The Roll Down

The Roll Down is actually a precursor to many pilates’s exercises such as the hundred and other rolling exercises.   It is beneficial in it’s own right since it requires focus to ensure all parts of your body are working together.

|Benefit |

Core Activation and strengthening.

|How to do |

|Mat Variation 1|

  • Sit tall with your feet flat on the mat and knees bent.  (legs hip width apart)
  • Place hands around your thighs.
  • Tuck your chin – eyes to belly button.
  • Squeeze your butt and curl your spine into a C-curve as you slowly roll back. (movement comes from the base of your spin, not your back)
  • Keep shoulders down.
  • Think belly button to spine.
  • Hold at the bottom and take 3 breaths.
  • Curl back up concentrating on keeping the curve and pulling belly to spine.
  • (you may hold your leggings to help yourself back up but do not lose the c-curve)
  • Repeat for 3

|Mat Variation 2|

 The same as variation 1 but hands are not wrapped around your thighs.  Instead they slide easily on the sides of your thighs.

|Spin Corrector|

  • Sit on the step barrel of the spine corrector (butt all the way back).
  • Knees should be bent, feet together, arms out in front.  
  • Tuck your chin – eyes to belly button.
  • Press your back into the spine corrector as you curl back (think belly to spine)
  • On your first rollback, go only as far as you can without losing the C-curve.
  • Press your back into the spine corrector to roll back up.
  • On your next rep you should roll back onto the spine corrector until your head neck and shoulders are extended over the barrel.  
  • To roll up tuck chin, reach arms forward, shoulders relaxed, press base of spine into the barrel, belly button to spine and roll up.
  • Unfortunately, a bosu or ball is not a good alternative to the spine corrector.  The base, or barrel needs to be hard.


  •  Place feet on tower uprights and grab the bar.
  •  Follow directions for Mat variations.
  •  Keep shoulders down, chin tucked, Belly button to spine and pulled up by fish hook.  
  • I suggest 5 of these.

If you do not have a tower you can use a band, a band with a single handle or double handles.


  • The movement is from the base of the spine, not the back.
  • Pull belly to spine but visualize that your abs are being pulled up by a fish hook.
  • The only time there should be an arch is during the spin corrector full stretch.

 Special Thanks to Kimberly from Pilates on Deck.

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