try telling her to kick harder into the handstand and not to roll until she is already falling over. Also, if she the goal is to do it with straight arms (which it often is) then telling her to look at her hands until she feels like she's about to land on her back and then tucking her head in and rolling at the last second.

Is she being spotted for this? If she is, the coach could help her get get the feeling of when to roll by even just holding an ancle and telling her not to roll until the coach says to. If she isn't maybe she could ask for a spot. Sometimes kids are so afraid of falling on their back that they roll way too early.

I hope this helps.
 

kristilyn73

Active Member
Jan 17, 2008
1,326
Minnesota
One thing I see is that the kids tend to bend their elbows to roll.. She should keep her arms completely straigh then tuck her head in. they should roll down on the back of her neck.. I hope that make sense..
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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Two things I do to address this.

First, I don't teach it as a handstand forward roll; I teach it as a handstand.... and a forward roll is one of the two acceptable ways of comming down when they start falling (the other being stepping down to a lunge.) The forward roll is not part of the goal, it is merely a way of comming down from a handstand once they start to lose their balance.

As for the skill itself, I first teach a candlestick. Then, occasionally when I'm spotting them on handstands, I "accidently" pull them slightly off balance to the front, and tell them to bail by dropping to a candlestick. From there, they simply roll forward and stand up.

The imprtant thing to me is that the roll is not the central focus of the skill; they need to be focused on holding the handstand first.
 

momof5

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I definately think that she is afraid of this skill. For months she couldn't even roll out and always flopped hard on her back. She had a hard time learning this because she didn't want to practice because it hurt.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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The candlestick is the way to go to avoid the back flop.
 
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BlairBob

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She can already do handstand flatbacks, right? She can easily roll out of a handstand against the wall, correct?

Stand up a cheese mat/wedge. She will kick into the handstand against it and as it falls will roll out.
 

Shan126

New Member
May 25, 2009
31
handstand forward roll

A good drill I use with my kids is to place a line about a foot infront of a wedge mat. Have them handstand on the line and keep tight and straight as they fall. Once their shoulders hit the wedge mat they finish rolling and stan up.
 
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gymgirl13

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tell her 2 do her handstand and lean then when she feels she is about to fall then she should roll out or she should do the handstand with u holding her legs so she gets into the feel of holding the handstand
 
C

CoachSara

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What always works for my girls is reminding them to push the floor away from them (teaching them to push through their fingers) which will assist them in keeping their arms straight. As for the legs, I make sure to remind them to squeeze their bottoms and stretch as far as they can towards the opposite wall. A good verbal que for them is "toes to the wall".
 

wordsmith

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Jun 12, 2010
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She can already do handstand flatbacks, right? p
I definitely think this should be taught first, as it will force her to learn how to keep pressure against the floor (as CoachSara suggests for the straight arm roll) and learn to fall before changing to the candle-stick shape Geoffrey mentions about.

She can kick to handstand and fall flatback onto an 8 incher. That should give her confidence.

Drilling the candlestick shape, of course, is also important for so many things.

Shan126 idea is one I use; if she doesn't have access to a cheese mat, she can also use a folded panel mat. Adjust the height, accordingly. I'd start about shoulder level, behind the upper back; sometimes, having them try to fall straight, the edge of the cheese/block/panel mat will sort of force a collapse so they actually won't fall flatback, but will naturally begin to roll out. As they get better, lower the mat height.
 
A

ameragym

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Three things I like for this...

1). Neck stand roll down. Use the hands to hold the back and hips up.
.....Hyper-extend the body so that it looks pleasantly arched or overbalanced. .....Release and roll down.

2). Handstand roll down onto a wedge up hill. Start at the edge before the bottom and keep pulling the wedge further away until you are doing it flat on the floor without thumping down.

3). Another option is put a roll of foam or cushion behind your neck. The pad and protrusion on your neck will help give you a target and help give you the feeling to curve your body to receive the floor without crashing. By aiming for the target behind your neck then you will feel how to position your body so you don't thump down.
 
