5 Best Rolling Exercises for Core Strength

Core strength

Core strength is the key to a healthy lifestyle. It helps us to maintain good posture, balance our center of gravity, and avoid injuries. The function of the core is to stabilize and support the spine while standing and sitting, keeping it aligned with the pelvis. The core is made up of the muscles, ligaments, and fascia that surround your central spine.

Every movement starts with the contraction and release of these muscles. They work together as a system to stabilize your body on every level. Maintaining good posture is essential for growing strong muscle contractions in your core.

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To Roll Effectively, You Must Have:

  • Good trunk rotation abilities, e.g., thoracic spine mobility
  • The ability to shift between weight in the lower and upper body is an amazing skill that can boost your performance as a cyclist or runner. To provide you with the optimal feedback, we recommend using a chest strap with an HR monitor.
  • Together, they can move the head, neck, and upper body
  • Mobility of the Cervical Spine, Hips, and Shoulders

For babies, this is the first milestone in foundational movement. As adults, however, the core musculature required to shift and move across all planes of motion suffers from a decrease in strength and efficiency. Rolling patterns are a highly effective way to amp up the total-body function and decrease the risk of injury.


patterns are highly dependent on neck movements and eye-tracking to facilitate trunk motions. According to Hogeboom and colleagues (2009), “neck extension can facilitate extension and abduction of the hips.” The poor function can spread throughout the body, but it can also be improved via physical activities. Rolling is a big movement that helps align the spine, hips, and shoulders all simultaneously.

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5 Rolling Exercises to Try

The following 5 exercises are a great way to get rolling. They are a great addition to other circuits you’re doing or can be done on their own. When you start, have clients perform 1 to 3 sets of 3 to 6 repetitions on each side. Remind clients that moving slowly isn’t enough and that they need to focus on breathing.


patterns require regular practice to maintain strength and avoid injuries. There are built-in progression and regressions for each exercise, with standard principles of lever length, range of motion, external load, or speed/power.

Starfish Roll

  • Set-up position: Lie face down with your arms and legs extended.
  • Movement: Cue the client to initiate the movement by raising their leg off the ground. They should keep their body in a tucked position and cross it over with the lifted leg. The upper body should stop when the lower body starts moving, and then reverse until you’re on your stomach.
  • Start the movement by holding your arms out to your side and your elbows pointing in. Bring them vertically towards your chest with control and maintain a solid core. Feel a gentle stretch along the length of your back.

Hollow-plank Roll

  • Set-up position: Enter into this plank position by lying on your back with your arms and legs extended. Breathe deeply, then press your hands and legs together.

  • Movement: Make sure to activate your core musculature before continuing by lifting your arms and legs off the floor in small increments. Engage your abs, then pull the lower body in while squeezing your glutes. Once you’ve found a spot on the ground where you’re comfortable, get into a side plank position. When you feel like you have enough control over your body, start shifting to the other side, and remember to make small adjustments so that everything’s working efficiently!

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Fetal Roll

  • Set-up position: Begin by lying on your back with your legs in a tabletop position (feet off the floor, knees bent at 90 degrees). Lift your arms and touch your elbows to your thighs, keeping your torso relaxed on the floor.
  • Movement: Initiate the movement by rolling onto your side on the floor. Try to move in more exercises as well! Turn your head in the opposite direction first. It is common for someone to “collapse” when going to the side and not to push off the floor with the arm. It is best practice to keep the legs at a 90-degree angle, squeeze the glutes and pull back without pushing off from your feet.

Rolling Like a Ball

  • Set-up position: This position can help to lengthen and open up the spine, which can lead to more ease in the hips and knees. It also allows greater levels of a range of motion in the calf muscles, leading to better posture and better balance.
  • Movement: Lifting your feet off the ground and balancing on sitz bones should allow you to roll back. By inhaling and pulling your deep abdominals in and up, the body will become easier to do this. Stop the downward movement of your shoulders. Pause for a moment at the bottom, and take a deep breath in while keeping your chest lifted. Then use the c-curved position to return to the starting position. The upper body can stay suspended in the air or touch down on earth for an extra balance challenge.

Backward Roll

Rolling backward is more challenging than traditional forward rolls like the windmill and handspring, but with extra precautions, it can be done effectively. It’s imperative to avoid rolling in a way that puts pressure on your neck. Keeping your chin tucked in while you do so is important. Even if you’re good at the other four rolls, it’s important to delineate which one is the most challenging before trying a backward roll.

  • Set-up position: Shoulders are dropped and hands are placed on the knees so that the back is curved.
  • Movement: Use the strength of your entire body to lift your legs off the surface and roll backward, allowing you to control your momentum and body position. As you roll past your shoulder, shift to the opposite side of where you want to place. Hop up using both legs together, adjusting for balance as needed.

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