Pilates is a system of exercise focusing upon controlled movement, stretching and breathing. Pilates is popular today not only for physical fitness but also for rehabilitation programs. Clinical trials have found pilates to be an effective way of reducing pain and disability in health problems such as low back pain, ankylosing spondylitis, multiple sclerosis, post-menopausal osteoporosis, non-structural scoliosis, hypertension and chronic neck pain.

Over my next few blogs I will explore different pilates exercises in more detail.

The standing roll down.

This is one of my favorite exercises to get warmed up. It is a great exercise to connect with your breath and bring your attention to your body and your focus to the mat. The next hour is all about you!

The roll down down is done in a standing position. It is excellent for releasing unnecessary tension in the body, improving circulation and creating mobility in the spine. Mobility is essential to help us build strength effectively with full movement in our joints and muscles. Spinal articulation is how each little back bone moves off another, much like links in a chain.  This articulation helps us improve our movement (mobility) by encouraging effective arthrokinematics of the vertebrae.

How to do it

  • Feet should be hip distance apart, toes forward
  • Standing tall with a neutral spine
  • Inhale and lengthen your spine
  • Exhale, tuck your chin (lengthening the back of the neck, let the shoulders drop forward as your start bending the upper back, the tension is releasing.
  • Allow the arms to dangle
  • As you work your way down towards the floor you need to keep a softness in the knees.
  • Rolling your entire spine forward and down, one vertebra at a time
  • Roll down as far as is comfortable for you
  • Exhale and being slowly and controlled reverse the movement and roll back up one vertebra at a time.


Please see the video here:

Spinal articulation feels great, it massages the spinal extensors (muscles beside the vertebrae that keep you standing upright), while simultaneously stimulating the nerves between the vertebrae. Spinal articulation also helps to strengthen your core, a stiff spine can inhibit the development of your core muscles. If you are unable to articulate a certain section of your spine, you may notice a direct correlation to weaker areas in the core. For example, if your lower back, or lumbar spine is stiff you will possibly have a weaker set of abdominals muscles.

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