Help with Roll-Up

Hello all. I teach a group mat Pilates class and have one client who can't perform the roll-up without jerking to one side when she starts to curl up. I've tried having her hold a weighted bar during the roll-up and that seems to help some. We've practiced chest lift, supported roll-back and she's tried bending her knees but nothing seems to help. Any thoughts on what's happening with her body to cause this problem? I'd be grateful for any thoughts...
2 years ago

have you tried the rolled up hand towel under the low back-sacrum area? I remember Kristi demonstrated this in one of her classes but I can't remember which class it was. help Kristi...
Another thing that is helpful for this is to have the client work on the cadillac, if one is available- and practice with the roll down bar and feet up against the vertical poles to close the chain, a very supportive environment to learn the roll-up.
2 years ago

Thanks for your feedback. I will try the hand towel under the sacrum area! I'll keep you posted.
2 years ago

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Hi Linda- Not seeing her, it's hard to say what's going on, but too much flexion in the neck is common and tends to max out the rectus contraction before the transversus abdominus (TA) and obliques have been able to contribute to their fullest in stabilization. If it looks like that might be a contributing factor, try a towel folded long ways (and it must be long enough to reach from tail bone to the top of her head), anchored solidly under her sacrum (there is a product called "Smart Spine" that will do this as well). She holds the top corners of the towel near the top of her head, and the cue is to
1) inhale, and exhale with a soft jaw and watch that she initiates the TA contraction
2) on the exhale curl the head/neck/shoulders up, but keep the back of the neck LONG and the thought is of actually lightly pressing BACK into the towel. Consider a peach fitting under her chin, not compressed and not falling out..... (continued)

2 years ago

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3) That dynamic needs to be practiced. As the proper sequence of muscular contractions take place, she will be able to deepen and solidify this portion of the roll up.
4) Once she looks and feels solid with this, remove the towel and practice the same movement with the arms extended... and watch that her shoulders don't try to take over.
5) Finally, cue some PATIENCE. Pilates often requires a good deal of foundational movement to take place, and then "wait for the magic to happen". By this I mean that there is a moment in the roll up (and other exercises) where just the internal deepening of what is already fired advances the movement.
Phew... sorry to be long-winded, but I think the roll-up is more complex than it looks, and can be really challenging for so many.
2 years ago

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Oh!... and make sure, once she is working with extended legs, that you cue the legs to reach long and gently squeeze to the midline. (She may need the cue of the back of her legs pressing into the mat as well).
2 years ago

Thanks Layla. I think your suggestion about encouraging patience is right on. This lady is particularly concerned about everyone else in the room and how they seem to be doing it and she can't. thanks for the detailed and comprehensive suggestions. I'm excited to help her with this!
2 years ago

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Hi Linda,
I found the link to Kristi's roll up modification with a simple hand towel.
Layla shared some super excellent information but if you get the time also check out Kristi's short demo here.
http://www.pilatesanytime.com/exerc...

2 years ago

1 person likes this. Like 
Thanks A. Salomon (sorry, don't know your first name :) I reviewed Kristi's demo and that was very helpful. I will see this lady on Friday and I'm anxious to give your and Layla's ideas a try!
2 years ago

1 person likes this. Like 
Kristi Cooper (Moderator)
Thanks A. Soloman!
2 years ago

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