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spinefitter exercises

Spinefitter Exercises and Self-Massage Techniques

class planning Jan 30, 2024

The Spinefitter was invented by German physical therapist Nina Metternich and produced by Sissel. In the US, it is sold and promoted by Balanced Body.

It consists of 28 balls arranged in two rows next to each other, long enough to lie supine with your pelvis and head fully supported (For tall people, you can purchase a separate extension kit).

Benefits of Using the Spinefitter

The balls of the Spinefitter put pressure on whichever muscles are in contact with the Spinefitter. When lying supine, it will massage the erector spinae muscles along the spine, for example. This can help release muscle tension. As a result you'll experience improved joint mobility by freeing tension from the muscles surrounding those joints.

But that's not all. The multiple contact points of the sets of balls - versus a long smooth surface like the mat or a foam roller - increase your proprioception and body awareness because of the kinesthetic feedback the body receives. You might feel areas of your body, you've never felt before. Once you can feel them, you can change them.

Most Pilates exercises can be performed with the Spinefitter, so you're in for a great full-body workout.


How To Use The Spinefitter

You can position the Spinefitter in several position on your mat: lengthwise, crosswise or on a diagonal. 👇


You can lie on it, sit on it or hold it in your hands. 👇

You can even place the Spinefitter on the Reformer carriage, Trapeze Table, Spine Corrector or Ladder Barrel to add muscle release to the exercises you usually practice.


Purchase your Spinefitter

US: via Balanced Body (save 5% by purchasing through this link)

Europe: via Sissel


Spinefitter Exercises

Here is a list of exercises you can do on the Spinefitter.

The exercises marked with a ✔️ have detailed descriptions inside the Pilates Encyclopedia membership. We'll be adding a couple more each month.



  • Bent Knee Opening ✔️
  • Bent Knee Roll Down ✔️
  • Bridging ✔️
  • Calf Squeeze ✔️
  • Chest Lift Crosswise ✔️
  • Chest Lift Lengthwise ✔️
  • Double Leg Stretch ✔️
  • Hundred ✔️
  • Lumbar Massage
  • Neck Massage
  • Pelvic clock 3 to 9
  • Pelvic Rocking
  • Rib Cage Massage
  • Roll Over
  • Side To Side
  • Single Leg Series Lengthwise
  • Single Straight Leg Stretch
  • Supine Shoulder Series



  • Prone Thigh Massage ✔️




  • Side Kick Series
  • Side-Lying Underarm Massage
  • Side Support on Forearm



  • Bent Knee Roll Down ✔️
  • Hamstring Massage
  • Mermaid ✔️
  • Saw
  • Seated Figure 4 
  • Spine Stretch Forward
  • Spine Twist



  • Calf Squeeze ✔️
  • Kneeling Push-Ups
  • Quadruped Arm and Leg Reach



  • Kneeling Lunge



  • Foot Massage
  • Calf Stretch
  • Gastrocnemius Stretch (straight knee)
  • Soleus Stretch (bent knee)
  • Standing Roll Down
  • Walking along SF


How To Use The Spinefitter With Pilates Equipment 

Use the Spinefitter with the Reformer

  • Place the Spinefitter on the carriage for supine exercises such as Footwork, Feet in Straps, Supine Arms, Bridging etc.
  • Sit on the end of the Spinefitter for the Roll Down.


How To Use the Spinefitter with the Cadillac (Trapeze Table or Tower)

  • Place the Spinefitter on your mat or table for supine exercises such as Supine Arm Springs, Supine Leg Springs.
  • Sit on the end of the Spinefitter for your Roll Down.


How To Use the Spinefitter with the Spine Corrector

  • Place the spinefitter along the curve of the barrel for exercises such as Roll Down/Roll Back or a Seated Back Bend.


How To Use the Spinefitter with the Ladder Barrel

  • Place the Spinefitter on top of the barrel for exercises such as Standing Back Bend, or Bridging/Semi-Circle.


When putting together a Spinefitter sequence for your next class, I recommend you use our ADAPT Pilates template


Hope this will give you some ideas for including the Sissel Spinefitter in your next Pilates class, session or workout.

Any questions or comments? Drop them in the comments below.

Want more Pilates tutorials with detailed cues and teaching tips?

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