How to Do the Half Roll Down in Pilates

Learn how to do the beginner Pilates Mat exercise the half roll down from Core Pilates NYC instructor Sarah Ruback in this Howcast workout video.

The half roll down is a modification to help simplify the following exercise which is the roll up. So this is an exercise we often do with our beginners or if we’re really looking to find a deep core connection and to warm up the spine. So from here Madelaine, hold behind the back of your thighs, curl your chin toward your chest and come up to a seated position. Okay. So she’ll start by sitting really tall. Because that’s probably what you’ll do. That’s how we normally sit. Now in Pilates, a lot of times we use a position called the C-curve. So imagine that your spine is making the capital letter C. So Madelaine curl your chin toward your chest then tuck your tailbone and hold it right here. So you can see from her head to her tailbone she has a nice C position. The other thing though is that she’s still scooping in and up rather than pushing her abs down and out. Alright, so this is the position of the exercise. Inhale, roll back towards the mat until your arms go straight or you feel like you’re going to fall and then hold that. Then exhale, come forward, bringing your head right back toward your knees. And again. Inhale as you round back, then exhale as you come forward. Now if this is challenging, you can add another breath. That’s totally fine. Inhale this time Madelaine, exhale as you round back. Exhaling helps you feel that scoop a little more deeply. Inhale again and then exhale, round your head towards your knees. Let’s try one more time. Breath in then breath out, round half way back. Last time. Breath in. Then breath out and round your head towards your knees. So this exercise gives us awareness of the spine and the articulation that we’re about to do in a little bit more of a challenging way. And that’s why it’s the half roll down.