Dec 212011

Forward Straddle Roll on Floor


A roll where the legs are straight and in the straddle position at all times.


  • Learn to roll with straight legs
  • Learn to push off with hands
  • Learn to keep the straddle position tight



  • None


Start with legs spread and arms straight above your head.  Bend forward until your hands touch the floor with your hands in front of your feet. Bend your arms and tuck your head, so you roll on your shoulders. Roll in the pancake position and keep tight. When you roll and are sitting in the pancake position then quickly push hard down on the floor between your legs and continue rolling until you are standing in the same position as you started.

Stage 1 – Setup


  • Stand with feet wide apart.
  • Arms straight above head.
  • Look straight ahead.

Stage 2 – Hands on the Floor

  • Bend forward until hands are on the floor in front of your feet.
  • Look at your hands.

Note: When the gymnasts hands are on the floor with straight arms then the gymnasts hips should be above the gymnasts shoulder. If they are below the gymnasts shoulder this means that the gymnast has started with feet too wide apart.


Stage 3 – Bend Arms


  • Lean forward.
  • Bend Arms.
  • Chin to chest. 

Stage 4 – Roll on your shoulders

  • Roll on your shoulders.
  • Keep legs close to the body at all times.
  • Toes pointed at all times.


Stage 5 – Press off the floor with your hands

  • Reach forward and place your hands on the floor before the your legs touch the floor.
  • As your legs come down to the wedge then push hard down with your hands and continue rolling.


Stage 6 – Stand up

  • Push off the floor and stand with in the wide position. 
Note: This can be difficult if the gymnast stopped their roll. It is important that the gymnast uses the momentum from the roll to help them up.


Stage 7 – Finishing

  • Finish with arms straight above your head. 
  • Look straight ahead.

Note: The finish position is exactly the same as the starting position.


Common Mistakes

Coaches teach gymnasts how to do skills correctly, but most gymnasts learns how to perform the skill correctly when coaches corrects their mistakes. This is not wrong, this is actually how gymnasts learn. This being said, it is very important that coaches corrects mistakes all the time. If a gymnast continues doing the same mistake over and over then they will be good at doing that drill with that mistake and have a difficult time later correcting it.
  • Always correct mistakes
  • Correct the first mistake you see the gymnast do (even if it is before the actually drill, i.e. the gymnast forgets to stand tall with arms over their head)
  • Correct only one thing (sometimes two if they are related)

Mistake 1 – Bending Legs


Legs should stay straight at all times, at no point in this drill are the legs bent. Most gymnasts will bend their legs at the end of the roll were they are about to stand up. They usually do this because they don’t have enough momentum from the roll to get up. You can help the gymnast my using a wedge and let the gymnast roll down the wedge. 


Mistake 2 – Hands outside the legs to push off


This is a very common beginner mistake. Just telling the gymnast were the hands should be should resolve this problem. Gymnasts that have done normal forward rolls (legs together) are use to having their arms out to the sides and this is usually why they make this mistake when doing the straddle roll. 


Mistake 3 – Late Push off with Hands


This mistake can be very hard to spot. The gymnast rolls forward and their legs hit the floor before their hands. The gymnast should work on getting their hands planted on the floor before their legs touch the floor. By having the hands on the floor before the legs allows the gymnast to use the momentum from the roll to stand up. If the legs touch the floor first then the momentum dies and the gymnast will have a very hard time getting into the standing position. 



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