Take it to the ground again… Rolls get ups and other shenanigans.

In the last post about ground work we focused heavily on crawling and releasing your inner animal. You can find that here. There is more to ground work than crawling though so today we will expand on that.

Most of the ground based movements form part of transitions in the categorisation of movements that I use. Briefly described at the end of this post. The rest of the ground work could be separated into 3 categories with some overlap. These are:


Stationary ground drills

Level changes

We won’t go into excessive detail on these and I can expand on them later but here’s the most important things to know.

Level changes

This is going from standing to the ground or from the ground to standing and everything in between. A Turkish get up is a great example of a level change. More on that here.

Another exercises that improve your ability to change levels are duck walks. This is a locomotion drill that challenges and develops mobility and strength in the knees hips and ankles. It is good to have a full depth bodyweight squat before you do this but there are ways to re/progress this movement, which we will cover this and other locomotion drills in a more detailed post in future.

Stationary ground drills

These are drills that are done when you are you guessed it… Stationary. Sit through’s are a great example of these kinds of drills. It challenges coordination and develops hip speed.

Rolling drills

What is so cool about rolling anyway. It is basically an organised fall. It actually falls under a level change if you want to be technical about it, but it has a lot of elements that qualifies it to be categorised on its own. In martial arts like Judo and wrestling rolling is part of the foundations of training breakfalls. In parkour a shoulder roll is used as a technique to dissipate the force in a landing and keep forward momentum. The importance of being able to fall well is something that is overlooked. Being able to handle a fall means less likelihood of injury. This is important to everyone not just martial artists and contact sport athletes. Elderly peoples biggest risk of injury comes from falling and dealing with that has a prevention element (training not to fall, by improving balance. Etc.) and a how to fall element.

Rolling allows us to develop our vestibular system, which gives us our ability to balance and it can challenge your fitness in ways you can’t think of. For those participating in sports were you go to ground or deal with contact. Rolling is an element of training that you should not leave out. For the everyday person, being able to perform a shoulder roll is a good skill to have and we are all about building skills.

A great tutorial on how to do and progress a shoulder roll by Ryan Doyle.

Tumble dryers is a challenging conditioning drill. You do alternating forward rolls for between 30- 60 sec with the same amount of rest between. Count your number of rolls and try to maintain or better it. Do between 3 – 5 sets.

Add these movements into your warm up, as a rest station in a complex of movements or as a finisher.

In short. Build new skills, challange your abilities and become more resilient.