Progression to Elbow Roll

Question: Recently I learned the Assammik Nerfallallugu (hand roll, front to back), and although I need to work on it to make the sweep smoother, I would be keen in progressing towards the elbow roll. Have you any tips in which I could focus?

Answer: The progression from Assammik Nerfallallugu (front to back hand roll) to Ikusaannarmik Pukusuk Patillugu (elbow roll), isn’t too difficult once you have the correct body movements for Assammik Nerfallallugu down. Work on fine tuning your hand roll, paying attention to the following (I will describe the roll as if you were working on a right side recovery):
– During your on-the-surface set-up, position your body to the far left side of the deck, twisting your body to get your shoulders as square to the water as possible (this will put you in a nice set-up position underwater).
– As you capsize, try to get your body to move in a U shape under the kayak, coming up with your face and shoulders as square to the surface as possible.
– Place your left hand over the left edge of the kayak deck (palm up), lift your right knee and hip and slide onto the back deck, keeping your chin in the air and your upper body relaxed.
Once you are able to do this without difficulty, you are ready to progress to the elbow roll. Following are some things to focus on (Once again I will describe the roll as if you were working on a right side recovery).
– During your on-the-surface set-up, put your right hand behind your head and twist your upper body to the left, turning your head and torso so that you are looking out to the left side of your kayak. Place your right elbow on the far left side of the deck (this will put you in a nice set-up position underwater).
– As with the hand roll, when you capsize try to get your body to move in a U shape under the kayak, coming up with your face and shoulders as square to the surface as possible.
– As soon as your face and shoulders are as close to the surface as they’re going to get, drive your right knee and hip up and simultaneously throw your upper body back, using it as a lever. Your back should be arched and your forehead should be deeper underwater than any other part of your body. Use your left hand as a counterweight by placing it palm up over the left edge of the kayak deck, and slide onto the back deck, keeping your chin in the air.
The power from this roll comes from your knee, hip and abdominal muscles on the recovery side (especially those muscles under your rib cage).

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