The Pilates Roll Up.
The Roll Up increases abdominal strength as well as increasing the flexibility and articulation of the spine. A few key points to remember when performing this exercise: Use your breath to help control your movements. Roll up one vertebra at a time (deeply engage your abdominals in order to peel your back off the mat). Keep your shoulders away from your ears. Keep your legs and hip firmly anchored in to the mat as well as keeping your feet flexed and ankle anchored to you mat. Keep your chin tucked in to your chest as you roll up and down, this will ensure you are not pulling from your neck. Lift your head from your rib cage not your neck. Move smoothly through the exercise, avoid using momentum.
Below I have included a video of the Roll Up being performed:
Roll Up Video As with all exercises there are modifications. The first modification is the Roll Down. You will begin by sitting up with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Place your hands on the sides of your thighs, and roll down using your hands to assist you. Then curl up using your hands for assistance. The second modification is Bent Knees. Lie on your back with knees bent, as you begin to roll up, straighten your legs. While rolling down and returning to the start bend your knees. The third modification is the Partial Roll Up. Roll up only until you get the “sticky” point and roll back down. The fourth modification is using a ‘prop”, in this case it is a Resistance Band. Place the band around your feet and holding each end in your hands. Keeping your legs straight and feet flexed, use the band to assist you with the roll up. If the full Roll Up is a challenge try the various modifications until you are able to perform the exercise with proper form. Let me know what you think.
As always consult your physician before beginning a workout plan.