Sometimes your core needs something a little bit special to whip it into shape. So if you’re up for something a little fun and different – yet amazingly effective – it’s time to try the banana roll!

This exercise may look (and sound!) a little daft, but it’s one of the best exercises to test and strengthen your obliques, abs and lower back. It’s very safe to do and can be used as a therapeutic exercise, but it’s also a lot harder than it looks.

Even better, it needs zero equipment, so you can do it right now!


How to do it:

You will find this exercise more comfortable on a cushioned surface such as mat or carpet.

  1. Lie on your back with your arms extended straight past your ears and legs straight out.
  2. Lift your arms and legs around 6 inches off the floor so your body is in a ‘banana’ shape. Keep your lower back pressed into the ground and your head in line with your arms.
  3. Squeeze your core and roll onto your left side. Keep rolling until you’re lying on your stomach in a ‘Superman’ position. Hold for 3 seconds. Now’s also the time to take a breath!
  4. Now roll onto your back again, keeping arms and legs lifted. Hold for 3 seconds. Roll back onto your stomach and start again. Continue this rolling pattern for 1 minute.

You can make this move more intense by ramping up the isometrics on your sides:

When you roll onto your side, balance and hold for 5 seconds, keeping your arms and legs off the ground. Roll onto your stomach then back onto the other side and hold again, balancing and breathing.


  • Keep your neck relaxed throughout the movement and keep your lower back on the floor as you roll.
  • Use your abs to propel you, not your hips.
  • Don’t use too much momentum to push yourself in one direction or another. You need to focus on holding the movement for 1-3 seconds at end of each roll.

For the perfect beach body ready for the summer, combine these exercises to improve your core strength with the banana roll, plus a couple of quick gym sessions each week.

Thanks to for the image

The Author

Kath Webb

Kath is a contributing writer for PayasUgym. Football, running, weight training, yoga and walking are her forte, along with cooking tasty, nutritious food - with a regular batch of cake chucked in.


Jim R.
30 August 2017

Jim R.

not only a good core exercise, really helps a stiff back after a day at the computer!

Michael A.
9 June 2017

Michael A.

I have just tried this and it's great fun, but tough to do after just a few rolls. I did a minute though.

Lucy C.
7 June 2017

Lucy C.

I am also going to be shifting the furniture to give this a go. Having closed the curtains first!

Helen P.
7 June 2017

Helen P.

ha - I have never heard of this but I am definitely going to be doing this on our rug later. Not sure if I'd be brave enough to roll around on the gym floor though...

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