How to do Open Leg Rocker Pilates and massage the spine

Open leg rocker is one of my favorite Pilates exercises. It is an elegant abdominal workout that stretches your back and massages your spine. Open leg rocker needs a lot of body and mind control.

How to do Pilates Open leg rocker

I would recommend doing the Spine stretch forward before Open leg rocker. This exercise will help you stretch your hamstrings and prepare you for the Open leg rocker.

  1. Sit down on the mat. Scoot yourself to the front of the mat. Sit tall with your knees bent in toward your chest.
  2. Open your knees to shoulder/mat width distance and grab your ankles or calves.
  3. Extend one leg out for flexibility. Bring it back and extend the other leg out. You don´t have to stretch it all the way.
  4. Pull your belly button into the spine, feet off the floor, stretch both legs out shoulder-distance apart (not wilder) and lean back until you are balancing on your tailbone. Keep your abs activated. Looking like open V position. Keep balance.
  5. Arms are straight. Chin on the chest. Nice scooped belly and your back is in nice C curve position (round back).
  6. Inhale, roll back to the bottom of your shoulder blades. Do not roll onto your neck. Head doesn´t touch the floor. Keep your V position trying to touch the floor.
  7. Exhale, use your powerhouse (abs) to come back up.
  8. Sit up tall with a straight back.
  9. Repeat 6 x
  10. Bring your legs together leaving them in the air and lay down.

Tip: imagine yourself in a rocking chair.

The more advanced version is with straight legs, knees and feet together.

If you are having a hard time, just strengthen your legs without rocking. Or, hold behind your calves but not knees.