As you work on these exercises that concentrate on the abdominals and back, feel the abdominals getting stronger and flatter as you progress. Your back will be free from the burden of aches and stiffness. Make sure you work on a mat that gives plenty of support, and once you have practiced rolling down the spine with your hands on the floor, try progressing on to rolling back, you may not roll back up on your first attempt, but keep practicing. When pulling in abdominals, imagine you are squeezing a sponge held between your navel and your spine. Squeeze the sponge as hard as you can. Take care not to roll back to your neck. Pay careful attention to the alignment of your body as you work.
Purpose: To mobilize and massage the back and strengthen the abdominals
Target Muscles: Erector spine, abdominals
Repetitions: Repeat 6 times.
1. Sit with your spine in neutral and your knees bent with both feet flat on the floor. Place your hands near your hips with your fingers facing your feet. Inhaling, wide and full through the ribs, draw your navel towards your spine. Lower your chin towards your chest then, using your hands for support, start to roll down to the floor. Try to place each vertebra on the floor, one by one. To do this, tilt your pelvis and curve your spine into a C shape.
2. Once you have rolled down as far as you find comfortable, exhale and , using your core strength, return to the starting position. Pull up through the crown of your head to create a long spine, then repeat. Use your arms only as support and avoid transferring all your weight on to your triceps.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor
- Lengthen up through the spine at the end of the movement
- Tilt the pelvis.
1. Sit upright with your spine in neutral. Lengthen up through the spine and imagine your head floating up to the ceiling. Place your feet flat on the floor and your hands just below your knees. Don't over grip, keep your elbows bent and your chest open. Take care not to tense or grip around your neck.
2. Inhale as you tilt the pelvis and curve the spine into a C-shaped to roll back, tucking in your chin and keeping your thighs close to your chest. As you exhale, use your abdominals to pull you back up to the starting position. Try not to use momentum, but make the movement flow at a consistent speed. Between each roll lengthen up through the spine.
- Keep the chin tucked into the chest
- Do not grip the neck
- Use your abdominals to get you back to the starting position again.
More Pilates Workouts - The Roll Up