Unlocking the Magic of the Matwork

To help her injured clients persevere in the studio, Jessica Valant, a physical therapist and Pilates teacher, realized she needed a key to get through the proverbial matwork door. She found the way in—to reestablishing lost movement patterns, breath and strength—in an unexpected place: with the roll-down bar.

By Jessica Valant • Edited by Amanda Altman

A sneak peak of the exercises…


• The springs and bar provide gentle assistance and help to build the muscles and mobility necessary to perform Teaser on the mat.

START Lie on your back with your legs in tabletop, feet toward the Tower, while holding onto the roll-down bar shoulder-width apart.


MOVE Allow the springs to assist as you begin to roll up through your spine and straighten your legs into the full Teaser position. Roll back down, bringing your legs back to start.

TIPS Keep your collarbones wide and your chest open to avoid sinking into your upper back. Pressing down lightly into the bar will help this feeling as well. If you’ve previously achieved the Roll-Down with the bar, use the same feeling in your spine and abdominals to find the Teaser.

ADVANCED Remain in Teaser, and do 3–5 reps of pulling the bar into your chest and releasing it back out.

Get the full article and exercises plus so much more in the January/February 2020 issue. 

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