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russian roll, knee beat to hand catch + slow mo

Since I’ve been working this knee beat to hand catch into other sequences recently, I thought I’d post this old video from the first time I worked on it. I added the slow-mo because I wanted to see exactly at what point in the beat I started to release my legs. For me the timing of it is pretty intuitive, but to break it down, looks like my legs start to straighten soon after my shoulders rise higher than my hips.

A few other things I’ve been thinking about since I started to add this back into my repertoire:

  • It really doesn’t require a big knee beat. Think about it this way—you are trying to reach the bar with your hands, and you can reach the bar with your hands out of even the smallest knee beat. Keeping your knee beat nice and easy gives you extra brainpower to think about the cool move you’re about to do.
  • To that end, it can be trained nice and low. In this video I’m so low that I can’t even straighten my arms all the way in the knee beat. This means less distance to fall to the mat if I miss, which is part of what allowed me to train it without a spotter or foam pit. Note that I was also over the absolutely squishiest 12” crash mat available. As long as you trust yourself to release your legs only AFTER your head gets level with your hips, you’re going to land safely on your back or seat if you miss.
  • You have to pull your legs off the bar toward your shoulders. If you push the bar away with your legs, it’ll be so much harder to catch it with your hands.
  • Straddle pancake mobility definitely comes into play. If I couldn’t reach my arms through my legs this far, I imagine I’d need to release my legs a bit sooner.
  • I am unconsciously sickling my feet and swerving them in and around the ropes so they don’t catch on the ropes. If you’re catching your feet, I guess you could try to keep your legs narrower as you pull them off the bar, but maybe also see if you can get your feet themselves to avoid the ropes.
  • I trained myself to catch it with my legs still lifted in an L shape so that once I took this higher, I could easily release those legs into a back beat. Completing the catch with legs down toward the floor means it lands vertical and heavy, with no momentum to harness into a beat. Training it extra low was really helpful because the ONLY way I could catch the trick in the air was by keeping my legs up—drop them and I’d hit the mat. That said, this time around, I am having a really hard time making the catch with my legs up. Perhaps it’s because I’m higher and can get away with letting them drop, or maybe I’m not as strong as I was then? Anyway I think it’s an excellent goal!


You may also be interested in these related videos… (OK at the moment they’re just random blog post placeholders, but I have plans!)

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