Used to assist in absorption and spreading out of impact upon landing.
When used correctly the roll will save your body from wear and tear suffered from trying to absorb all the impact from a landing with the legs alone.
When executed correctly the roll can be performed painlessly on concrete at high speeds.
The technique described below is the one that works for most people. There are many different was of rolling that work. A good roll is one that allows you to roll on concrete painlessly and without damaging yourself. So if you find a different method that works for you then that is the right one for you.
Find a place that has some grass to roll on. The grass allows you to roll without hurting yourself but at the same time allows you to feel where you would hurt yourself if rolling on concrete.
For the purposes of this explanation the roll will be done over the left shoulder. If you are rolling over the right shoulder then change instructions to suit.
> Begin by assuming the stance shown in the photo opposite. The leading foot should be on the same side as the shoulder you wish to roll over. So in this case the left foot is facing forward, while the right foot is slightly to the right and facing about 120 degrees away from the direction you are facing.
> From here crouch and place the hands as shown opposite. The hands go down in line with the right foot as shown with the dotted line. The right hand facing forward and the left hand placed behind, or anywhere in the blue circle, pointing 90° from the direction you are rolling in.
> Note the arrows opposite. Make sure to put space between your hands and left foot, putting your right hand in front of the left foot, not beside it, and keeping the left leg on the outside of the left arm. Some people let it sit inside the arm. This can result on you kneeling on your arm, which can be painful.
> Allow the forearm to lower to the ground. This should stop a common mistake people make, where they fall onto and hurt the shoulder. Make sure to keep the left leg on the outside of the left arm as if you let it track inwards you run the risk of kneeling on your forearm.
> From here push with the left leg to give yourself forward momentum. You will roll over the left arm and onto your shoulder. As the back of your shoulder makes contact with the ground tuck your right heel to your backside. Roll diagonally across the back, from left shoulder to right hip and then onto your feet.
> Do not let your head hit the ground!
> The left foot should make contact with the ground first. The right foot should come up still tucked under the buttocks.
> From here you continue the motion until you are upright and are able use the momentum to take of running.
> See the picture opposite for where you should feel the ground as you roll (green line), and also the danger points where you should not roll (blue dots). If you are hitting the points indicated then you need to modify the roll to avoid them.
BE AWARE. When you start to progress with this roll off heights and with speed the technique will need to change, you will need to land with feet closer together and be more adaptable and dynamic with the arms. The majority of people need to learn this basic technique before they can move onto the more advanced form. Be aware of your body as you progress and be careful.
When you start to feel confident that your roll is good enough to attempt on concrete then start training it on there. You may get some bruises initially as you iron out your technique, but if you are consistent you will start to master it.
Make sure to practice rolling over both shoulders
As you start to master the concrete start to practice jumping off low heights and rolling.
As you improve off heights progressively add speed into the equation as well.
Practice rolling backwards and sideways as well. You never know when you might land at an odd angle and need to be able to save yourself with a roll rather than falling in a heap.