Tutorial #3484

Rolling Like a Ball

30 min - Tutorial


Learn how you can improve rolling exercises like Rolling Like a Ball and Roll Back with this tutorial by Monica Wilson. She addresses common issues like tightness in the low back and hip flexors and she shows how you should use your powerhouse to do these movements. She also includes a few anatomical clarifications so you understand what you are doing.
What You'll Need: Mat, Wall, Triadball, Towel, Hand Weights, Magic Circle

About This Video

(Pace N/A)
Jul 27, 2018
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Hi and welcome to my tutorial. It's a psych class tutorial on learning how to roll like a ball. I love receiving all of your comments and your feedbacks and one of the most common questions is how do I roll like a ball better or maybe on rolling like a rope, the roll back, I can't get up or I'm hitting a flat spot and feel like a flat tire when I'm doing rolling like a ball. A lot of times we're really tight in our lower back are very stiff or our hip flexors are really tight or we don't realize we're not initiating from our powerhouse as much as we should. So if this might be one of your common problems, then I might suggest doing my class number three, three, three, three that is just specifically on stretching and getting your body prepped and ready to do our mat work. So wherever you're at, sometimes you might need that before an advanced class.

Sometimes you might need that before a basic class. But so if you've done that class and you still need a little more help, this'll get a little more into how to use your powerhouse to do rolling like about the rolling like a ball. And as well as the roll back. We're gonna use some props today in our class I will be using the magic circle, but if you don't have a magic circle or prefer something a little kinder to your inner thighs, you can roll up a bath towel just like this. Or You could use a ball that slightly deflated and those work great to give you that opposition that you need to strengthen your powerhouse. We're going to finish today's on the wall and you'll need two pound weights to really get into that. If you don't have two pound weights, grab some soup cans, some bean cans, whatever you have in your pantry. All right, let's get started.

So one of the things that I love about Joseph [inaudible] bluntness is that he's just very direct and tells you, you need to know where your body is, what your, where's your anatomy. And then that'll help you start executing things a lot better. So we have a straight line from one shoulder to another, and that straight line is right over your hip bones that are straight one across from the other, right? We have our PyLadies box and because we're lying flat on a mat, you can feel that your spine is flat and straight on the Mat. Okay? You're not having your shoulders in front or shoulders behind.

And the relationship between your upper back and your lower back is super important for rolling like a ball. So we're going to start off with a little bit of awareness. I'm gonna move my circle just so you can see a little bit better of our pelvis. Okay. So right now my pelvis is flat and I suppose in a neutral position, but that is for a whole nother tutorial that we'll get to another day.

So I want you to think of your pelvis like a bowl of soup, and I want you to go ahead and tilt it into your chest as if you're dumping a bowl of soup into your chest. So what that does is it lifts your tailbone off the Mat. It has your waistband or the vertebra right at l four and l five on the mat and your pelvis is tilted towards you. We're going to tilt our pelvis away from us dumping our bolus soup out. Okay, so now ideally you're going to have a lower ABAP tunnel under your lower back and your tailbone is definitely down and your waistband definitely up.

So we're understanding where our pelvis is. When you do the roll back or you do rolling like a ball, you want to ideally use your stomach, not your tight hip flexors but your stomach to draw into the mat and to tilt your pelvis towards you. So it's your stomach that's scooping in, stretching your lower back and getting that anchored. Okay, so we're going to want to make sure we're doing that. So how we develop strength in that is making sure when any, we do any of our mat work that our single leg stretch or double leg stretch our hundred is not with our tailbone down and r l four l five off the mat because our back is really keeping that stiff back right now. Okay? So it's going to encourage that. And so I want you to just go ahead and make sure that your lower back is down.

All right? So let's go ahead and grab the magic circle and we're going to put it between our ankles. And I'm going to rest my feet on the mat and to put my hands one over the other behind my head. Again, this is a great build on class number three, three, three, three. Um, because you've already stretched out everything and you're very aware of what we're about to do. So we're gonna take a big breath and as you exhale you're going to draw your belly in to the mat. Very simple instruction, very important. And with the air.

So as you exhale, you're going to feel your belly pool tight to your back. As if there's a string attached to your spine going up to your naval and pulling it down so that the distance between your belly button and your lower back is only about five inches, not seven, not 10. One more time in with the air and to exhaling. And with that belly that's pulling into the bat, we're gonna use that strength to round up our head and shoulders. Next time we're going to actually lift our head. Here we go. Exhale, pulling into the mat.

