Mat Exercise - Roll Over

Updated: Mar 8, 2020

Control is the center focus of this next mat exercise.  The Roll Over stretches the hamstrings and back while articulating the spine. All this is accomplished with complete control from the Powerhouse. This is an intermediate exercise and should only be attempted by individuals who have been practicing Pilates and who do not have any back or neck issues.

Repetitions:  3-5

Roll Over Setup


  • Lie back on the mat with legs lengthened to a 90 degree angle

  • Arms are long by the side of the body pressing triceps into the mat


  • Inhale - lengthen legs as you slightly lower them

  • Exhale - use the Powerhouse to lift legs overhead until they are parallel to the ground.

  • Inhale - press legs open to hip width, flex the feet

  • Exhale - roll the spine to the mat with control - vertebrae by vertebrae

  • Reverse - Leg are 90 degrees, open hip width, lift legs overhead using abdominals, press legs together to hug the mid-line, point toes as you roll back to the mat.

Reach Out Through Inner Thighs


Lengthen legs to ceiling while anchoring your tailbone to the mat with your Powerhouse

LOVA tips:

Movement comes from your Powerhouse.  Use the Powerhouse to lift hips off the mat at the same time pressing the arms long and strong into the floor. This creates "oppositional energy". Deepen the Powerhouse to resist gravity as you lower the spine with control by placing one bone (vertebrae) of the spine at a time on the mat. Imagine creating space between each vertebrae. This will create length in the spine. Work the opposition through the legs, arms and spine. This fabulous yet challenging exercise feels great but is not for individuals with back or neck issues.

Click here for the next exercise in the Mat repertoire - One Leg Circle Previous exercise - Roll Up

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