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How to Do a Neck Roll in Pilates

Learn how to do a neck roll, an intermediate Pilates Mat exercise, from Core Pilates NYC instructor Sarah Ruback in this Howcast workout video.


The next intermediate exercise is Neck Roll, which is actually a stretch that follows the Swan. So to set up for this, we'll start in the swan position, so roll onto your stomach. That's it with the hands under the shoulders, so she's just completed her Swan.

In preparation for the other extension exercises that are to come, we just give her neck a little bit of a break here. So pressing into your palms, inhale, and come back up to your Swan position. Now look over your right shoulder. Lower your chin down toward your chest to look at the mat. Look over the left shoulder and then turn your head to the center. And then reverse. Look left, lower the chin down toward the chest. Look over the right shoulder, and back to the center. One more time to each side.

So notice she's controlling the movement of her neck. She's not just letting her head bob around and she's certainly not letting her head go back. You're protecting the neck here. You're giving it a break, not trying to cause it more problems. That's it. And then lower back to the mat.

Now, this is sort of a hard position to hold through your triceps if you're just starting it so you may want to slide your elbows forward, underneath your shoulders a bit and prop up this way to do the exercise, almost like a proceeding single leg kick, and you can do the same thing.

So one time. Look over the right shoulder. Lower the chin toward the chest. Look over the left shoulder and center. And then reverse, left, circle, right, and center.

And that's the Neck Roll. It leads right into Single Leg Kick from the Beginner Mat series next.

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