On the Mat: Rolling Like a Ball

– Round things roll, flat things don’t!


What’s it good for?

Difficulty: beginners
Reps: six

This is a the first of five spinal massages you’ll find in Joseph Pilates’ book “Return to Life”. It’s the easiest and prepares us for greater challenges!

What makes it difficult?  Keeping the curve the same in the upper and lower back, your head stays the same distance from your knees and your ankles from your butt – no kicking your legs out or throwing you head back!  And you’ll find that you need these skills for exercises later in the series, so take advantage and practice now – but only 6 reps!




What’s it good for?




The How to

Set Up

Sit up with your bent knees and feet of floor pointing towards the floor.  Press your shins into your hands in your hands into your shins.  Pulling your stomach, slide your shoulders away from your ears and keep your elbows wide to help round your back.  Round things role better than flat things!  To help keep yourself rounded, focus on the top of your thighs.

Pull your abdominals back to roll backwards.  Stop at the top of your shoulder blades, not on your neck!
Pull your abdominals in to roll back up.  Balance in the starting position for a moment before you roll back again.

Hints and Tips



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