Correct form, benefits and common mistakes

If you’re going to give Pilates a try, you should familiarize yourself with the ‘rolling like a ball’ exercise.

Pilates rolling exercises improve flexibility, strength and balance simultaneously.

All these tips, techniques and common mistakes in rolling like a ball in Pilates will help you get going like a pro.

You will be able to correctly perform the exercise, thoroughly stretch the muscles throughout your core region and improve the alignment of your spine. Eventually, you’ll be able to reduce your back pain and enhance your mobility.


How to Do ‘Rolling Like a Ball’ in Pilates: Correct Form

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Here’s how you do this exercise:

  • Place your hands on your shins slightly above the ankle, and sit on your mat.
  • Drop your shoulders; widen your back; tighten your abs, and keep your spine in a comfortable curve.
  • Your neck is a part of the long curve, so don’t tuck it in. However, keep your chin slightly ducked and your gaze fixed on your navel.
  • Lift your feet off the mat, and balance on your sit bones (or slightly behind them). Inhalation: To get started, pull your lower abs in and up, before rolling back during your inhalation. Only roll up to your shoulders. It’s not a good idea to roll onto your neck.
  • Break.
  • Exhalation: Maintain a deep scooping position with a curved spine.
  • Return to a standing position by exhaling and contracting your abdominals.
  • Rep the exercise five to six more times.

Tips and Techniques for Rolling Like Ball in Pilates

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Here’re a few tips to do this exercise:

  • Rolling back with support is a great warm-up for this exercise.
  • You’ll need to keep your abdominals in a good C-curve scoop.
  • Make sure you’re seated on something comfortable.
  • For the spine, a thin mat on a hard floor is insufficient padding.
  • This exercise happens after one leg circle and just before one leg stretch in the conventional Pilates mat exercise sequence. This exercise is comparable to the roll-over and can be included in a home Pilates mat program.
  • Keep your spine in a C shape, your chin away from your chest and your core engaged. Inhale as you roll back, focusing on the shoulders rather than the neck.
  • As you roll back up, exhale, and roll back and forth using only the strength of your abdominal muscles.


‘Rolling like a ball’ exercise helps you develop awareness of your spine, work deeply in the abdominals and tune you into the inner flow of movement and breath in the body.

You’ll discover your natural equilibrium point and learn to manage your motions. The Pilates movement, known as the ‘rolling like a ball’, requires you to retain control over both the larger muscle groups in your upper body and the smaller ones in your lower spine.

You can improve trunk strength by keeping all these muscles engaged, which will make functional motions like getting out of bed and opening car doors much easier.

Pilates is a powerful practice for your body and mind. By attending to the details of each exercise, you are able to develop a fully integrated mind-body approach to do the exercises.

Common Mistakes When ‘Rolling Like a Ball’

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Here’re a common mistake while doing this exercise that you should avoid:

1) Your core is not fully engaged

One of the main advantages of ‘rolling like a ball’ is that it strengthens your core. So it’s important to concentrate on tightening and activating your abdomen.

To ensure that those muscles are fired up, find that C-curve in your stomach and draw through your core.

2) Moving without control

You’ll want to move with control rather than using momentum to propel your body back and forth. That will help improve spinal mobility, which will feel like a back massage.

Stability is key to the success of this move, so move slowly, and use control to improve spinal mobility. It feels good, too.

3) Not keeping a track of progress

The best part about this exercise is that it can be done in a variety of ways.

You can advance your movement by joining your elbows to your knees and hands on your shoulders once you’ve mastered the fundamentals of ‘rolling like a ball.’

Lift your legs off the mat; roll out, and return to your starting position, but keep your legs and ankles elevated instead of grounded.

* Anyone with high or low blood pressure, glaucoma, osteoporosis, or herniated disc should avoid this activity. Stop doing this exercise if you have any neck or back pain too.

bottom line

There are many different rolling techniques, and no one way is necessarily ‘right’.

However, keep in mind that the ultimate goal is to achieve movement, flexibility and balance. By incorporating rolling into your Pilates practice and session, you can enhance many aspects of your health and well-being.

The point is that this exercise promotes flexibility, stability, strength and coordination in a single exercise.

It also adds grace to your movements, so it’s perfect for those who consider poise an asset. Rolling like a ball is a Pilates achievement that you should be proud of.

Q. Have you tried the rolling pilates workout?

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