Living with Harmony ~ A Blog for your Mind & Body

Foam Roller and Pilates

Posted in Foam Roller,How-To,Pilates by Harmony on February 25, 2010

Add a foam roller into your Pilates routines to add some excitement and challenge.  Adding tools such as balance discs and rollers add some variety to your routine and increase the challenge in your balance.  The following article contains six exercises that can be used with a foam roller.  The model is using a 36″ high density foam roller.

Enjoy the challenge!

Foam Roller FunPosted By Kelley Ranaudo On May 28, 2008

Are you incorporating the foam roller into your Pilates exercise routine? We sell them to our clients all the time and they love using them at home. There are so many exciting and challenging options with the roller. It is a great addition to a group class, private session or home routine. Balancing can be difficult because of the small surface area, but the foam roller also helps with modifications for certain exercises, stretching and therapeutic work. Try some of my favorites to change up your routines:

Toe Taps/Knee Lifts

Bring legs to table-top and hands to the side. Alternate reaching each foot to the floor and returning to table-top, while maintaining stabilization in your torso, pelvis and lower back.

Pilates Exercise Toe Taps and Knee Lifts on the Foam Roller

Ab Prep

Lying on your back, inhale to prepare. Exhale, lift your head and chest, reaching your hands to the opposite wall, and scooping your deep abdominals as you lift. Inhale, stay and intensify the scoop and exhale to lower.

Pilates Exercise Ab Prep on the Foam Roller

Single Arm Balance

Alternate arms while both feet are table-top. Another option is to alternate reaching one or both arms off the floor while one leg is table-top and one foot is touching the floor.

Pilates Exercise Single Arm Balance on the Foam Roller


Place your forearms on the roller with feet apart and laterally rotated. Lift your head, chest and abdominals into the Swan as the roller moves toward you. Feel the energy reach out of your toes and head. Keep your abdominals engaged to support your lower back. You should not feel discomfort in your back. Stabilize your shoulder blades and keep the muscles surrounding your rib cage engaged.

Pilates Exercise Swan on the Foam Roller

Side Forearm Plank

Start on your forearm on your side with the roller under the outside of your lower leg. Hold the plank first lifting in your side closest to the floor, keeping your hips stacked. Once you feel stable, try to lift the top leg and hold. Try this position on the floor without the roller first.

Pilates Exercise Side Forearm Plank on the Foam Roller


Begin with your feet extended directly toward the ceiling. Inhale to prepare, and exhale open the legs to a scissor position, keeping the lumbo-pelvis region stable and reaching the energy out of the toes. Inhale to bring the legs together, and exhale to control the scissor motion in the opposite direction.

Pilates Exercise Scissors on the Foam Roller

This is a nice combination of balance, strength and stretch to give your clients that are ready for something new. Have fun and keep your Pilates principles in mind throughout each exercise.


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