Pilates rollover exercise
Pilates rollover exercise

Day 3 and 4 of March Matness: First up, The Roll Over

Let’s recap. You have warmed up your whole body in the Hundred. You’ve used those warmed muscles to roll up and really build your abdominal strength, and if you’ve been reading our posts on social media, you will know the strap on the Roll Up helps you on the way down to get traction in order to roll your pelvis away from your legs, and thus creating space in your hip joints and lower back.

Well now you’ll really need that! The Roll Over takes the shape of the Roll Up using stable legs and moving body with arms, and turns it upside down by now stabilising your arms and moving your body with legs! Cue the dowel handles! These (featured in the photo above) are a great way of helping you keep your chest open, help you lift your body and lengthen your spine.

But according to our survey, you’re not so much a fan of this one as you are the Roll Up- again, me thinks that’s because it’s hard! Inversions aren’t easy, but that’s why the Roll Over is an advanced exercises that you have to build the foundations first and work around the studio apparatus to help this. – think Pull Ups on the Wunda chair, Roll Back on the Tower, Small Barrel hips and chest openers, and Short Spine on the Reformer.

For flexible people, this one looks a breeze. BUT make sure you’re not just using the length of your hamstrings to pancake your body over, but instead squeeze the heels to lift the hips up and over.
For tight bodies, do the preps, Legs to the ceiling, pull your legs towards your nose whilst keeping your pelvis down, then squeeze your heels to un-weight 4 vertebrae off the floor, open your legs wider than the mat and roll back down, bringing the legs together again.

#Matstories #marchmatness2020 #therollup
“As a curvy lady with hips, a booty and size FF bad boy boobies, these inversions exercises for me have always just been a practice to not suffocate on my own breasts! If you know, you know! Hi-five sista!” Michelle

Watch our How To Do The Roll Up Tutorial video for a little bonus help!

Roll Up Tutorial video

Now for the One Leg Circle…

We’ve already prepped this exercise with the moving legs from the Roll Over. The legs split apart and come back together. We’ve worked the inner and outer thigh and stretched the hamstrings, we’ve learnt how to stabilise our arms and pelvis from the Roll Up, so put it all together and we’ve got the foundations we need for the One Leg Circle.

Are you lifting your leg from your powerhouse or just swinging the leg like a lasso?

We need rhythm in all the exercises to help save us! Going too slowly doesn’t allow the body any flow and the flow is what keeps the body warm, circulation flowing into the hip joint and if the exercise is hard, it’s what keeps us driving through. So, take the leg across the body, then circle down round and back up. Up being the finish and a little life to the circle! It’s not, circle the leg down slowly, then outwards then slowly bring it back up to maybe a little way- NO, get that leg back up to the highest point, it’s easy to go down with gravity right? Our focus is working against gravity to bring the leg back up up up! Your focus should also be on the other leg, pelvis, hands and arms to stabilise the body in order that the moving leg can MOVE! But when the leg comes back up, make sure you think of dropping the leg into the hip socket and then using the deep abdominals in and up to draw the leg back up, in it’s joint, from your powerhouse! Then don’t forget the pause at the top before you continue to the next one, or you are just a leg lasso!

In this exercise, it’s also the first chance we’ve really had to work on squaring your box. Whenever your arms or legs are in opposite directions up and down in a split position, you have to work hard to keep your shoulders and your hips square. But that’s a whole other conversation. Maybe watch this video on Squaring your Box.

#Matstories #marchmatness2020 #theonelegcircle
“Do you get clicky hips in this exercise? It’s all I can ever remember when I first started Pilates and still happens now if my pelvis isn’t as aligned as it should be. The clicking isn’t bad, it’s just your ligaments flicking over the bones. it just sounds awful. But it is a reminder that your legs, hips and pelvis are a little out of alignment. So focus on stabilising the pelvis with your glutes wrapping, watch how far your leg goes across the body if the hips are very unstable, and really work the abs in and up to stretch the hip muscles and get more space for the joint bones and ligaments.” Michelle

Need a bit of help? Time for our One Leg Circle How to Tutorial video

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