E

emacmommy

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Going back even more basic... how is her forward roll and posture?

I find girls who have "flat" rolling technique have a hard time with this, and of course with a candle stick position.

Make sure she naturally does a forward roll that puts the back part of her head on the floor, i.e. where a pony tail would be or further, rather than the top of her head. If she can't properly tuck her head on a basic roll then she will have issues with coming out of a handstand.

Girls with natural sway backs often have a hard time rolling with straight arms out of a handstand because the handstand posture isn't developed well, especially if they are young. If they don't know how to push the ribcage in on a handstand the straight arm roll will be difficult.
 
N

NGL780309

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DD had trouble with this too. It just took her some time and her coach spotting her to get it. Now she has them, but she has trouble keeping her knees together when she stands up. From the side it looks okay, but head on you can see the knees coming apart. When she keeps them together she just barely can stand up and has to sometimes step back. Any suggestions for her?
 
T

triptwister

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Knees apart on forward rolls makes it easier for the gymnast to shift their center of gravity forward and stand up. With the knees together the legs are in the way and getting up may be cumbersome. To overcome this if the feet are apart then drills keeping the feet together may help. Sometimes speed helps. Faster roll outs create momentum that can be used to shift the center of gravity over the feet. Down hill rolls on a wedge can facilitate the stand up so that its easier to keep the knees together. Banding the feet and/or the knees together for drills is also an option. Cannon ball rolls are fun and teach a completely closed roll which would solve the knees apart syndrome. Working on backward rolls starting with and keeping the knees together can overlap to keeping the knees together on forward rolls. Knee ups to handstand or knee mule kicks can also overlap to teaching legs together on forward rolls. Working on forward rolls to a sitting pike can overlap to keeping the knees together on handstand forward rolls. Forward rolls between folded mats and putting the hands on the mats to stand up can facilitate keeping the knees together.
 

Kiwi

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DD had trouble with this too. It just took her some time and her coach spotting her to get it. Now she has them, but she has trouble keeping her knees together when she stands up. From the side it looks okay, but head on you can see the knees coming apart. When she keeps them together she just barely can stand up and has to sometimes step back. Any suggestions for her?
I'm not a coach, but I can tell you what has helped me. Practicing rolling up from candlestick, getting the heels down early enough so that you can get them close to the body, pushing the heels into the ground, keeping your head forward (so that you're still tucked) until you've actually got onto your feet. As I said, I'm not a coach, so I'm not sure if this is how you're supposed to do it!
 

Gym-Nice-tics

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May 14, 2008
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US
DD had trouble with this too. It just took her some time and her coach spotting her to get it. Now she has them, but she has trouble keeping her knees together when she stands up. From the side it looks okay, but head on you can see the knees coming apart. When she keeps them together she just barely can stand up and has to sometimes step back. Any suggestions for her?
Without seeing it, it can be hard to say exactly why she has an issue standing up correctly. One possibility is that she is opening out of her tuck too early. If she starts to open her chest (think arching- but it doesn't have to be that extreme- even just a flat back position counts as opening) and pull out of the roll early, then it will be difficult to stand up. Some of my gymnasts had an issue with this. I told them to think about staying round or ball-like until they were securely on their feet and then stand up.
 

jazziigymnast

New Member
May 14, 2010
20
Australia
I had the exact same problem. I would immediatly bend my arms and 'crumple' because I was scared of landing on my back.
All of the drills listed above helped me, but the best one was being spotted by a coach and now I hit hanstand, then roll with straight arms EVERY TIME!

Give your DD time to learn and master it, because it doesn't come easily to every one (e.g. me!).

Good Luck!
 
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NGL780309

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I'm not a coach, but I can tell you what has helped me. Practicing rolling up from candlestick, getting the heels down early enough so that you can get them close to the body, pushing the heels into the ground, keeping your head forward (so that you're still tucked) until you've actually got onto your feet. As I said, I'm not a coach, so I'm not sure if this is how you're supposed to do it!
That's exactly what her coach told her so good advice!
 
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