Try Pilates Squats with the Foam Roller to Tone Your Glutes

Pilates squats with the foam roller are a great way to strengthen your glutes. Because of the foam roller, you have some distance from the wall. This can be particularly helpful to encourage your pelvis to stay in neutral throughout the exercise.

It’s common for some people to tuck their pelvis when they get to the bottom of their squat. This is terrible form and can cause pain and other issues. Let the foam roller help you practice squats the correct way.

Pilates Squats with the Foam Roller

There are a couple of ways that you can do squats with the foam roller. Since Pilates incorporates lots of dance, it’s not surprising that the two main ways to squat are in first position and second position. Here’s how.

First Position

  1. You’ll want your roller, a small ball or a yoga block, and a wall with empty space.
  2. Stand with your back toward the wall. Place the roller behind you, near the top of your pelvis. Remember, as you squat, the roller is going to roll up your spine.
  3. pilates squats with the foam rollerLean back into the roller, and step your feet away from the wall about a foot. Make sure that your feet are inner hip-width apart and that your toes are pointing straight ahead.
  4. Place a small ball or yoga block between your inner thighs (above your knee joint).
  5. Angle your SITs bones toward the floor. This may feel like you’re sticking your butt out, but you’re really setting yourself up with a neutral pelvis.
  6. Draw your belly button toward your spine, and reach your arms toward the ceiling.
  7. As you lower into your squat, reach your arms by your sides. You may have noticed that I haven’t told you whether you should inhale or exhale as you move. It’s up to you. Either way works.  Just make sure that you are practicing Pilates breathing.
  8. After you lower, hold in your squat while you take a complete breath. For example, if you lowered on an inhale, rise up on an exhale.
  9. Complete 5-10 reps.

Second Position

  1. For this version of squats, you just need your roller and an open wall.
  2. Stand with your back toward the wall. Place the roller behind you, near the top of your pelvis. Remember, as you squat, the roller is going to roll up your spine.
  3. pilates squat with the foam rollerLean back into the roller, and step your feet away from the wall about a foot. This time, you’re going to have your heels outer hip distance apart with your toes slightly turned out. Notice how you are rotated open from your hips (not your knees or ankles).
  4. Angle your SITs bones toward the floor. This may feel like you’re sticking your butt out, but you’re really setting yourself up with a neutral pelvis.
  5. Draw your belly button toward your spine, and reach your arms toward the ceiling.
  6. As you lower into your squat, reach your arms by your sides. You may have noticed that I haven’t told you whether you should inhale or exhale as you move. It’s up to you. Either way works.  Just make sure that you are practicing Pilates breathing.
  7. After you lower, hold in your squat while you take a complete breath. For example, if you lowered on an inhale, rise up on an exhale.
  8. Complete 5-10 reps.

Finding a Foam Roller

If you want to order a foam roller, I recommend the OPTP brand foam roller. Their foam rollers are firm and don’t dent or bend easily. It’s crucial for your foam roller to be firm and stay the same shape throughout its use.

Foam rollers are a great tool to elevate your Pilates mat work, but they’re also wonderful self-massage tools. Here’s a link to some foam roller stretches.

Pilates Squats with the Foam Roller Video

Here is a video for visual learners.

It seems like there should be other ways to do a squat with a foam roller. Am I missing a way? Let us know in the comments below.

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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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