Author Topic: Perfecting the Roll  (Read 8024 times)

Offline antwawn

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Perfecting the Roll
« on: December 19, 2005, 06:40:11 PM »
Hey guys, Im Antwawn, a fairly new traceur (about 3 weeks now). I can perform all the various moves in parkour, from kongs, to precisions to speed vaults and straight landings. My roll has always been pretty good, but not the best and I think its very important because its such an essential tool. Well, here's the problem: often times, my roll is painful, and I usually bash the curved part of my shoulder/upper arm. When I don't, I usually flop over slightly and hit my hip. I dont do it everytime, just a few times (enough to warrant me wanting to figure out what part of my technique I'm messing up on. Here's what I think about when I roll. Do I need to focus more on maybe rounding my back even more as I roll? Or what's causing my to make contact forcefully with my shoulder? I mean, in most videos it seems that people do it my way with their hands to brace and then on to the shoulder, but what do you guys think? Maybe I can get a video in the next day or two.

Offline michiganparkour

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Re: Perfecting the Roll
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2005, 06:54:58 PM »
not much advise i am giving hardly none really....but i also mess up on rolls a few times...i smash the side of my head though and that hurts like heck when you do it cement  :-X   :'(
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Offline antwawn

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Re: Perfecting the Roll
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2005, 07:29:55 PM »
Yea I do that sometimes, especially when I'm practicing just the rolls...But I went outside and tried again, and it really helps if you use alot of arm muscle to guide youself/slow down also.

Offline mkerunner

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Re: Perfecting the Roll
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2005, 11:23:05 AM »
make sure to get your arms down in front of your head so its protected from the pavement. Trying to remember that helped me alot when doing rolls.
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Offline Flippusmn

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Re: Perfecting the Roll
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2005, 03:58:27 PM »
Check out some of Belle's videos like B13. Watch him roll.
I think your problem is that you are rolling too straight forward, now don't get me wrong but I have seen many many people do this which isn't all that bad but you can bash your hip, your head, and or your shoulder. I have even seen some really SICK traceurs do this in some videos.
OK, what I was thinking when I used to have this problem is find my own movement or copy the best which in my case is David Belle. So first I tried to find my own movement and I did this for a while and when I figured it was time to fix this I spent nearly a year as this being my top priority which is too long if you know what I mean. :P So I then decide to try Belle's roll, after I did this I have not done that once since. Cool huh, that we are having the same problems and all which is good because we can learn from each other  ;).
As of now my rolls are great but still don't like to roll much unless I have to because it makes me dirty lol ;D.

Now heres the link to the topic where we explained Belle's roll if you want it, if not try and find your own movement and show us a thing or  two ;).
http://www.americanparkour.com/smf/index.php?topic=141.0

Go to the 11th post down by Undaunted (where the Belle conflict starts, OK) Then you can read the rest if you want  ;).

BTW: watch his video with Belle in it and compare your roll to his, I bet yours is straighter, look how sideways he rolls, takes all the pain away :).
Parkour can make you or break you, each of which I have experienced. ~Feel the Flow~ "Don't think with your balls, think with your brain." -Houston

Offline Ryan Ford

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Re: Perfecting the Roll
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2005, 04:16:55 PM »
there are many different variations to roll effectively. basically it just takes a lot of experimentation to find out what works for you best. rolls are something everyone should always drill. even after nearly 2 yrs of parkour, my rolls are by no means "perfect".

Offline Altimot

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Re: Perfecting the Roll
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2005, 05:26:41 PM »
every now and then i hit my shoulder.  I usually do my rolls pretty well. I think about what i am going to do before the jump and during the jump and that usually helps. If i don't do that then i usually mess up a lot. I also seem to suck when i have people watching me for some reason, it is annoying because i try to show somebody a drop i did but then i do it and they have to laugh because my roll was so bad. kind of embarrassing  :-[ lol.

