In honor of “Love Day” this month (this is what my son’s favorite show calls it), I thought we’d share the exercises we love the most with you!

For this week, it’s my favorite mat exercise…

If you’ve ever taken my mat class, you know that I LOVE Rolling Like a Ball.  There’s something so fun about it…try it!

Sit on your mat as tall as you can, then round your back without shrinking any…there…do you feel those deep abs keeping you tall even as you round?  It’s those low abs.  The ones right inside your hip bones.

Then, bend your knees and slide your feet in toward your bum without losing any height.  Exhale, and pull them in a bit more…so much that your feet lift off the floor.  Put your hands on your shins – high or low – and reach your elbows wide.  See if you can get a little rounder in that ball position while keeping the length in your waist.

Pull those abs in even a bit more until they knock you backward – make sure you keep your shape as you roll, and don’t roll onto your neck.  While you’re upside down, inhale and reach your bum toward the ceiling and see if you can find more length in your spine.  When gravity wins and pulls you back down, exhale and roll back up to sitting, making your spine even longer – control your roll with your abs so that you return to the balance and don’t let your feet touch the floor.

Doesn’t that feel great on your back? 

Inhale, then exhale and do it again a few more times.

 

Now, try that holding a ball under your legs…or between your thighs and chest.

Or try it with your position a bit looser, and focus on slowing it down and using your abs to get more length out of your spine.

Or try it with your elbows on your knees to eliminate most opportunities to cheat (I’ll never forget the class I learned this variation in…I’m still humbled by it…thank you, Matt Zumann) .

Or try it with no hands.

Or try it with a magic circle in your hands held out in front of you, or between your knees, or around your legs.

Or try it on a reformer box.

So many wonderful variations.

But, there’s just something about rolling that is fun and feels great.  No matter how hard the variation is.

And that’s why I love it.