Tuesday Tips: Plow Over
Nemesis Trick: Plow Over
Also Known As: Fish flop, back somersault
Hi guys! I had a lot of great feedback on (and requests for additional) floor work Tips, so today we’re going to go over one of my favorite basic floor work transitions: the plow over (somersaulting from a plow position). If you missed the earlier entries, see here for the head/elbow stand, here for kneeling floor work, and here for the wavy legs.
There are a bunch of more advanced moves that build on the basic plow over, and I’m going to be covering them in the coming weeks too! We’ll be talking about the forward roll next, and then the last one in the series is going to be the forward roll shoulder stand stall. And this plow over Tips covers a few more advanced variations of the basic plow over as well. So think of these as a progression: before you work on one, make sure the easier trick covered the week prior is solid and confident. Also, just want to emphasize something that hopefully most of you already know by now: floor work is HARD. You actually have to be really strong to do very controlled and slow floor work because it typically takes so much core strength. Don’t be surprised if these are tough or take you some practice to perfect.
So the plow over is one of my faaavorite floor work transitions, because it is a great way to get from your back to your stomach, making it easier to crawl towards the pole or just get up. I talked about the basic plow (bringing your legs up and over your face when you’re laying on your back) in as a way to build strength for the shoulder mount so it should look familiar. Each time you work on the plow over, use your abs to control the lift of your legs so you are getting a workout! Don’t just use momentum or rely on gravity to keep your legs up either. Use your ABS! You love doing abwork. Love it.
Once your legs are over your head, you’re ready for the plow over. Assuming you are rolling over your right shoulder, you’re going to bring your left hand in line with your head, palm down and elbow up. Your right arm is going to stay at your side, palm down. Now the goal is to bring your knees to the ground directly behind you. In order for that to happen, either your neck needs to fold in half so you can roll over it, or you need to get your head and neck out of the way. Guess which one!
To get your head and neck out of the way, before you even begin to shift your weight any further back, you want to turn your head so that your right ear is on the ground, and then KEEP turning it as you drop your knees to the ground. If you feel ANY kind of pain whatsoever, or you are flopping over to one side, then you are either not turning early enough, or you are failing to stay engaged through your core and thinking that you can just sort of magically roll over. False! Use abs. Love them. If you don’t push into the ground with your hands equally, you will flop over. If you don’t push into the ground with your left hand in particular, you also won’t be able to lift your left shoulder enough to give your head the space it needs to turn. As you complete the plow over, your right arm will move from its original starting position and you should end palm up (because your shoulder rotates in respect to the ground).
Once you’ve completely mastered the head turn, try making it harder by keeping your legs straight. By pushing into the ground with the tops of your feet, and engaging through your (you guessed it) core, you can control the descent of your stomach to the ground. One tip: if you do this in socks or heels, it’s a lot easier on the feet (floor burn is rough) but also harder to control. You can really tell whether or not you are turning your head enough by how straight your line of travel is.
Then if the straight leg version is comfy and awesome, you can work more advanced ways to plow over! Do the straight legged version, and then lift your left leg up as high as you can and hold it there while you control your descent with just your right leg. If that’s okay, then try a scissor kick into it– lead with the left leg, switch your right leg past it in midair, and end the same way you would for the one-legged plow over.
To get visuals on all of this, take a look at the video below (or here for the Youtube link).
Hope you have fun! If you have any other tips on this stuff to share, feel free to post in the comments!
Tomorrow’s post: Master planner…