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Pilates Move of the Month, Rolling Like a Ball

This Months Move of the Month is Rolling Like a Ball. This is a great move as not only does it build strength and stamina but it also massages the spine.

As always in class I will break down the stages for you as it a move that involves a bit of confidence as well as skill and strength as I am sure we were all children last time we curled up into a little ball and rocked up and down, but it is a move that is worth it.


Below is the break down of the move with some pictures but in the video I will also show the progressions.

Start Position

 Pilates Rolling Like A Ball Start Position

Sit with your knees drawn close to your chest, legs together so your body is in a tight ball with your feet resting on the mat. Place your head as close to your knees that your flexibility allows. Firmly grasp your lower legs.

Pilates Rolling Like A Ball Drop Shoulders Engage Core 

Drop your shoulders, widen your back, deepen your abdominals and make a nice curve of your spine. Don't tuck your head; your neck is part of the long curve.

Rock back on your sit bones so that you are balanced with your feet suspended slightly above the mat.



Pull the lower abs in and up to get yourself going and roll back on your inhale.Pilates Rolling Like A Ball Paused


Roll back onto your upper back. Do not throw yourself back and roll onto your neck.




Stay deeply scooped with your spine curved, using your exhale and abdominals to return to upright.

 Pilates Rolling Like A Ball Inhale

Repeat 8-10 times

Common Mistakes/Questions

I'm coming up crooked or travelling. Why?

If your are coming up crooked, you may be working your abs unevenly, or pulling more on one side than the other with your arms. Try to focus on the centre line. If you are travelling you may be throwing yourself forward with your legs, use your abs to bring you back up. This will improve with practice.

I'm not rolling, I'm bumping and it hurts. What am I doing wrong?

First, don't be discouraged, although this may look an easy move it is not, I have seen many Pilates teachers and myself included have trouble with this one ( I travel and turn a bit, this happens when I'm not concentrating and using my legs and not my abdominals). This exercise calls for a deep release of the lower back into a full curve, the curve is due to a deepening scoop of the abs. It may take time to learn to let this happen.

If you have a tight lower back this may make the roll more of a thump-thump action. Work on the first part and the deepening of the lower abs and creating fullness of the back.

If the Bump/thump is very intense or it just hurts, don't do it!




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