Trading One Roll For Another!

The Pilates Roll-UP.

Find yourself a quiet spot with or without a splash of music. Use a well cushioned mat. Preferably in front of or on the side of a mirror. Pay attention to the movement of your body, not how your make-up looks! You'll have time for that later when you are looking Pilates good and ready to go out on the town.

This may take a few attempts or more to "get it." This is one of the best yet can be one of the hardest movements to perform accurately, so don't feel alone if you struggle. As always, I would highly recommend you take private sessions with a qualified Pilates instructor. He or she will be able to guide you through the steps that will be the most conducive to your body type.  *And always use the 5 Principles of Alignment as well as the Principles of Pilates. (Note: side-bar)
  • To Prepare: In a seated position, get upright on your sitz bones (those two little bones you can feel when you rock your tush from side to side), lifting up nice and tall as though someone is pulling you up from the top of your head, with knees bent and hands just lightly under your legs as you see in pic. Feet on floor.
  • Take a deep breath in through your nose, as you begin to draw your waist in like a girdle is wrapped around you, as you exhale you should feel your deep tummy muscles (TVA) ignite! Yes, ignite. Don't worry, you won't explode!
  • Lift up from the pelvic floor as you engage your core and exhale (like kegel exercise).
  • Now inhale and as you exhale begin to roll down SLOWLY. Roll down as in vertebra by vertebra, as best as you can. Without allowing your belly to pop out. Big no-no. Keep it tucked.
  • You are not leaning back, you are ROLLING as the name suggests. You initiate from your core.
  • Make sure to keep your head with your spine. Let it travel with you, not before or after you; it's not in the lead.
  • As you return, let your head again follow, making sure it's not taking off ahead of you.
  • This isn't about letting your head do the work. Only what's in your head...your brain! Notice how her head travels with her in the movement?
  • Only go back as far as you can maintain control. If you belly begins to pop, stop and begin to roll back up. Or if you begin to wobble, stop and regain balance.
  • When you find where your "spot" or Range Of Motion (ROM) is, then begin again, only this time with fluidity.
  • Inhale to prepare, as you exhale roll back within your ROM. Stop. Inhale. Exhale and begin to roll slowly back up to the top and on top of your sitz bones.
  • If you notice, she is keeping her hands under her legs. This keeps your balance and precision under control. NOTICE: Your hands are not to grip your legs. She's not using her hands as a tool to pull her up. She IS using her core to aid her.
  • Once you find your range and balance, repeat 7-10 times a few times a day.
NOTE: Hands under legs is just one way to perform the exercise. As you advance, you can (and I do) keep my arms extended out in front of me while I perform this movement, allowing my arms to stay fluid, in sync, with my body flowing back and down, and up and forward. Make sure you don't let your ribs pop if you are able to go all the way flat to the floor, with arms overhead and back, as though you are one long line stretched out. ___________ 

***Modifications help us as we are graduating into more advanced work. You will still get a great work out with benefits without damaging your body.
***Roll-ups have been noted for being a #1 choice in working your abs and getting results. But in order to gain that status you will have to put it on your schedule and your body!

CAUTION: As always exercise only after you have been released to do so by a trusted health professional.Copyright © 2008-2012 by Pilates Worx 4 Life. All rights reserved.