Using that to round up our head and shoulders. Take a breath and exhale. Pull in even tighter. And now take a breath and you're going to go down with your head, but you're going to use your strong belly to push your head into your hands to stretch your neck. All right, now we're going to see or concentrate to see if we have tilted or done anything with our pelvis when we came up. Big Breath. Use your powerhouse to pull in, round up. And if you have gripped in your hip flexors, it'll look like this.

And I don't want that today. So we're gonna relax as you take a breath. Hopefully you could see that. And as you exhale, try to come up a little higher by pulling in and not tilting your pelvis. Take another breath and this time roll down using your belly to pull into your lower back and push your head into your hands. We'll come up one more time, advancing it a little bit. Big Breath. As you exhale, draw your belly in, round up, and look at your pelvis. Did you grip? If so, let go. As you inhale, then pull your waist in in your belly and come up higher if you can.

Great big breath this time. Extend the arms as if you could grab onto your ankles. Big theme today. Can you grab on, grab on, then stay there with your upper body and just reach your arms long. Bring your knees up over your hips and pump for the a hundred and exhaling. You should really feel your upper stomach because you're trying and help. Two, three, four, five and x two, three, four, five.

You're pretending you're grabbing your ankles. So you don't want to go back like this, right? And in your head like this, you're really trying to pretend like, oh, I'm going to get up and I'm going to grab my ankles. That's at least 50. We're keeping our legs bent just so that we feel really connected with our naval to our spine. That's 81 more time.

Pool their billion. Deep, deep, deep. Hug your knees into your chest. I'm going to take my circle to the side for a second. Transitions I cannot stress enough during, um, in between each exercise, make or break whether your back's gonna stay stiff or you're going to keep using your powerhouse. So you're going to want to try to grab onto your ankles as you roll up to a seated position. Cause the next exercises, the rollback.

So what I'd like you to try to do, I'm going to put my arms up so I can demonstrate what not to do and I'll still kind of do it. But you're sending messages to work toward something, work towards a goal. It's not going to be perfect, but you're going to try not to lead with your pelvis when you sit up. So leading with your pelvis would be swinging your legs down. I tell them, goes down. This movement prevents you from really getting a strong powerhouse. It's also quite a bit cheating, so you're going to try instead to reach for your ankles.

So I want you to take a big breath, pull that navel into the spine. As you round up your head and shoulders, take another breath and this time you're going to roll up. Okay? Anyway, again, you can, you're going to not stay this tight, but try to reach for your ankles, reaching, reaching, reaching, just doing whatever you can. So the next exercises roll back. So we're going to put your circle between your inner thighs and because we're having difficulties with rolling like a ball, we want to live in, stay and sit in the very first part. You don't want to take this all the way back. So what are we going to do? We're going to press those inner thighs together.

Stacking your spine up tall. I hope my spine is one vertebra on top of the other right now. Okay. Versus being behind with my upper body or my lower body being behind. Okay. So we're going to stack stack, stack so that we can do a c curve, meaning the top of the state.

C is at my shoulders and the bottom of the sea is at my hips. And I'm going to draw my navel in against the circle I'm squeezing and I'm going to try to round my lower back as much as my upper a lot of times with my clients. I'm going to stay here. We, we just round up here. We're really good at rounding that upper back cause that's what we do all day. But we need around this. So that's where Joseph [inaudible] is very accurate, that you need to know your anatomy. So we need a round.

You're gonna squeeze those inner thighs and pull that belly deep into your lower back. And now really breathe. Take a breath and exhale. Squeezing out the air out of your lungs. Why is that important? Because it expands your ribs, expands your lungs, lungs, and around your upper body. Now you're ready to roll back your waistband.

So we're going to just roll back my waistband, my waistband. I'm pulling my waist back behind me until my arms are straight. Like I said, I'm going to live here. Big Breath. I'm trying to leave my lower back there as I come forward with my upper belly. Let me show you how not to do it.

So we'd squeeze round, right? Just like that. And then this doesn't move. We just moved this. Well that didn't do us any good. And then to come forward, we just come forward like this, right? So let's do four more correctly. Squeeze round.

I have to say this is one of the hardest exercises when you do it right, it really takes a lot of effort. So squeezing, drawing those inner thighs, even your pelvic floor, lower little lower belly. We're going to exhale, take a breath, and then roll back. Just your waistband waistband, pulling your waist back, pulling your waist back until your arms are straight. Take a breath, pull your waistband towards the Mat. Still pulling it behind you so you use your upper set. Very nice. Four, three more. Squeeze. I like to picture my stomach having a six pack.

It's a lot of fun. So you're going to picture that. You're going to use your upper set right here, then your middle set, then your lower. We need a lot of imagination to help our body move and send all those messages. And two more. So we're going to squeeze our c lower set of your six pack, middle set up set. Take a breath and upper set. Don't let that lower back.

