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Backwards Roll Progressions & Drills

The Basics

To introduce a backwards roll have gymnast stand at the top of the wedge, sit down and lay back, place their 'pizza hands' by their ears, toes to the sky and grab their hips to help them roll over their head.

Wedge Mat

Sit on the edge of the wedge mat and get their 'pizza hands' ready by their ears before they start to roll backwards.

2 Wedge mats

Pace two wedge mats side-by-side, then pull the thin ends away from each other to create a v shaped opening. Sit on the crack of the touching mats. Get your 'pizza hands' ready to roll, and when you roll your head will fall into the open area to avoid pressure on the neck.


Hold tuck shape and rock back with 'pizza hands.' Next try to progress to a candlestick position while still maintaining 'pizza hands.'

B. Roll to Stand

Practice a backwards roll and push through your hands to land standing on your feet. 

Panel Mat

Lay a panel mat long ways and try a backwards roll with your head hanging off the end of the panel. Be sure to push through your hands.

Take It To The Floor

Try a backwards roll on the floor. Be sure to push with your hands in order to get your body to roll over without crunching your neck.

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