Not only does this Pilates exercise strengthen core muscles, this feels good too. No seriously, get this exercise right and it feels wonderful. Lots of my clients say that when they do it. Sometimes in a class I can’t stop people from rolling like a ball, we need to move on to the next exercise, but there are always a couple more sneaky rolls squeezed in somewhere.
The key is to stay in the c- shape spine, and use the core muscles. The rectus abdominis (six pack) in particular are activated when we create the roll back and the move to roll forward. The rectus abdominis set of muscles also keep you in the c-shape spinal curve position. That is what makes this a great exercise to strengthen core muscles.
So, let’s get this straight, some people are doing a bunch of sit-ups in a gym somewhere, you get to work on your six pack by rolling around like a baby? Don’t you just love Pilates?
Want a top tip? Keep your eyes on your knees. People often throw their heads back to roll back with momentum. Don’t do it. You’ll lose the “ball shape” and miss out on the ways in which this exercise strengthens core muscles. Use your core muscles (they will deepen the curve of your spine) not momentum. If you focus your gaze on your knees you will notice if you start to roll your head back to move with momentum, because your eye line will rise above and beyond those knees.
Make sense? Yes? Excellent, now, let’s get rolling.
How should it look? You should look like a ball rolling along the floor.
How should it feel? It should feel like you are back on the play mat at school and having a ball.
Click here to see a video breakdown of the full exercise.
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