This exercise helps the body articulate the spine through each segment while finding deep abdominal strength.
To do this exercise you will need a mat. Start by lying on your back using your hands on the back of your thighs to hug your knees to your chest. Inhale as you begin to allow your arms to straighten and your thighs to lower towards the ground. Then, exhale as you narrow your ribcage to lift your head, neck, and shoulders away from the ground. Keep exhaling as you continue to lower your legs to the ground and also continue rolling through your spine. Once your feet touch the ground finish articulating through your spine to a seated position. Inhale in this seated position and then exhale as you hollow your abdominals and begin rolling your spine to the floor. Once your arms are straight begin peeling your feet away from the floor while continuing to articulate through the spine until your head reaches the ground. Repeat 8-10 times
Things to think about
If you have osteoporosis, this exercise is not for you, but there are lots of Osteoporosis friendly pilates workouts at the youtube channel PilatesStudioHD.
This exercise is to be done much slower than Rolling Like a Ball. In this exercise you are moving through each vertebral segment.
Often in this exercise the body will recruit the quadriceps and the hip flexors to finish the movement. You can recognize this recruitment pattern when your lower legs kick involuntarily.