Pilates 101- The Roll Down

The Roll Down is an amazing warm up (and cool down) exercise which you will find in the majority of classes that you attend. Most people can perform the exercise but it is contraindicated for those who flexion is not recommended such as Osteoporosis, or later stages of pregnancy. Please ask your GP if you are in any doubt. In the video there is a modification for those who may struggle with balancing or standing.

The best part of this exercise is really discovering your own body. You can really feel which areas of your spine are tight and need work. For example, you may notice in the video my lumbar spine has less mobility that the rest so is an area of focus for me. You can sense how you distribute your weight on your feet. Maybe you favour one foot over the other, or have your weight in your heels. I like to add the Roll Down at the end of class to see if you can feel a difference in your spine after exercising. People can be amazed at the difference, which they otherwise wouldn’t have noticed without the direct comparison.

The Roll Down is also a surprisingly effective way of lengthening the spine. In a workshop my spine was measured whilst standing, and then at the bottom of a Roll Down. The difference was about 5cm which I found staggering. Creating this space in the spinal column is incredibly important as the Central Nervous System runs through it. It is also a good way to maintain intervertebral disc health.

If you find the exercise difficult to begin with, try standing against a wall with your feet slightly away from it and then roll down. The wall will give tactile feedback and you really can imagine yourself as that piece of wallpaper.

I hope that helps 🙂 Let me know any thoughts and how you get on.

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