Go forward yet and forward. One more. I'm sweating. I hope you are too. Squeeze, tedious but very effective. So rolling down here, here, right not your upper body. Taking a breath and then forward. This'll bench. Sully will become a lot easier to do.

Now I mentioned transitions are everything. So we're going to roll down to start our single leg circles. So you're going to squeeze and draw in and roll down. Still working, not the upper body, the lower body, right when your arms are straight or goals to have your waistband on the mat. And then keep going.

Going roll right through here. It's often people just lower their head. Resist that roll through each vertebra. We're going to take the circle. So now you use your power house. Good job to roll down and to work in between each exercise.

I'm going to use my circle for a stretch, putting the ball of my foot, turning it out a little and stretching. All right, so this is going to be a single leg circle and you're just constantly trying to develop your powerhouse. So that means I'm going to bend my knee and put it down for a second. This area is trying to stay flat on the Mat. It's not trying to do a whole circle with your leg, so you're trying to circle your leg by lengthening it out of the hip socket and stabilizing this area. So only the leg circles. Let's see if we can work on that and that again helps you with rolling like a ball and everything. So pulling in, no movement, that pelvis, it's cross around one and two and three.

You should feel both sides of your Ileus. Sacral joints. One more on the mat. Reverse. I'll explain what those are in a second am pulling it. And thirdly, your tailbone hopefully is down one more and hug the knee in. Good. So on the back of your pelvis, you have a triangle bone at the base of your, the base of your spine and right here and one hip comes in, the other hip comes and they have a junction right here. And so you should feel that junction flat and square on the Mat while you're circling your leg. Let's do the left.

So all these little anatomy clarification's should help you. Stretching. All right arms pressing down leg, reaching out of that hip and cross around him. So my belly is making sure that my left hip isn't coming with me. Last one, reverse one down around two, three. Not My right quad, but my left side of my abdominals. One more.

Make sure that leg wasn't working. Hug it in. All right, so next is our infamous rolling like a ball. So again, we're going to try not to lead with the legs or the pelvis or the tailwind to come up, but you're going to give it all. You got to take a big breath, draw your belly into the mat to round up your head and shoulders. And now I'm going to pretend I can grab on to my ankles as I sit up in case they're taking a big breath and exhaling, grabbing onto my ankles, onto my ankles. Whatever you did at home is really good cause I know you're trying really hard. So let's go ahead and stay right here and I want you to pretend you're doing wold the road back again. So we are going to put a hand underneath each knee and we're going to squeeze your legs together instead of a magic circle and sit up really tall.

And now we're going to round our back. Okay? So when you have a flat spot, when you roll, because we don't initiate from our lower belly and wool through our lower back first. Okay. So I'm going to re pretend we're doing a rollback. I'm going to squeeze drawing and I'm going to pull back my waist. You know what? A little further than I thought I had to because usually we start here when we lift up and that's not really where it is. So you're going to squeeze, draw and pull back. Stretch that lower back and stay there.

Take a big breath and then exhale, lift up just your right leg. Now when we lift it, we're not lifting it from this muscle, we're lifting it by pulling in our abdominals more and rest and scooping in. We're going to do the same with the left. You're going to pull your ways back away from your thigh and down. We're going to do that again. Pull on it. So you want to get comfortable with this where this isn't engaged, you're just pulling into your right lower back and again, pulling the belly in. Very nice and dress.

Let's add both legs up, so we'll start with the right drawing, the lower belly, and now we're going to pull up the left, but nothing is going to move and rest. You want to make sure you live here for a while to really get a stronger rolling like a ball and draw him. We're going to start with the left and then pull it in the right hold. Two, three. Very nice. Now we're going to add some rocking. So we're gonna use another image.

I want you to pretend you're a rocking chair and there is a rocker right here and we're just going to be fluid like the rocking chair. So I'm going to scoop in, draw it in, holding up the right leg, holding up the left. Very common is you're going to try to lead with your head. So let's be aware of our anatomy and we're going to lead with our lower set of our six pack. K. Pull in until you fall back until you roll back. Mm.

And then upper set to come up again. Lower upper. Okay, so we did this a lot when I was learning how to do rolling like a ball. You just kept pulling your belly in until you fell back. So pull it in, pull it in, pull it in, and then upper stomach one more. This, how much can you pull in, in and exhale, rest down your feet. Excellent job. So you want to just keep pulling in, keep stretching this area until you naturally start changing your center of gravity that way. And that makes you roll back instead of really trying to do something to roll back. You don't have to do anything, just keep pulling your belly in and it'll change your center of gravity.

