Form Fix: The Rollover

We rolling into the New Year like….


Clearly, I’m not wasting time so let’s get into it. The Pilates Rollover is an excellent exercise for opening up the sacrum and mobilizing the spine. It’s important that we master this because it appears across all the Pilates equipment in many glorious variations. You’d be surprised how most of us forget how to roll through our spine. It’s not like there are many sports out there that teach you how to fall, roll around, and get back up (P.S. Marital Arts is really great for that reason alone).

Basic Tips

  1. Press your arms through the floor & use your inhale to levitate the legs up and over
  2. Lead with your tailbone not your legs! This is mega important. Most people, especially strong lifters, throw themselves up and over because, well, they can. But that’s cheating and defeats the purpose of the exercise.
  3. Create space between your thighs and your abdominals. Hyper mobile people tend to let the legs folder over their stomach and face, which does nothing to activate your powerhouse (Pilates term for “core”).
  4. Roll your spine down bone by bone like it’s velcro, maintaining space between your thighs and ribs the whole time.
  5. Suction your thighs together throughout the movement, making sure every part of you is active.
  6. Whatever you do, don’t roll up into your neck.

When to use it

This is not the type of exercise I suggest newbies start doing without a trained professional to spot them. We all run the risk of rolling into our neck and hurting ourselves in the process. There’s also wonderful ways to learn how to roll off the spine and lead with the tailbone on the Reformer or Cadillac before taking it to the mat using bodyweight. However, once you have it down, doing a few reps as part of cool-down or whenever your back feels stiff is a really easy and nice way to open up the back. This is not an appropriate exercise for anyone with severe disc issues. If you’re in doubt, ask your doctor.

Tune in for #FormFix tips each week. Follow along on Instagram, Facebook, the blog…you know the drill!

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