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How to Do the Rollover in Pilates

Learn how to do the rollover, an advanced Pilates Mat exercise, from Core Pilates NYC instructor Sarah Ruback in this Howcast workout video.


This next exercise is Roll Over, which is the first exercise in the advanced mat sequence. So, talking about advanced, what does it mean to be an advanced practitioner of Pilates? You should be totally familiar with the beginner and intermediate mat work. You should feel completely confident in your six principles, and you should really be in good health, so you're doing Pilates several times a week, not just once or twice. More like three to four times. And with the advanced mat exercises, because it is actually the hardest exercises of all of Pilates, it is my recommendation that you try to work with a certified trainer on these exercises before attempting them on your own.

So with that said, we'll go into Roll Over. So you'll lie down on your back here, Madeline, with your arms towards your sides. Now, bend both knees in towards your chest, extend your legs out to 45 degrees, lift your legs up overhead. From here, open your legs, flex your heels parallel, and articulate your spine right back into the mat, one vertebrae at a time, then zip your legs together in Pilates stance at 45 degrees, with breath. Inhale to prepare, exhale, roll overhead. Your legs are parallel to the mat. Open the legs, flex the heels, and then sequentially roll through the spine. So when you're working on this exercise, whenever your lower body goes over your head, it is a lot of work on your arms.

So you'll feel this through your triceps, which is a great thing. Now hold it here, Madeline, and we'll reverse this. So heels together now. Start with the legs open, hip distance apart. Lift the hips smoothly up overhead. Zip the legs together. Flex the heels and lower right back down into the mat with control. Point the toes, Pilates stance, open the feet hip distance apart. Lift up overhead. Zip the legs. Flex the heels, and slowly resist the spine back into the mat, one vertebrae at a time. One last time. Open the legs, lift the hips up overhead. Close the legs. Hold it here. Flex your heels. Now, keep the spine lifted, abs in and engaged, and lower all the way back down into the mat, one vertebrae at a time. From here bend your knees right back in towards your chest.

So that's Roll Over, and Roll Over occurs after the Roll-Up and before Single Leg Circles in the mat sequence.

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