How to Do a Roly Poly
A roly poly (forward roll) is a gymnastic move where one performs a single rotation or multiple rotations consecutively, while crouched low to the ground. The move gets its name from the tiny bug that rolls itself up into a tight ball when trying to protect itself.
Preparing for the Roly Poly
Ensure the space is safe.When beginning an activity like this, it’s a good idea to make sure the space is clear of any obstructions. Depending on the number of rolls you intend to make, determine whether or not you have enough room. If you only intend to perform one roly poly, you may only need a few feet, while much more space will be need for multiple rolls. If you are inside, move any furniture like a coffee table or a chair that may be in your way. If you are outside, ensure the area is clear of any rocks, sticks, etc. that may cause bodily injury. When outdoors, a grassy space is probably best.
Grab a few yoga or padded gym mats.Lay these down along your rolling path. If you don’t have any available, try using sheets or towels for some added cushion. This will provide an extra sense of security to avoid injury.
- Consider practicing your first roll at a gym that has the necessary padded flooring.
Locate the best spot for picture takers.Anyone who is planning to snap a photo or take a video while you are rolling should be out of the way of the roll. This will ensure the safety of both parties. Make sure they won’t obstruct your path during the roll but still have a good angle.
Check your attire.If you have on clothing that is loose fitting or too baggy, it may get tangled up during a roly poly. Instead wear form-fitted clothes like shorts and a tucked in t-shirt. Also, remove jewelry like necklaces as they can sometimes snag and break during activities like these.Be sure to wear sneakers too. Grab a pair that will offer you some support and balance. This is important especially if you are a beginner.
Stretching Before Rolling
Spend a few minutes stretching.Whether you’re a novice or a pro, warming up your muscles by stretching will increase flexibility and help prevent injuries. Standing straight up, raise your arms above your head to loosen your back and shoulders. Be sure to breathe in deeply to send oxygenated blood throughout your body.
Bend forward.From the same standing position, lean forward to relax the backs of your legs and neck. Lean forward and touch your hands to the mat with your legs sill straight. Only go as far as your bodily will allow. Try not to force any movements that don’t feel comfortable.
Do a bridge.Also referred to as a back bend, this will help loosen your back. Lie down on the floor with your feet flat on the ground. Place your hands up over your head with palms down. Lift yourself into the air by arching your back. You should hold this position for several seconds.
Performing a Roly Poly
Start when you feel relaxed.Crouch down onto the mat with your hands on either side of your knees. Tuck your head into your chest. When ready, use your feet to slightly push you over. Make sure your body stays in a tight ball throughout the roll.
- Smile! You’ve just accomplished a roly poly!
Land on your feet.You will wind up back on your feet after one rotation and can continue to propel yourself forward to perform multiple rolls by repeating the previous step as many times as you’d like. There is no need to stand up completely when rolling multiple times. Simply use your hands and feet to continue the roll.
Find a slight incline.Once you feel like you’ve really gotten it down and are confident in your skill set, find a hill. Adding some speed to your roly polys will only increase the fun. You will barely have to push yourself off as gravity and momentum will carry you.
- Remember to make note of the space around you so you don’t bump into anything during all the fun.
QuestionWhenever I try to do a roly poly, I'm scared my neck will break and I just can't do it. What should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerWhen you do your roly poly, try to tuck your neck into your chest to avoid it getting hurt. This method will also make your roly poly easier. You won't break your neck. There isn't nearly enough force.Thanks!
QuestionThe last I did one I hurt my head. What can I do differently?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can always tuck your head in, and put a pillow where your head is going to be.Thanks!
QuestionI am not that flexible. What do I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry stretching a lot, and doing slow, steady half back bends. Ask a parent or gymnastics teacher to help you.Thanks!
Video: Beginner Gymnastics: How To Do A Forward Roll With Coach Meggin!
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