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Return to Life: #3 Roll Over



On the Mat: The Roll Over

– Stretching your spine from toe to “top”!!


Strengthen your abs, stretch your hamstrings and back! ⁠

🌟   Spinal articulation & flexibility.
🌟  Abdominal Strength.
🌟  Should flexibility & mobility.
🌟  Shoulder strength.
🌟  Arm strength (at the back).
🌟  It teaches the set up for many inverted exercises.
🌟  Hamstring stretch – if you’re tight there!

Level: Advanced

Reps: 5 each way – starting with your legs closed and open for the return and reverse this for the second five repeats.

This is not for beginners!  If you want to start preparing for this exercise, have a look at the Pre-Pilates exercises: Half Roll Downs and Roll Over prep.  But when you’ve mastered it, you’ll see that it complements perfectly the previous exercise in the series: The Roll Up.  One is head to toe and the other toe to head: Pilates has all the bases covered!
It also serves an essential ingredient of the set up of many other exercises that you’ll meet as we work through the original series published in Joseph Pilates’ “Return to Life” in 1945.
Doing Pilates detective work, I like to imagine that is why it comes so early in the series – it’s a preparation for so many other exercises…



A quick “how to”

Lie face up on your mat.
Reach your arms, palms down and against your body towards your feet.
Whilst still on the floor, reach your legs and feet away from you.
Inhale Slowly and begin by raising your legs upwards and overhead.
Reach your toes towards the mat.
Exhale Slowly and press your arms firmly against the mat and spread your legs to mat width or slightly wider.
Indale Slowly and begin rolling your spine back down, keeping your legs reaching away from you and as parallel to the floor as you can until your spine reaches the floor.
Bring your legs to about five cms from the mat.

Hints and Tips

💡  Keep your legs straight.
💡  If you can’t place your toes to the floor – don’t worry keep working and you’ll be able to soon!
💡  Stay on your shoulders, not on your neck.


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