Rollover and Balance

This weekend concluded the first stage of my Pilates instructor training! I am elated and nervous. Elated because I have one so far in my training over the past year. Scared because…well, now the rest is on me.

Like learning a foreign language, the only way to become fluent is to immerse yourself within the culture. As a very, very novice teacher with little teaching experience, this part is scary to me. All I have to rely on is my years and years of practice, my training, and the confidence I know is within me. (Yes, corny I know. But whatever, it’s true!)

It’s easy to get lost in the barrage of information you receive in the 16 hour-long course, but there is always something that really stands out. This time, I learned a small variation to the rollover that changed everything.

It’s amazing how the tiniest little thing can change every single workout you do. 

Notice what part of our body we rely on for balance by removing them from the equation. In rollover, without the support of our arms flat on the floor, the already advanced pose turns into a balance challenge.

Avoid if you have a serious lower back injury. 


  1. The Original Rollover


In the Rollover, we begin supine on the mat with the arms at our sides. As we engage the core and begin to lift our legs, we press down with our arms into the mat to add support for the back and core, peeling the lower body off the mat (like a band-aid).

Tap the mat with your toes if you have the hamstring flexibility, and then SLOWLY press one vertebra at a time down onto the mat.


But what happens when we remove the added support of our arms?

2. Rollover with arm variation

Rollover variation 2

We can challenge the core even further and turn the workout into a balancing exercise which challenges the core even more.

Intermediate and advanced level trainings are so fun because once we have the basis of each exercise we have the freedom to play around with it. Adding challenging variations or adding in different props (ball, straps, yoga block) completely changes which muscle groups are activated.

You can add in this variation during any point of the exercise. For an ultra-challenge, try wheeling the arms over head before you even begin to lift your lower body, being careful to engage your abs as much as possible so the lower back stays protected.

OR, use your arms for support as you roll up, only reaching the overhead at the top of the movement for a moment. Balance, then replace the arms by your side as you roll back down.

Pilates is so fun! Rollover is amazing as both a core workout but also as a sort of self-back massage.

And now…

What is your favorite exercise? Can you increase the challenge my removing part of the support?

Tell me!


❤ Cammy

4 thoughts on “Rollover and Balance

  1. Plow pose is a challenge, using the body weight as fulcrum and balance challenge! My favorite? Stretching into the hips and psoas with pigeon pose – sleeping, king, queen – all the versions provide their own benefits.


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