So once you feel really like that's a cake walk for you. Okay? So we're balancing here. Then you can go for, Ooh, I mean he's my upper belly. Notice I'm saying upper belly to grab onto my ankles. Okay? So what's different is if my hands, my feet were here, I can easily pop my lower back forward to grab onto my ankles. And that is going to be really ugly when you roll.

So we have a scooped in and your waist is not going to move. You're going to pull in your lower belly to reach for your ankles. Very challenging. And then you can roll like that. Okay? So the goal is to eventually get your ears between your knees and actually cross your arms in that position too. But since this is a tutorial, I'll leave that for another day. So we are a few more exercises left on the mat.

We're going to squeeze your legs together and we're going to curl in and I'm going to roll back. Guess what? My lower back, not throwing away a single transition. I'm keeping awareness of my head because again, when you roll, people love to throw their head back. So if you're not aware of that, when you do a roll back, your head is isn't with you then, then that's bad spot too. So we're really being aware of all of that. Okay, we're gonna lift up and grab onto our ankles. So start off with bringing your right knee and pull your belly in and exhale, bring it in and we're going to hug it. Easy as can be. We're going to bring in the left, pulling into the mat. It comes in. Great job.

And I want you to take a big breath and try to get your ears between your knees. Big Breath. Exhaling, keep going, keep trying. Keep trying. Okay. This is the start of serious single leg stretch. Keep the right knee extend, but don't lose your hands. Pretend like you're still grabbing onto that ankle and then grab onto your left.

And I want you to pull in and grab onto both ankles and extend the right and pull in reach. Reach for that ankle and extend. I'm making you extend and reach for that ankle because it really pulls your belly into the mat. Really makes that upper body get stronger too. Reaching up. Okay, and now we're going to switch. So we're going to keep working at and working at and reaching and reaching and reaching and feeling my belly.

Pull in to my lower back in to the mat. Last left. Grab both ankles and rest your head. Now you might not feel this time that you have to rest your head or you're still developing strength than you do, but as you use your belly to pull into the mat, it's going to hold up your upper body. It's going to hold your head in the right and your neck will not get tired. So we're going to pretend that we can get our ears between our knees again to do the double leg stretch, big inhale. Exhale, draw the belly into the mat and round it up.

Get into your, your ears between your knees, ears between the knees. Now instead of taking your arms back for double leg stretch, slide them on your legs. As they go straight, the legs go straight so you get to hug and pull your belly into the mat more. Pull it into the mat and reach for those ankles. Two more like that belly pulls into the back so your waist is rooted like literally a tree trunk rooted into the Mat roots growing out and reach for your ankles. Joseph Allot is one more love to come around and stand on you right here when you're doing the a hundred and pulling in famous pictures of him.

Now let's add the arms going back. Root that belly in, arms reach back, circle route the Bellion circle two more. One more time. All I care about is that waistband. And you get to rest. Last transition. We're going to do a spine stretch forward. So you're gonna what you're gonna pretend you're reaching to your ankles.

You're not going to lead with your pelvis or your lower back. You're going to take a big breath. Exhale. Try to get your ears between your knees and reach for those ankles. And let's rock up. Big Breath. Pull into the mat, reach for those ankles. Reach warm. Finally, put your feet down, straighten them out. Legs open for spine. Stretch forward.

I want you to get a nice connection of your arms and your waist. So we'll start here instead of up here. We're going to be here. I want you to squeeze up off your seat. I want you to pull your belly. A lot of times we think, and I used to think this too, when I was sitting up tall, I thought I was in the right position, but I was really not. So I had to learn how to pull my waist a little bit back, pull it so that I was over my tailbone. Okay.

So make sure you've pulled your waist, almost like you're doing that. Rolling like a ball. Take a big breath and now exhale, just the head, then the upper back. But pull your belly in so you're pulling your waist back as you slide your hands, slide them forward. Grab the inside of the arch, bend your elbows if you want, but no movement toward this going forward and sliding back up with an inhale, trying to lift and create space between each vertebra and slide forward as you exhale. So this, if you can't feel this, try it against a wall and inhaling up. Try sitting against a wall and feeling. If you let your lower back come off that wall two more and exhaling.

Inhaling up waistband first, right? So it's just like the rolling one more time. So it's as if we just rolled back and now we're have to roll up to sit up. Well you're going to pull your belly in, but bring your head up first, right off the mat. Then your upper body using your upper set of your six pack, middle set lower, and then you have to roll back down. So you're going to rule this is speaking figuratively of course, pulling up in the using the lower belly, middle and great. All right, so that's enough mat exercises.

