The Pilates Roll Over
To start lie on your back with your hands at your sides, your legs together and your feet pointed.
Step 1: Exhale. Engage your core and lift the legs up toward the ceiling to prepare.
Step 2: Inhale. Roll your lower back off the mat reaching your legs overhead until they are parallel to the ground. Press your upper arms into the mat and roll up until you are balanced no higher than the top of your shoulder blades. Do not roll up onto your neck! (shown above)
Step 3: Continue to inhale and open your legs shoulder width apart and flex your feet.
Step 4: Exhale. Roll down, keeping the legs shoulder width apart, engaging your core and pressing the upper arms into the mat to make the roll smooth and steady. Keep the chest open and the back of the shoulders on the mat. Lower the legs as far as possible without letting the back arch off the mat.
Step 5: Continue to exhale and bring your legs back together and point the feet to start again.
Do 3 reps beginning with toes pointed then do 3 reps beginning with feet flexed and shoulder width apart.
Not only is this exercise fun it also helps you develop core strength and control, increases your flexibility, teaches you how to articulate the spine, and stabilize your shoulders.