ONE IMPORTANT THING THAT NO ONE EVER PRACTICES
If you race BMX for very long, it’s inevitable that you will have a big crash. Sometimes it’s the crashes that happen so quickly you can’t really do anything about.
Other times you find yourself flying through the air with time to think about the landing. These are the worst because you know how much it’s going to hurt so you brace yourself for impact.
Everyone practices doing gates, high-low passes in the corners, etc. But no one is practicing how to crash, and I think that’s a big mistake, particularly for the adult racers. Hopefully, you realize that BMX is a pretty demanding sport on your body. You want to maintain your health by trying to lessen the impact that some of these big crashes cause.
Crashes will happen so we should be ready for them. One sport that has taken the art of controlled falling to the next level is Parkour. I’ll be honest, when I first saw this sport I thought it was a little silly. But I’ve really come around to see just how talented and athletic some of these athletes are.
I actually think a sport like Parkour is a perfect sport for young BMXers to do for cross training. It has elements of power, plyometrics, controlling your own body weight, agility, coordination, judgment, and saving your own butt in certain situations, that will help kids to become well-rounded athletes.
One of the young kids that have been a member of my gym started with me when he was 10 years old. At that time he didn’t like or even play any sports. He had essentially a vertical jump of a couple inches. He really wasn’t having fun doing traditional exercise either. I started to challenge him with things that looked like basic Parkour movements, and obstacle courses. From here, he began to watch Parkour videos on YouTube. Before long he was jumping over and off of everything in sight.
Now a couple years later, Mitch is one of the most athletic young kids I’ve ever trained. His vertical and broad jumps have shot up to very impressive distances, and they continue to improve. Mitch is also beginning to really enjoy teaching the different movements to his friends. So I thought it would be cool if he could teach us some of the basic Parkour front rolls.
Practicing and learning how to fall with control could save our butts on the track in the event of a crash.
You may want to start by purchasing a good tumbling mat to practice these rolls on. I’ve found them at used sports equipment stores for a good price. You can also buy them off of Amazon as well.