Pilates Roll Over - Exercise Instructions

pilates roll over
Photo: Ben Goldstein / Model: Melissa Castro Schmidt

Roll over is all about control. It will give your back and hamstrings a good stretch, and make your abdominal muscles work very hard as well.

One of the keys to this exercise is to remember that it is roll over, not flop over. We've all seen someone, usually a very flexible woman, waltz into a studio and immediately get down on the floor throwing her legs over her head in a big ol' back stretch. Well, that's fun if you can do it, but it is not a great way to develop core strength (it is a great way to hurt your back and neck).


Watch Now: How to Do a Perfect Pilates Roll Over

Warm up before you do this exercise. You may also want to review my extra tips for roll over. If you have back or neck issues, be careful with roll over -- it might not be right for you.

What You Will Need for the Roll Over

This is a mat exercise, you need only an exercise mat and space to do it in.

Beginning Position for the Pilates Roll Over Exercise

  • Lie on your back with your arms along your sides, palms down. Your neck is long with lots of space between your shoulders and ears, and your chest is open.
  • With your legs together, extend them straight up toward the ceiling at a 90-degree angle.
  • Exhale: Lower your legs slightly.
Was this page helpful?