Can You Roll?
Can You Roll?
MICHELLE MILLNER, PT, DPT, OCS
Six pack abs. The ability to do a 1 minute plank. The ability to perform a heavy lift. Most people think of these as signs of a strong core. But what if I told you all of those things could hide underlying spinal stability issues. Some researchers have suggested that being able to roll from front to back and vice versa like an infant could be a better indicator of “core” stability than a sit up, crunch or plank test. So how do you roll?
This rolling technique attempts to isolate the deepest layers of your spine. It is executed in a specific sequence to make sure that you can’t cheat by using limbs that shouldn’t be involved.
Try these steps for rolling to the left:
1. Give yourself ample space
2. Lie on your back with your arms overhead and your legs straight.
3. Pretend you are paralyzed from the waist down.
4. Raise your right arm so that it is reaching to the ceiling.
5. Turn your head to the left.
6. Lift your head and reach with your right arm towards the left trying to pull yourself over.
7. Do not use momentum or your legs to help.
Can you do it?
Try rolling to the other side. Is one way easier than the other? Are you using momentum or your legs to get over? Consider this: If you can’t roll over without using your limbs, what makes you strong enough to run, jump, cut, play golf, etc?
Sometimes not being able to roll effectively can indicate that there is a stability problem in the deepest layers of the core and/or a movement coordination problem. It’s always best to let an expert evaluate whether you are executing the movements correctly and whether or not they are impacting your symptoms. However, if you are suffering from chronic injuries and you just haven’t been able to get to the bottom of your challenges, you should consider coming in for a thorough physical therapy assessment.