Rolling well requires flexibility. Regular stretching can help you get your first roll, and help improve your rolling repertoire. I stretch every day, and I stretch before every training session. I recommend you do too.
Stretching too hard, too quickly or too often can cause you to hurt yourself. If you have any doubts I suggest you seek the advice of a physician or physiotherapist. Whatever you do do not do anything that hurts.
Here are some of the stretches that I have found helped me become flexible enough to roll.
Torso – Sit up straight on a firm surface. Bend your right leg and slide your foot backwards. Twist your torso to the right. Hook your left elbow over your right knee. Rotate your head to look behind you. . Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat with the opposite leg and rotate left.
Hamstrings – Stand beside a sturdy chair. Hold onto the chair’s back for balance. Lift your left leg up onto the chair. Keep your leg slightly bent. Lean forward ,taking care to keep your back straight. Lean forward until you feel tension on your hamstring. Hold for 15 seconds. Relax and repeat with the other leg.
Obliques – Stand up straight, with your feet shoulder width apart. Lean to the left, keeping your shoulders square. Slide your left hand down your side until you feel tension in your right oblique. Hold for 15 seconds. Straighten, then repeat on the right side.
Back and Abs – Lie face down on a firm surface with bent arms. Place your hands close to your shoulders. Push up with your arms and lift your chin to the sky curving your back. Keep your pelvis pressed onto the ground. Hold for 15 seconds. Lift your butt skywards and bring your head between your arms. Keep your legs and back straight. Hold for 15 seconds then relax.