Neck Roll

This is also called the Back Roll, which can confuse, as some people call a Back Roll the roll of a ball from the neck to the lower back.

Rolling behind the neck is more difficult than via the chest. Mostly, this is because of the shape of the shoulders – they are concave to the front. An added difficulty is the inability to watch what you’re doing, but that doesn’t matter if you have practiced the other Chest Rolls thoroughly.

It is easier to perform this using the Backarm Roll than the Forearm Roll. This is partly because you will have to lean the head well forward, an awkward move if your palms are facing up. Also, having the palms facing up causes the shoulders to rise slightly, which will make later stages difficult.

Using a large ball again, you should move as if to perform a Backarm Chestroll. When the ball reaches the shoulder, however, you should bow the head forward, and stoop forward at the waist a little so the ball rolls along the shoulders and behind the neck.

At this point, it may help to stop the ball in a neck hold, to allow you time to think about getting the ball back down the other arm. To do this easily, you can turn the head to watch the ball approaching, and raise the shoulder the ball is heading towards – when the ball goes behind the head, hunch your shoulders to slow and stop the ball.

If you have long hair, it may be advisable to either have it loose, or tied into two separate ponytails. Having a single ponytail makes an awkward obstacle at the neck. I suppose you could get around that by hopping the ball directly over the neck using the shoulders, but you don’t want to learn that until you’ve learned to do it the old fashioned way.

After you practice this for a while, you’ll probably come across one or two things that you absolutely need to iron out.

If you find that the ball keeps falling off when it hits the neck, then you are not leaning the head far enough forward. It should feel like you are ducking under the ball – as if the ball was coming for your head and you were avoiding it.

If you find the ball rolls onto the opposite shoulder blade before falling behind you, try leaning the head forward more and pulling the shoulders back a bit.

If the ball goes around the neck, but then drops directly in front of you, try slowing down the move, and stand up a bit more as the ball goes behind the neck.

This move can look very good if it is alternately combined with Backarm Chest Rolls continuously.

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Next page: Neck Loop