Author Topic: Working out the kinks on a roll  (Read 1414 times)

Offline Ecopirate

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Working out the kinks on a roll
« on: February 20, 2009, 12:46:18 PM »
Hey all,

So I've been practicing some parkour for a bit now, focusing on the rolls, and having a bit of success. It's still about 50/50 from smoothness to slamming down on my back, but thankfully, the grass is soft and green this time of year. First, I'll make a couple of notes from my work that maybe others can use, and then I've got a couple of questions on perfecting the roll.

First, I noticed that momentum really, really helps with first learning the roll. After walking and running into a roll a number of times, I found it easier to start from a standing position as well.

Second, you should barely use your hands. I like to think of them as little guide rails that keep me on path, but that's about it. Whenever I inadvertently put weight on my hands, it screwed the whole sphere shape up, and I hit my back pretty hard. Instead, I found that the first "real" contact with the ground was my forearms and upper arms, as they were the protection for my head and shoulder.

Third, begin in a nice, wide open area if you can, like a park on a sunny day. Being unfamiliar with the roll, and having many sharp corners in my living room, I found I was obsessively watching ahead of me to keep from bashing into something, which is not conducive to head tucking/protection. While getting used to the path my roll will take me, and plotting its course, I think the wide open space helped me more to feel free from the worry of rolling into a plaster wall/tree/guard rail.

Fourth, I found that when I was doing it right, the roll felt natural, and I almost let my own inclinations guide the roll; however, when I was trying too hard for the technique, the roll usually failed in some way. Part of the purpose of a soft surface, I believe, is to let one try things a little more wildly. Also, when you're trying to hold the technique too hard, it makes the body a bit more rigid, and more susceptible to hitting the ground harder. Don't be afraid to get a little dirty while you're learning the correct technique.

Lastly, when I was doing it correctly, I barely felt the contact of the ground, and none of the energy of the movement hit the ground either, but rather it carried me forward. There was definitely no pain involved.


Now for a couple of questions:

1. After marking myself up with dirt from the rolls, I did noticed that my forearm got a fair amount of dirt on it. While I didn't feel like it was bearing weight or dragging, is this a sign that I might lose a few layers of skin on concrete, and further, how can I correct this?

2. I'm having trouble straightening out from the roll when I pick up and keep running. That is to say, while I plot a straight course, and end up moving in a fairly straight line, when I stand up my momentum carries me more or less diagonally. Is this normal? Or what can I do to correct it?

3. I do have a bit of a stiff neck from all that rolling. While it could be from the multiple failures I had where I got intimate with the ground, is it a sign that I'm not tucking my head enough?

Oh yeah, and how do I work on a backward roll, in case I do end up falling back?
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Offline max eisenberg

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Re: Working out the kinks on a roll
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2009, 11:23:57 AM »
well actually there is an advanced roll tut. on this website.

the right way to roll, check it out.


my mind is constantly moving, one day my body will be strong enough to keep up.

Offline Adam McC

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Re: Working out the kinks on a roll
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2009, 05:31:36 PM »
About the backroll, I don't really know what to say. Backrolls sort of happen. It's the exact same, its like rewinding a front roll. Roll from your feet to your hip to your shoulder, tilting your head out of the way, and you use your arms to push yourself upright. Oh, nevermind, Ozzi totally made a video for the backroll, hah. I almost forgot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqJlWDh9_TU&feature=channel_page

And here is a video I made on variations that will help you get rid of the little pains and mistakes you make. But it sounds like you've got the technicalities worked out. Just a matter of careful practice.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6I1J0zmE7U&feature=channel_page

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