5 Pilates Training Tips to Get Stronger Abs and Better Back Flexibility for a Healthy Spine On Your Pilates Roll Up
A lot of Pilates students have a difficult time doing a great Pilates Roll Up during Matwork. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced student getting the timing right to synchronize the breathing, get the Abs working harder, help tight back muscles let go, AND do this all at once for an easy Roll Up can sometimes be a challenge, but it’s not an impossible task! If you’re willing to work on it… You CAN enjoy the benefits of a strong, center and supple spine that can easily execute a superb Roll Up.
With private training or group equipment classes using the Pilates equipment, there are many helpful Pilates exercises you can practice to can help the right muscles get stronger and enhance your techniques for an easy Roll Up. But what if you’re only doing Pilates Matwork?
Practice These 5 Simple Pilates Training Tips to Improve Your Pilates Roll Up, At Home, In Class, At the Gym, or Anywhere You’re Doing a Pilates Workout:
- Instead of bending your arms or legs to make it through the “challenge” point, keep your arms & legs strong & straight. Press your arms against the sides of your thighs and slide your arms along the sides of your thighs while rolling backwards and up. By keeping your arms straight, your back HAS TO bend more, the abs will work harder, and you will discover more sequential movement through the whole spine.
- Use a Thera-band placed across the soles of your feet to provide assistance & resistance to Roll Up and Back one segment of the spine at a time. Remember: Safety first! Be careful that your band does not slip off your feet and smack you in the face.
- Practice ½ Sit Back Exercises on an Incline Board. And If you have a step aerobics bench, tilt it so that one end is high and one end is low. Or if you’re at the gym, use the Decline Sit-Up Bench. Only instead of your head at the low end, put your head at the high end and feet on the floor to practice your Roll Ups. (Start with your hands reaching along your thighs, progress to hands behind the head to make it more challenging.) Peel your back off the mat one segment at a time as you roll up. Feel your pelvis, low back, and bottom ribs get to the mat first for better bending and more Ab work as you roll down.
- Relax your Chest & Look at your Navel. Looking at your navel helps cue the neck and lower back to bend. Relaxing your chest will help you find more abdominal support, use less arms, and also helps free up your upper and mid-back to bend more easily.
- BREATHE! Good Breathing is critical! Hold your breath and you’ll get stuck. Inhaling helps lengthen the spine. A strong exhale is what’s needed when the going gets tough. A strong, forced exhale more deeply activates your abdominals to help curl you up and helps control your movement rolling back down to the mat.
One More Quick TIP To Help Your Pilates Roll Up:
Extra “weighted” toys held in your hands can help give you a little extra leverage while working through your challenge spots.
You can use hand weights, a weighted stick, ball or a Pilates Magic Circle held in your hands with your arms straight, elbows unlocked, and shoulders down and relaxed while you do the Roll Up. Make sure to pull your abs up, in, as far away from your arms as possible.
Apply at least one of these quick and easy tips and techniques to your Pilates Roll Up exercise every time you do your Pilates Matwork. Before long, you’ll find yourself doing excellent Pilates Roll Ups. With a little practice and focused effort to get your body working and bending in all the right places every BODY can do a great Pilates Roll Up!