2 random tips for segmental rolling (no equipment)


(Photo from Stopchasinpain.com)

It’s been about a year or so since I’ve really understood and started implementing segmental rolling (a la FMS) into corrective strategies for clients. If you don’t know wtf I’m yapping about, click here to learn about rolling. Here’s two random tips for facilitating rolling without much equipment:


When you don’t have a band or wedge for assisted rolling, a very simple way to help is to grab the client by the hand or leg (depending on upper vs. lower body roll) and flip em over yourself (1×1 on the 4×4 matrix). I first heard of this idea from Dr. Weingroff during his Toronto workshop.

At first it could be “passive”, but slowly encourage them to help out as much as they can. Perhaps start them off by just actively doing the cerival/fasical/oral motions and then you complete the roll for them.

Essentially, you’re giving them proprioceptive input – letting their brains know where they should be in rolling, despite not being able to get there on their own yet.

This is a very useful method to begin patterning rolling, especially if clients have severe core weakness. Definitely beats having them regress to the awkward quadruped rock (blue hemorrhoid exercise).


Give em something to reach for

It’s all about external cues these days. When I started implementing rolling, I told people to “reach toward the wall” or “push your hand that way” in an attempt to stop them from jerking their arm over and using momentum to flip themselves.

Why not physically give them something to reach for? I mean, isn’t that the actually stimulus/motivation for babies to start rolling?

And so, place the client’s valuable possession (ex. water bottle) and get em to reach for it or use your hand as a target for them to push. Rolling quality instantly improves and core stability is re-established.

If you’re not happy with the output, change the input.


Happy Holidays!



Heiler, Joe.  “Functional Movement Symposium“. Sportsrehabexpert.com. December 24, 2012.

“Quadruped Rock with Core Activation”. Functional Movement Systems. December 24, 2012.

Hoogenboom, Barbara J, et al. “Using Rolling to Develop Neuromuscular Control and Coordination of the Core and Extremities of Athletes”. N Am J Sports Phys Ther 4.2 (2009): 70–82.


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