Let's finish off by limbering up our spine so that it can be nice and supple and we have a good awareness of where our anatomy is. We're going to go to the wall, grab your weights. All right, so we're going to do some wall exercises and I absolutely love the wall because it's so such a hard surface and you just really can't argue with it whether you're on it or not. When we do Matt, there's a lot of cushion unless you do it on the floor with a yoga mat or an exercise mat, you can't really feel each vertebra as well. So we're going to start with, since we have a bit, we're trying to learn about our lower back placement here. I'm going to happen to be all the way against the wall and I'm going to assume that you have a big space between your waistband on the wall, so I'm going to have you walk your feet considerably out. Probably a good foot may be a little bit more than that, and then I want you to just hinge forward from your waist, okay? And then let your arms hang. I want you to look at your feet.

I want you to make sure your arches aren't falling. You want to kind of pull them up towards you. You want to try to pull up muscles in your inner thighs towards you. You want to pull up your waist and then stop with your waist on the wall. Okay?

If you can add another bone onto the wall and not lose your waist, great. We don't want to lock those knees. We're keeping them relaxed. If you can add another with your powerhouse, great. If you can come up more, great. If you can get the back bottom of your shoulder blades even better. The area that's really important for you to get rolling, like a ball stronger is between the waistband and your bottom of your shoulder blades or your bra strap. If you have any space there, you're going to have a hard time. So I'm going to just pretend that this is where I'm at. One day you will get all the way up here and your feet all the way against the wall. But let's start here and pull into the walls.

Your arms reach in the opposite direction, as high as they can and circle. So I'm pulling my waist back into the wall and circle one more, pulling back into the wall and reverse pulling back into the wall and reverse my arms are reaching in the opposite direction. And one more. Pull your waist back into the wall and then rest your arms. And now we're going to walk all the way up. And even if you have a few that aren't there, we're gonna work on peeling off the wall. So we're going to bring just our head, not shoulders than just your shoulders, not the bottom of the shoulder blades.

And then just your bottom of your shoulder blades, but not your waistband and goes low as you can. What your pelvis doesn't. Start looking at the floor. Keep it lifting in your waist and circle the arms. One, two, three and reverse. Keep your belly lifting up into your lower back, lifting up and really pull up your arches and your inner thighs and your waist as you will back up. Don't skip a bone if you can't. Try not to lock your thighs or your knees rolling all the way up. One more time. Lifting up tall, articulate, which means don't come up all in one solid piece.

Polling in you. Use your back, our house to curl off one bone with control. Go as low as you can where your pelvis isn't. Looking at the floor again and circle one. This is to relax your shoulders and your arms. Reverse. Keep lifting in that waist so that you get that c curve and rule back pulling up in the waist. Next bone, the next shoulder blade should be there.

Try to keep every bone between your waist and your shoulder blades on the wall and separate your feet. Bring them just a little bit forward. And now you're going to slide down the wall, but keep your energy up. So I'm going to grow as tall as I can, my all my five foot two and you're gonna slide down the wall. Try to get to where your hips are at the same level as your knees. Pull into the wall and squeeze your bottom to come up.

So you're learning to more how not to use your thighs, your quads, I should say. Hold. Pull your belly in. Use the back of the thighs and the glutes, not the front of your thighs. One more time. You could add the arms, lifting up wherever you want, and then pull in, pressing them down simultaneously to really emphasize the lift in your body. And then walk your feet back in and you're going to press your weights into the wall. So your bottom squeezes a little bit in front of the wall and you're all done.

And I hope you learned a little bit more about this area. And how to roll through your lower back for rolling like a ball.

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2 people like this.
I used much of this excellent class today with my students who loved the deep and thoughtful work. Thank you for this impactful class. Synthia
1 person likes this.
With this tutorial you showed us once again how talented you are as a teacher...explanations and cues are perfect and simple...thank you Monica Wilson

1 person likes this.
Thank you so much for the wonderful breakdown! My tight low back especially appreciates it. I'll be building this into my routine practice.
1 person likes this.
I loved the class-cum-tutorial and how you pointed out the rolling like a ball in every exercise! I am looking forward to more of these tutorials. Personally, I would love to have one on roll over and perhaps one class on the exercises involving (upper)back extension.
Monica Wilson
Great idea Anna!
1 person likes this.
Great work and beautiful feet too 
1 person likes this.
excellent, my challenge is when I come up from rolling, my pelvis wants to untuck so that I am on top  of my sitz bones-it seems to happen automatically-very hard to break this bad habit

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