Fine Tuning Your Rolling Patterns

Wow! It’s so cool that I never stop learning. I’ve been working on improving rolling patterns for years, and honestly…I feel I’m pretty damn good at it. Even though I’m good at fixing upper and lower body rolling patterns, I knew I was still missing something.

How is it that someone can have good, clean rolling patterns but still fail the rotary stability screen on the Functional Movement Screen. Generally speaking, if you nail the rolling patterns, both upper and lower, you’ll clear the rotary stability screen. However, every once in awhile, I’ll run across a scenario that someone looks to be rolling effortlessly but yet his or her rotary stability is still off. The right side and the left side just aren’t communicating like they should. What gives???

If you’re unfamiliar with rolling, let me explain the pattern before I go any further. Rolling was one of the first movements you did as a baby. After birth, we learn to breathe, we learn to move our arms and legs while on our backs, and eventually, we need to go find our Mom when she runs off, so we roll on our bellies and eventually learn how to crawl. Rolling is a foundational movement engrained in each and every one of us. Nobody showed us how to roll. We just did it. There wasn’t a coach standing by your side when you were 3-6 months old coaching you how to roll on your belly. It just happened naturally.

Fixing rolling patterns took me some time to develop, and adding the new tip I’m about to share with you will help you hone your skills as well. There’s always room for improvement.

A couple weeks ago, Dave Vitamix Wilton (Yeah…I said Dave Vitamix Wilton. The bro is a juicing fool) showed me a little tool to add to my toolbox, and I’m extremely grateful. It’s pretty simple too, so this makes it even better.

So what’s the tool to help improve rolling?


Yeah, that’s right. HUMMING!

If you’ve been rolling yourself, having your clients rolling, or you’re brand new to rolling patterns and what they can do for your performance, start trying to hum while you roll.

Listen to the hum…

How did it sound?

Was the tone the same the whole time?

Did the hum seem to change speeds? Slow down or Accelerate?

Was there a hiccup like pause in the hum?

Adding the hum will allow your ears to take over for your eyes. Sometimes the eyes won’t catch the dysfunction. Usually, people struggle with this pattern from the get-go, so it’s blatantly obvious it’s not being done right. Humming will still be good with people struggling with the pattern; however, the people that make rolling look effortless, the hum can catch them dead in their tracks. I know because this just happened to me. My rolling patterns look smooth, fluid, and effortless, but when I add the hum, I seem to accelerate my hum half the way through the rolling pattern going from supine to prone.

This caught me off-guard. I thought I owned this pattern. Boy was I wrong. My eyes, and eyes of a bunch of badass coaches never caught this, but the hum did. After adding the hum to the rolling pattern, I realized I had some work to do. Maybe I wasn’t as good as I thought, and my ego is now crushed.


The hum will catch anything the eyes can’t see. Checking the diaphragm and how it functions is a hard thing to do. You generally can’t feel your diaphragm like other muscles, so even if you’re kinesthetically aware of your body, you’re still going to have a tough time feeling when your diaphragm contacts and when it relaxes.

When we teach rolling patterns, we want the person doing the roll to exhale through the movement. We don’t want any bracing, holding of the breath, or any other compensatory patterns that are going to put the body into high threshold. If you add the hum, you know the person rolling is exhaling, and the diaphragm should be relaxing. We relax our diaphragm on the exhale, so if we have a smooth exhale and the diaphragm stays turned off like it should, the hum should be a constant hum.

The tone and tempo should not change through the roll. If it does, the diaphragm is contracting and your compensating through the movement. There’s a dysfunction. Maybe it’s not that bad, but it’s still a dysfunction and correcting the rolling pattern should be addressed.

Getting into corrective strategies isn’t really the point of this article, but if you’re looking for some tips to fix rolling, check out the video below for some of our favorite strategies.


So there you have it. Humming. Try adding the hum to your rolling patterns and see what happens. I guarantee you that you’re going to catch some people with this one. Thanks for the great tip Dave Vitamix Wilton J

If you liked the video above, this was one of our recent in-service videos we posted on the Elite Training Mentorship. We have a total of 18 in-services currently, plus we’ll be adding an additional one each and every month. If you’re unfamiliar with ETM check it out here: