Charlie Weingroff: Rolling Patterns for Rotary Stability

Charlie Weingroff explores using rolling to separate the body into quadrants and provides some pointers on proper cuing and sensitivity about wording.

When we say rolling, he’s literally going to roll to his stomach.

We have four quadrants, and this will take us into really understanding how we get into our functional movement exercises as well.

We’re going to start with arms up, overhead. Use your words judiciously as you start to explain this . . . you’ll see why.

Let’s get both arms overhead. The first thing that I need Dominic to understand is that I can tell he has a weak core from the way in which his ribs are sticking out. Work on your breathing while we coach this, Dominic, and we’ll see how that feels.

When we do arm rolling, use your words wisely. I have heard people suggest that I want your lower body to be “paralyzed.” That can be a negative term . . . but that’s the word I want to use.

I don’t like using that word. It’s not because I’m offended by it, but I don’t know who is and who isn’t.

I want him to think about starting to let his legs go loose. Let them be relaxed. They are floppy. You have no use of your legs in this position.  They are paralyzed.

You can see what I mean. I don’t like that word, not that I’ve had someone becoming paralyzed impact me. Remember, that person may not tell you – they may not even know that the word offends them, but it turns off something in their brain, and the psychological component of how we work with people is very important.

So, your legs are out of the equation.

We are going to roll to his right, and this will live in flexion. If you are on your back, it’s flexion. It’s all rotation. All four quadrants are rotation, so you can work on this with a rotation person, but we’re also going to consider that it is a flexion-based pattern when we go from our back to our stomach.

You can see how we’re going to do this. The first move is to get your nose into your right armpit. Does that look familiar folks? Cervical rotation: That’s why you need it. If somebody can’t get there, you have them in the wrong place. It won’t work . . . or it certainly won’t work as well.

Send them out, get the neck. “How come I can’t do rolling like Dominic?”

“Well, your neck doesn’t work right.”

“How do I get my neck right?”

“I’m not allowed work with your neck. I think you need to see a manual therapist.”

Send them. Work something out. Figure it out.

Get your nose in that armpit. He would tell you right now that his abs turned on a little bit. I like where he’s at. His left arm would have started raised straight up. From here, he’s going to rotate and reach . . . reach . . . reach and come on back.

Can you see how we’re demonstrating T-spine rotation here? If you don’t have that . . . if it doesn’t exist in an unloaded pattern, that what I mean by “you’re in the wrong place.”

Relax. Now, we will always lead with the neck, then we’ll bring the shoulder over and I’ll push him where he needs to go. Now, let’s see if he can get this.

My verbal cuing is, “Get your neck into your armpit. Take your left arm and reach to the ceiling. Reach your fingers to pull you over. Come on back.”

“Now, before you move your neck, get your eyes to the right and your tongue to the right . . . now go.” I’ll let him tell you, “Did that make it easier?”


Oral/facial drivers are amazing. Now, look to the right as hard as you can the whole time. Push your tongue to the side of your mouth. Keep driving your neck to the right.

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