This Pilates exercise is a great way to start or end your work out. Executing the roll up properly works the core and hip flexors, while stretching the hamstrings as well as focusing on spinal articulation. The key to this exercise is moving with the breath.
There is both a beginner set up and intermediate set up:
- Beginner: If your core is weak bend the knees and plant the feet on the mat. Use the backs of the knees to help get you up. Once up straighten the legs in order to get the full stretch.
- Intermediate: Legs are extended on the mat squeezing knees and ankles together, feet flexed and parallel. Press through the heels to help get your upper body up
Lying supine (on back) arms are reaching overhead, inhale the breath to prepare, exhale tuck the chin to the chest and raise the arms in line with ears. Curl up as if you were peeling your spine off the mat, continue forward and reach over your toes, creating a ”C” shape with your spine. Inhale hold the breath. Find the opposition in this moment, legs and finger tips reach towards the toes as the abs pull back into the spine. Exhale pull the navel to spine, roll back articulating the spine back to the floor. Engage glutes and control the decent using the CORE while reaching your arms forward. Once the shoulder blades reach the mat the arms float overhead. Repeat 10x
- Keep pulling the shoulders down and away from the ears
- Keep your ribs closed, as if wearing a corset. Don’t let them splay open
- If feet are lifting off the ground, try the beginner level or try placing a ball between the ankles and giving it a little squeeze. Pressing out through the heels will also help