Exercise of the Week: The Roll-Down

For a sore and tight spine.

It is not uncommon for our students to come in commenting on their sore spine and upper back.  

Often when we sit in front of our computers, we are hunched forward, head pushed out – you might find yourself doing it now! This leads to painful tightness in the spine, neck, and back. However, the longterm solution for this might surprise you: 

For sustained neck and upper back relief, you have to strengthen your abdominals

While you can target strengthening the neck muscles, often the leading cause of a sore spine and neck is weak abdominal muscles. Any imbalance in one part of the body can cause a domino effect in the rest of the body. 

When your abs are weak, there is little support for the neck and upper back, causing the neck and shoulders to have to work extra hard to support your entire upper body and spine. That’s a LOT of work for a small muscle group. 

This is where we introduce you to a simple exercise to strengthen all the right areas for longterm relief in the spine, neck and upper back: 

The Roll-Down

The Roll-Down activates your abdominal muscles, and relaxes the neck and shoulders. It also stretches the spine and hamstrings. This exercise improves posture, promotes proper alignment, and relieves stress.

Level: Beginner

The Roll Down for a sore spine and neck

1. Stand against a wall with your heels about 10 inches away from the wall. Relax your shoulders and arms.

The Roll Down for a sore spine and neck

2. Pull your belly button into your spine, pull your chin to your chest, and on an exhale, slowly peel off the wall from your shoulders, vertebra by vertebra.

The Roll Down for a sore spine and neck

3. Using your abdominal muscles, roll down as far as you can go without lifting your hips from the wall. Release the weight of your head to gravity, and keep your arms relaxed like dead weights. 

The Roll Down for a sore spine and neck

4. Take a breath, then on an exhale, using your lower abdominal muscles, begin to roll up starting until you are upright. Repeat a few times as needed. 

This exercise can be done standing on your mat, or even just your office wall. Keep doing The Roll Down, and soon, you’ll have the strength to support your spine, neck, and back properly. 

Click the button below to book a class with Mr Pilates now!