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Re: Perfecting the Roll
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2005, 05:54:35 PM »
Like Demon said, there are many different methods, as there are many different body types. Never the less, here are a few things that really helped me clean up my roll:

1.) Exhale when you land and through the roll, as this enables your body to effectively transfer the shock and absorb impact.
2.) Play with the angle of your landing and your foot placement. I found that my perfect roll is a bit more sideways than I had seen some other people do. When I tried to emulate them, I would bash that little shoulder bone like nobody's business. Now, they're as smooth as butta'!
3.) Work on visualization. I find it helps me to envision myself as a drop of water. When I hit the ground, I compress down into a drop and move across the ground smoothly and without undue impact. Something about this visualization helps my body assume the correct position. I find it's an asset to be relaxed as you approach the ground all the way through the roll, so combining a solid visual ideal with the correct breathing is awesome for this aspect.
4.) If your hip is hitting, it is more often than not a product of overly anticipating your exit from the roll. If you start to open up like you're getting the jump in the next move it will kill your momentum and instantly switch your pivot point from your back to your hip in one motion. I find that if I stand with my right foot forward, as I would when I land, then sit back on my but, with my left leg tucked in front of my butt, my right leg bent in over it and in front, this is the optimal position for my legs. This allows my left leg to work as a perfect pivot-point going into my run. So as I go into the roll, I tuck my left leg into my butt, and then stay small (like a water-drop) until my momentum carries me right onto my feet. I never have to anticipate anything, as this position puts me directly into a running position if I let it.

Hopefully these tips can help a bit. End the end it's really just a matter of working with it and finding what works best for you, but a few pointers can help a lot sometimes! Good luck! :D

Offline antwawn

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Re: Perfecting the Roll
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2005, 06:04:03 PM »
I have to concur with gear. I practiced by jumping off my friends trampoline, which i wouldn't recommend if you aren't very familiar with the trampoline or you could take a dive, and I got my roll down. Somehow, gear must have used ESP to get his post to me, because that's everything I corrected and it works fine now.

1.) As he said, the angle helps some, usually pushing off towards the side a bit will help and protect your shoulder.
2.) Use your arms and legs to control your descent, which can be achieved by visualizing or concentration as gear mentioned.\
3.) Bend your rolling arm, and if you plant your hands, use your arm strength to hold that shoulder up as you roll.
4.) I need to work on the tuck to protect the hip, good advice.

Offline Flippusmn

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Re: Perfecting the Roll
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2005, 05:36:00 AM »
Yeah thats basically how I do it but one thing.
Especially the sideways part. Thats what I was saying, all the best rolls I have seen people do are pretty sideways and so I practiced them that way and haven't hit anything since. A thing about this is that if you care what people think they look kind of weird and dumb unless you push and almost dive and roll very fast. That will very much fix the people laughing at you part Altimot, lol.
Parkour can make you or break you, each of which I have experienced. ~Feel the Flow~ "Don't think with your balls, think with your brain." -Houston

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Re: Perfecting the Roll
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2005, 11:23:44 AM »
...
« Last Edit: December 28, 2005, 02:04:01 PM by Steez »

Offline Danseur

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Re: Perfecting the Roll
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2005, 02:08:55 PM »
I only just started parkour, but I've been dancing forever, and I also do contact improvisation, which is really good for learning to soften into the floor (and other people) to avoid injury. One thing I learned from that which might help you is to use the arm on the side of the shoulder which you are rolling over to guid yourself into the roll, so only the opposite hand is planted on the ground, this also gives you more speed. So you use the back of your arm to start the roll, making contact with the back of your hand on to your bicep and then to the back of your shoulder. You roll diagnolly across your back (not straight on your spine, or sideways) so that you finish on the opposite gluteus with one leg tucked the other one ready to propel yourself forward. It's kind of hard to explain, I hope this helps in some way.
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Re: Perfecting the Roll
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2005, 02:27:35 PM »
Steez, what martial art are you referring to? I also originally learned how to roll from martial arts, most notably judo and then aikido. The roll they both recommend is exactly the same as the roll most-commonly used in parkour, with a diagonal direction of travel from the shoulder to the opposing hip. A straight roll would be more akin to the gymnastics forward roll, which is also nice to know just in case you end up going completely straight at the ground (due to an unplanned fall) and need the technique to lessen the damage.

