Pilates 100 on the Foam Roller

Many of you have asked:

Can I practice the 100 on the Foam Roller?                                                                                       Stevie demonstrating a modified Pilates 100 with legs at Table Top

Yes, absolutely. I like to work the 100 on the Foam roller in a progression. This is a fantastic way to challenge your balance while working your core.

Instructions for the 100 on the Foam Roller

  • Lift your arms to the ceiling and curl up.
  • Bring 1 leg to table top.
  • If you can maintain your balance with 1 leg, lift your other leg.
  • Hold this position as you begin pumping your arms
  • Inhale for 5 counts and exhale for 5 counts up to 100.
Preparation for the Pilates 100 on the Foam Roller

Stevie preparing for the Pilates 100 on the Foam Roller

Try it!  If you’re incorporating this into your home Foam Roller program from the studio, finish with the 100.

Let me know how it goes.  Love to hear of your progress.

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Previously published on Changing Through Movement in June 2014.

Forward Equals Backwards Series #3

Diana Bailey Essential Motion Pilates

Forward Equals Backwards and You Own It: Balance and Coordination

By featured Guest Writer Diana Bailey

The Popular Equipment: Easy to Learn and Portable

The number one balance challenge in this studio, based on ease of learning, is the foam roller. The variety and unique core strength challenge this auxiliary piece offers are of the highest caliber. The roller offers work that can be both engaging, and in light of the diverse skills needed, astonishingly difficult to master. It is easy to see why clients love it.

The BOSU lessons are more devious because balance is challenged in all directions at once; Up and down, side to side, front to back, and rotation. It can be used seated, prone, supine, kneeling or standing. It is more difficult to stand on it without shoes, and when it is less inflated. The safety issues are nominal, but this does require a higher degree of core stability than the roller. To get the best training, the directive is to consciously disturb the balance—and if lost, work to recover–rather than attempt to hold stillness.

Comparatively, on a danger scale of 1-10, the roller is a 2, and the BOSU can be up to a 5. For the sake of perspective, aerial dance, climbing, or slack line work can be a 10. The best training for the most people takes place in the 1-5 range: Nominal safety issues with great mental/physical difficulty. The floor is a piece of cake after standing on a foam roller or a BOSU!

The bonus of both pieces is that, after a few simple instructions, they teach self-regulation and correction by speaking directly to the part of the mind that governs motion. Poor alignment choices or missed timing result in a restart with improved chances of success. Unlike a treadmill or stationary bike, these offer no surface for clothing to hang on or cover. They lurk in the corner, always in view, inviting use.

The roller and BOSU are a fun way to learn about and improve the following:

1. Core stability and flexibility
2. Balance and Coordination
3. Arm and Leg freedom
4. Breathing and relaxation in motion
5. Mental focus and stillness
6. Posture—especially head, neck & shoulders
7. Hunching or swayed back
8. Stiff shoulders
9. Deep abdominal strength
10. Spatial reflexes—knowing how to “land on your feet”.

In this region of the US, ice is a major cause of injuries. Clients have commented on the difference even a few sessions of training have made in their responses to a sudden, uncontrolled loss of footing. Skiers notice improved awareness of weight shift and greater control. The compass that keeps us responsive to challenging moments becomes more internal as balance and coordination improve. The applications range from developing the confidence and stability to walk easily down a set of stairs without the need for a hand rail, to improving the layout portion of a back flip in a gymnastic routine.

Simple Solutions for Back Pain #8: Foam Roller Stretch & Arm Lifts

 Foam Roller Series for Home and Travel by Geneviève Nedder Shoulder stretch on the Foam roller

Geneviève headshotI’m in the process of completing a Foam Roller Series to post with the goal of launching it to you this winter. In the meantime, you can find many of the Foam Roller  exercises in the Back Pain Relief category of the Changing through Movement Blog.

How the Foam Roller can help You stretch Chest and Shoulders

Lying on the foam roller effectively releases tension and also aligns your spine, improving posture. When you add shoulder range of motion exercise, you open your chest, which releases your upper back and stretches shoulder and arm muscles safely.

Stretch Your Chest & Shoulders with this Simple Foam Roller Exercise

Arm Lifts

Lie on the foam roller lengthwise and imprint your spine; start with your arms by your sides on the floor.

  • Inhale – Lift your arms in line with ears while keeping your spine imprinted.
  • Exhale – Lower your arms to 3 or 4 inches above the floor.
  • Repeat 8 to 10x

Reminder: keep your abdominal muscles engaged to help protect your back and strengthen your core.

For optimal alignment, make sure your head is on the foam roller completely and if possible, your tailbone too.

Simply lying on the Foam roller and allowing your spine to imprint can improve your posture significantly. The arm lift exercise lengthens your spine while also opening the chest and shoulders.
Have you been on a foam roller yet today? Be good to your spine and add more foam roller work to your private Pilates sessions and home routines.

For more back pain relief and foam roller exercises, simply Search the Changing Through Movement blog using the “Search this website” option in the right column. Find a post you really like? Please share on social media!