Beginner, Ages 3-5, Basics, Cheer Tumbling Level 1

Forward Roll For the Young, ages 3-5 years old.

Forward Roll:

Preparation and Prerequisites:



I First Phase.  Hold tucked position and  "Rock" back and Forth:

  • Purpose: To train the tucked position during the forward roll (and, simultaneously, the backward roll)
    1. First, explain the tuck position:  knees to chest, round back like a ball, grab right below knees, look at belly.  
    2. Have them rock back and forth if they can; back to shoulders in the same shape and then back to seated tucked position.  
    3. If they can't do that as in stay in a tucked position during the rocking and rolling exercise--they whip their head back because they're not strong enough, hold them behind the neck with one hand, and the other hand, grab both ankles with the index finger between the ankles.
    4. Kneel besides them and rock when you rock them back and forth, helping them keep their tucked position/shape.  Do this 5 to 15 times each.  

II 2nd Phase: Rock back and Forth and Stand at end of Panel Mat.

  • Purpose:  To train the standing up phase of the forward roll to stand.
    1. Position them in a tucked position at the end of the panel mat where their feet touch the ground and their buttocks are on the panel mat.  Same thing:
    2. Rock them back and forth supporting the back of neck/head, grabbing ankles with index finger between the ankles while kneeling beside the child.
    3. Depending on how well they are staying in the tucked position, you can have them stand up on the forward phase of the rocking back and forth towards the feet.  "One(rocking forward and then back .... two (same)....three (same)...., and Stand, reach forward and stand..... tada!!!!"

III 3rd Phase: Forward Roll with Spot, down a panel mat onto floor, or down an incline mat.

  • Purpose:  To test preparedness to forward roll or to practice forward roll.
    1. Kneeling beside the child, in this example, on the child's right side, have them in a squatted tucked position and have their arms up straight covering ears, towards the ceiling.  
    2. Say, "reach down towards the floor," and then with the hand closer to the front (the right hand in this example),  Place it on the back of their neck, on the farther side to their left shoulder, and with the left hand grabbing behind their right thigh.  
    3. Say, "Now look at your belly and push with your legs and Roll."  Follow through, sliding down the right hand and push on their back to help them stand.
      1. Or, you can, with the left hand, push on their back, while with the right hand helping keep the head up and forward.  
    4. Note:  You would have to shift and shuffle to the right to follow their forward roll as they move forward.