The Roll Down is part of a sequence of movements known in Pilates as The Push Up and it is often taught as a transition from standing to the mat and vice versa. The Roll Down is a fantastic opportunity to measure and observe spinal range of motion which can in turn influence stability and movement patterns. If a joint has reduced range of motion then adjacent joints and tissues must become more mobile to compensate for this limitation. We often observe this in Swan Dive with the cervical spine having excessive mobility as the thoracic spine is restricted and so the client will hyperextend the neck and look forwards as the mid back remains fixed in flexion. The Roll Down should be performed with minimal effort, the movement should be smooth with sequential articulation through the vertebrae. Observing where the movement appears to break down or lack fluidity can indicate restrictions and imbalances which with effective cuing and adapted exercises can be addressed and corrected.
The clips below show a client who has an extension pattern, the pelvis is held in an anterior tilt. In the first clip we can see how specific cues can enhance the movement and allow improved execution of the Roll Down and neutral alignment. The second clip shows a homework task for your clients to help their own technique. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQ7sYiLlq5c] [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bXrHn1eKjY]
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Many thanks to Amanda for demoing!