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Deconstructing the 'Roll Over'

Roll Ups, Rolling like a ball, Open leg Rocker, Roll Overs.....

You'll notice Joseph Pilates had a penchant for creating exercises that ROLL - sequentially articulating through our spines.

He targeted these type of rolling exercises because they develop strength in the abdominals and hip flexors as well as increase spinal mobility.

The Roll Over targets the deep pelvic floor to aid in firing the transversus abdominis, rectus abdominis and obliques concentrically to roll the spine off the mat and eccentrically on the roll down. Hip flexors are engaged to hinge the legs toward the torso, and scapula stabilizers work to maintain a connection to the mat and open chest.


1. Rollover PREP- flex knees and cross ankles to develop abdominal strength and lumber mobility. Roll the pelvis off.

2. Lifted pelvis supported on a roller or arc barrel. This will lessen the abdominal work required and decrease the range of motion.

3. Lateral rotation through the legs to emphasize different muscles

4. Flex feet on roll down to help maintain the connection to the hamstrings

5. Fitness Circle between ankles to challenge the adductors and abdominals to stabilize pelvis against a heavier lever.

Safety & Precautions:

The Roll Over is not recommended for anyone with osteoporosis, herniated discs, glaucoma and high or low blood pressure. It is important to remember that weight is distributed on the shoulder blades/ scapulae and never on the head or neck.

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