Offline Flippusmn

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Re: Perfecting the Roll
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2005, 04:54:14 PM »
rolling sideways is NOT my bag....

i learned how to roll in martial arts, and that roll involves going relatively straight. (but not on the spine)

a good drill i found was to get a long board about 8 inches to 12 inches wide. (the narrower the harder)

put the board on the ground (grass preferably, or if at all possible, over a swimming pool) and attempt to roll on the board without falling off.  sweet drill. (not for those who like to roll more sideways though, it would be very difficult i imagine)

It is not completely sideways but at a diagonal direction like most people say but the way I'm explaining is more sideways than straight yet still diagonal and not completely sideways, get it now.
And gear I practice rolling in all directions just in case of something like an unplanned fall or if I accidentally land sideways or backwards or intentionally.
Parkour can make you or break you, each of which I have experienced. ~Feel the Flow~ "Don't think with your balls, think with your brain." -Houston

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Re: Perfecting the Roll
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2005, 05:22:29 PM »
Gear,

i practice Shaolin Chuan'Fa, which is essentially kung fu.  what i meant was that you do roll from your shoulder to your hip diagnally, but you travel on a straight line.  i've also been taught what you said about keeping one leg tucked right under your butt, so that you will roll right onto it.  the idea is that you are contacting on a straight line for almost the entirety of the roll, using this method, you could theoretically roll on the top of a wall (after mucho practice).

Flippusmn,

it seems to me that belle rolls less straight than shoulder to hip. (right shoulder to left middle back to theigh)  that's what i meant.  (more sideways than that line)


Offline Flippusmn

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Re: Perfecting the Roll
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2005, 12:26:45 PM »
Yeah basically, I just realized that we don't even really roll over our shoulders, we roll over our lats and shoulderblades. Thats probably why there so smooth and fast.

BTW: you are right about the tucked leg under your butt, it makes it much easier to stand up straighter and faster, just more efficient.  :)
Parkour can make you or break you, each of which I have experienced. ~Feel the Flow~ "Don't think with your balls, think with your brain." -Houston

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Re: Perfecting the Roll
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2005, 01:50:12 PM »
okay, forget everything i said about rolling.

while the method i posted works fine for anything with give (gravel/grass/etc) it is no good on concrete.  recently i've been expanding a  bit, and i decided to go for a fairly big jump onto concrete. (big for me, about 12 feet far, maybe 6 down, probably closer to 5)

the problem is i hit my pelvis/hip on my lower back. (there's a bump of bone on either side of the spine, just below the waistline)
i don't hit anything else, my arms/head/back/shoulder are all fine, but after experimenting some more on concrete, i realize that i always roll right across that bump, and i'm not sure how to fix this.  any tips?


Offline Flippusmn

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Re: Perfecting the Roll
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2005, 07:48:17 PM »
Read everything we/I just said because I used to have that problem also. roll more sideways but while rolling sort of twist so you face forward. That should make the roll go more over your lower back above the pelvis, so it goes from (for me, you might go in the opposite direction as do I sometimes but) your right latissimus dorsi, over the spin nearly sideways but still diagonal, and the across to almost straight over your lower back above your pelvis so you don't even have to touch that part near the ground OK. Watch David Belle in this video as shown above,
http://tinyurl.com/azteu


heres the link to the better explination from before,
http://www.americanparkour.com/smf/index.php?topic=141.0

and one more thing, M2 you need to get the words latissimus dorsi in the spell check, it is spelled right and it is the muscle on your upper back, heres the link to the google I did for spell checking it,
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&q=latissimus+dorsi&spell=1

BTW: spell check works fine now for some reason, it's great!
Parkour can make you or break you, each of which I have experienced. ~Feel the Flow~ "Don't think with your balls, think with your brain." -Houston

Offline Travelcard

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Re: Perfecting the Roll
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2009, 09:44:02 PM »
I found this video on youtube and it has given me some insight on things i can change in my role if certain things are hurting me (eg. shoulder, spine, hip, knee, ankle)
Hopefully it helps.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6I1J0zmE7U

Offline Adam McC

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Re: Perfecting the Roll
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2009, 06:08:31 AM »
...4 ..years... later. Haha. Nice.

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