We love Hip Rolls in class, they’re great for feeling the sequential rotation of the lower spine and the head turn gives a nice oppositional rotation and release.
The below demo is uncomplicated and clear showing how the rotation happens.
NB The narrator talks about the movement coming from the knees but I prefer to clearly move from the back of the pelvis so that the spine is definitely the structure which moves you! The movement only comes up as high as the breast bone so it doesn’t disturb the shoulder position so try and keep relaxed through the chest and arms. To return breathe out and initiate from the breast bone using your core to rotate the spine, pelvis and legs – make sure you’re not pushing off from your feet.
Variations to add challenge – knees (and ankles where appropriate) stay connected throughout, keep head in neutral:
Arms in Shoulder Drop position – this will reduce your base of support intensifying the focus on the winding motion at your waist – go slowly if you’re losing the sequential aspect of the movement.
Add a long leg lever – lengthen the leg at the knee to work with more weight, alternating sides.
Double Knee Fold – if you’re body aware doing Hip Rolls in a DKF will add more weight and challenge. Try not to rotate through the back of the pelvis (ie don’t shorten your waist) – think of a groove linking the back of one hip to the other and transition your weight along it. Your back will arch if your knees start drifting away from you which is really not good for your back – reduce range to maintain control of neutral spine. A safer alternative is to work in imprint but not as strengthening for your core so perhaps do the variation above until you’re a bit stronger.
Tic Tock – keep legs long by extending above the pelvis – see above for safe back advice.