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exercise of the month

The Roll Over with Emma Newham

June 2017


To work the abdominals and achieve segmental control of the spine and to stretch the back

Starting Position

Lie supine in the relaxation position with the knees bent.  Inhale to prepare.  As you exhale, engage the core abdominals and lift one leg up at a time until the legs are bent at 90 degrees above the hips.  Straighten the legs as much as possible ensuring that the knees stay directly above the hips.  Arms are down by the side of the body.


Inhale - To prepare

Exhale - Engage the core abdominals and tilt the pelvis, lifting the tailbone, sacrum and lumbar spine off the floor.  Continue peeling the spine off the floor, aiming to get the legs behind the head with the feet on the floor.  The body is resting on the thoracic vertebrae NOT the cervical spine

Inhale - To prepare

Exhale - Slowly reverse the movement to return back to the starting position.  Use the hands to act as a brake by lightly pressing the palms into the floor.

Target Muscles

Core abdominals, spinal flexors, neck flexors, hamstrings, hip flexors


As you come back to the starting position on the returning phase of the movement, ensure that the head stays on the floor

Try to keep shoulders away from the ears

Try to move sequentially, one vertebra at a time throughout the movement

Keep the core engaged, particularly on the returning phase where more abdominal work is required

If the hamstrings or lower back muscles are tight, then bend the legs as much as is necessary

The feet may not touch the floor, depending upon flexibility

On the returning phase of the movement, the closer the legs are to the body, the easier the abdominal work so to increase abdominal workload, lift the legs away from the body before attempting the descent

Contra Indictions

This exercise may be unsuitable for neck and certain disc related back problems and osteoporosis

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July 2022

A lovely exercise for spinal articulation to open the back of the body and assist in coordination

View exercise >

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