Open Leg Rocker–A Fun Original Pilates Exercises

open leg rockerIn my opinion, Open leg rocker is one of the most fun original Pilates mat exercises. Although it strongly resembles Rolling like a ball with rolling movements, spinal articulation, and core strength; Open leg rocker has a feeling of freedom that makes it more fun. Plus, for those with long arms and shorter legs (like myself), this exercise feels a lot easier than Rolling like a ball.

Because the thighs are separated, there is more space in the abdominal area of the body. For some reason, this space helps me be more mindful of the spinal articulation and abdominal work that needs to happen to rock me backward and bring me back up. Regardless of you skill level, this exercise is worth a try!

Open Leg Rocker

  1. Use traditional Pilates breathing.
  2. Begin seated upright with your SITs bones connected to the mat, knees bent, and feet flat on the mat. Make sure you really feel your SITs bones connect so you can find a natural length through your spine.
  3. Broaden your collarbones and feel your scapulas (shoulder blades) in neutral on your back.
  4. Engage your abdominals and draw your belly button toward your spine.
  5. Inhale here. Exhale and tilt your pelvis so you’re just behind your SITs bones as you lift one leg to table top and then the other. Your spine should feel like a “J.”
  6. Make sure there is space between your thighs, and grab behind each thigh. If you want to do the Open leg rocker prep, stay here. However, if you’d like to do the full version of Open leg rocker, straighten your legs. You can grab your heels, ankles, or calves. Personally, I like to loosely grab my ankles.
  7. As you inhale, tilt your pelvis to initiate a spinal articulation onto the mat. Make sure to let your abdominals do all the work. Keep your legs in the same place throughout.
  8. Exhale and rock back up using your abdominals. Try to avoid pushing your legs into your hands to help you come up.
  9. Take a moment to find your balance point and lengthen through the top of your head.
  10. Complete 5-10 repetitions.

Open Leg Rocker Video

Here is a video for visual learners.

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Open leg rocker or Rolling like a ball–which do you think is more challenging? Let us know in the comments.

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About Sarah Stockett

Hi! I'm Sarah, and I'm a certified Pilates and yoga instructor with a passion for pain relief. When I'm not working with clients, I'm researching the best ways to get rid of pain. Do you want to learn how to practice yoga and Pilates safely in your own home? Or, do you want to know all my tips and tricks for pain relief? Join my mailing list and receive free goodies to help you.

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