How good are you at rolling? Sounds easy enough - It’s a skill that most of us mastered as a baby, however you may be surprised at how difficult it can be for some people!

Rolling is a test of motor control and stability - when focusing on the lower body it tests our ability to coordinate movements through the legs, pelvis, and lower spine. In other words, it shows us how well our muscles in the lower body and nervous system are working together to produce desired movement. It also lets us know if there is asymmetry or differences between one side of the body and the other, which could potentially lead to dysfunction, pain or injury. As an exercise, rolling is a good way to activate muscles and facilitate coordination in the lower body where it may be lacking.

There are two variations for rolling in the lower extremity - rolling from front to back and back to front, in both instances guiding the movement with either your right or left leg. You are going to want to initiate movement with the lower body, using one leg, trying to refrain from using the upper half of your body or opposite leg at all. Try both sides, you may notice one side feels harder than the other. Start with 3-5 repetitions of each.

Watch this video above to see how it’s done! We’d love to see you try it out, take videos, and tag @bodysciencetherapy on Instagram. The best attempt gets some cool Body Science Swag!

Balancing Exercises

Balance can be impacted by many things - one common cause of poor single-leg balance is decreased strength and stability in the core and hip. The ability to perform single-leg balance well is critical for performance in sports that involve many single-leg tasks like running, jumping, kicking, and passing. Dysfunctional single-leg balance can lead to associated compensations, pain, and injury over time.

Practicing balancing in a half kneeling position allows us to focus on training the muscles of the core and hip by taking the ankle out of the equation. Get into a half kneeling position on the side that you would like to train. Ensure the hip is in alignment over top of your knee. While maintaining this alignment, take away support or add load to increase difficulty with the variations shown in the video!