THE Forward Roll Tutorial – By Tyson Edwards

This tutorial goes through all the basics of learning the forward roll.

This tutorial is broken up into the sections outlined below.

Click any picture below for a more detailed description.

The forward roll is a useful skill that forms the foundation for many other more advanced movements.


If you are hesitant to go directly to a forward roll on the floor use a mat or wedge and perform the following:

  1. Stand at the top of the mat with knees slightly bent

  2. Bend down, look through your legs and keep your chin tucked in

  3. Holding this position, fall forward

  4. Tuck your knees and stay tucked until your feet land firmly on the ground

  5. Stand up when balanced

Alternatively, you can apply these principles outside using a hill as the prompt needed for rotation. However, Ring Fraternity advises performing new movements in the safest possible environment and that is a gymnastics centre.


When you're comfortable with initiating the forward roll without the assistance of a declined surface, follow these steps to perform a forward roll on flat ground:

  1. Squat down

  2. Place your hands on the ground in front of you

  3. Tuck in your chin

  4. Push over onto your upper back (there should NEVER be any weight on the neck). Keep the arms firm to support your weight as you rotate to your back

  5. Follow the curvature of the spine (this should be a nice round shape)

  6. Tuck your knees and stay tucked until your feet land firmly on the ground

  7. Stand up when balanced

  8. To get a feel for the tuck practice this rocking tuck position. Notice the curve of my back is allowing for this range of motion, whilst a flat back interferes with the fluency of the movement.


    The following are some common errors with the forward roll. Make note of these to ensure you do not do the same.

    • Hands too far in front of you when initiating the movement

    • Keep them close to the feet so there is no excessive effort required to get over.

    • Untucking too early

    • Hold the tuck until your feet are firmly on the ground so you're balanced and able to stand up.

    Advanced Variations

    For motivation to learn this most basic of basic moves, some advanced variations of the forward roll include:

    • Handstand forward roll

    • Forward roll kip up

    • Dive roll

    • Dive roll, through a hoop

    • Dive roll, through a hoop, lit on fire

    Click the image above to see how this played out!

    Hmm…Probably not that last one…

    If you haven't watched the visual tutorial yet, follow this (LINK).

    Good luck with your forward roll. It is a simple skill that will be required in many more advanced movements. If you want to share your success, air your distress or have any other questions, go over to the FORUM and post a comment!