The beauty of Pilates lies in the ‘different’ yet ‘quirky’ types of exercises. Some might feel strange when they do it for the first time and others just love ‘playing’ on the mat. When last have you rolled around on the floor like a toddler? Not recently I am sure. Well, how about taking your body right out of its comfort zone by doing ‘Rolling like a Ball’.
Rolling like a Ball
I absolutely love how this exercise takes my mind to a place of calm and concentration. Not only does it test my general stability but it also gives my back a great gentle massage. Sure, there is definitely a little coordination that goes with this exercise. But to be honest, this exercise really does bring my mind back to being a child, staying deep into my own body, and playing on a mat.
What are its benefits?
The best part about these kinds of Pilates exercises is that they are great to do with your children. This is something that you will find they can relate to. It is bound to bring in some great family fun and not to mention the fact that your children will absolutely love seeing you roll around on the floor. The best way to get our children to love exercising is to get them to do movements that make exercise fun. Rolling like a ball does exactly that. Wait until we get to Seal Puppy, that is definitely going to challenge the entire family.
How to start?
Sit on the mat on the back edge of your pelvis. Hold both ankles with your hands while your feet hover off of the floor. Place your spine into a deep curve, a ball shape. Make sure that your head is gently tilting down towards your knees. Your feet will be about 20 cm away from your glutes and your knees will be about 20 cm away from your chest.
You are now gently going to roll back onto your back maintaining the position of your feet and your knees. As your shoulders touch the mat, gently roll back up to the starting position and be sure not to place your feet back onto the floor. This is where balance and coordination come in. When you try this exercise, try and lift your pelvis off of the mat as you roll back in order to get a really good roll with your spine.
How many times should you do this routine?
This exercise is truly there to bring YOU back to YOU and to release your spine. You can do this 6 – 15 times as it is not strenuous but rather playful. Nothing stops you from doing it even more than that. Do as many as you like, in fact, get your children to join you. They will love seeing you rolling on the floor.
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels
Please be aware that if you have any spinal injuries, you will need to get consent from your Health Care Professional in order to ensure that your safety comes first. Also, take note if you struggle with rolling. This could be due to a tight lower back.
Inhale as you roll your body back onto the mat. Exhale, contract your abdominals and core and roll back up to the sitting position. The inhale is used for the rolling back and the exhale is used on the effort as your recover.
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Take a mind-body journey with Pilates. I would like to invite you to discover the movement differently. Take this time to be still, feel, and embrace what your body has to offer you. This week we are looking at ‘Rolling like a ball’ where you will allow your spine to release, your mind to focus and your body to play on the mat.
As you do these Pilates exercises, connect to your body, feel all the muscle contractions that are emanating through your body, hear and feel your breath, and start developing your true mind-body connection. As we embark on this Pilates journey, we will introduce you to both Pilates Mat and Pilates Equipment repertoire. Enjoy!