Tutorial #861

Roll Up and Roll Over

10 min - Tutorial


Karen Sanzo returns with another tutorial for those of us who need a little help with the Roll Up and the Roll Over. Karen uses a Pilates arc as a prop, but you can use a foam roller or even a small ball in a similar fashion. Karen relates these often frustrating exercises to other exercises in the Pilates repertoire as well as offers techniques to avoid unsafely maneuvering through the exercise. She even offers some preparatory exercises that will help build your strength as you progress. You'll be doing your best Roll Up and Roll Over before you know it!
What You'll Need: Mat, Baby Arc

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

This little segment here is about rolling up and rolling over to exercises that can be kind of tricky for some people and also frustrating for some people. So I'm actually going to start with a roll over part of it because this barrels right here, I'm going to put my bottom on this barrel and this isn't very common, uh, helping position here. You can use a foam roller, you can use a soft ball, but using this nice. From there all you can also roll up towels or blankets. But just in this position right here, you'll see that my bottom is already lifted.

This is a very common position to try to get somebody ready for the rollover. So I'm gonna take my legs up in the air in while I'm here, I'm going to go ahead and reposition my arms and my chest and just gently press my arms down right onto this barrel and it bend my knees in. Pull my knees to the chest. I'm going to think of the exercise here, rolling like a ball. So I'm going to take my hands and put them on my shins and pull my knees further to my chest as I curl my tailbone up any bit more, and then I'm going to release it and do it again. I'm also going to be thinking of the exercise stomach massage on the reformer.

You'll notice that I'm not lifting my head up to curl my spine, but I'm curling my spine, if you will, from the bottom to the top. And then one more time. Inhale, big exhale, belly scoops, tailbone curls. I see if I can kind of peel my buttocks off of the barrel any bit more and then slowly lengthen myself out. I'm gonna take my right leg down and take my left leg up in this position here. I'm actually gonna lengthen the front of my right hip because getting every piece of my hip lengthened and every piece of the proximal part of my hips and my pelvis connected will make me stronger to roll my bottom up. So I'm going to just stay here and I'm going to lower this leg and then raise this leg and the whole time I'm lowering, raising this left leg, I'm reaching my right knee long.

The whole time I'm lowering and raising this left leg, I'm pushing it down and pulling it up so I'm engaging my quadriceps, I'm engaging my hamstrings and I'm going to bring this knee in one more time and give that right leg a stretch one more time and stretch it out long and I'm going to switch. There's lots of other pieces of this stretching that we can do in other exercises, but this is just nice when you're up on the barrel to go ahead and let it happen here as well. Left knee reaches law. Inhale, exhale, belly pulls in, left knee reaches law, lower down, lengthen and then lift up. The whole time I'm doing this exercise again, I'm pressing my left leg down, reaching my left knee long, pushing right leg down, pulling right leg up like I'm pulling a spring down and pulling a spring up and I'm going to bend my knees and put my feet down. Press into my feet, engage the back of my thighs, and then just hold right here. Taking both of my knees in.

I'm now going to pull my knees into my chest. I'm going to wake up my obliques a little bit because working in the old bleaks in addition will help my abdominals work from the bottom to the top. So here's where I'm going to get my obliques. I'm going to pull both of my knees over to my left shoulder and reach away both of my knees over to my right shoulder. I'm working really hard to keep both of my shoulders square as I roll my knees to one side and the other.

Now that I've done the rolling, which helps me lengthen my low back, I'm just going to do now the leaning. So now as I started to lean my legs to the left, you'll notice my legs are more at a 90 degree angle from my hip and I'm going to keep leaning until I feel sufficient challenge over here on the right side of my obliques and then push myself all the way back to center two legs. We'll lean over to the right I hold, I push both of my legs all the way back to center. One more time, leaning to the left, pause, stretching the legs out as I feel the length and lever arm challenge the right oblique system. And then I pushed to straight legs all the way back to center.

Bending my knees in. I lean both my legs to the right. I stretch both my legs out long, feeling the wake up, feeling the old bleaks on the left side, and then I push with my right leg to bring my legs all the way back to center again. Waking up the obliques, waking up the rounding so I can get ready to rollover. And yes, I'm going to use momentum first to help give me the feeling. Inhale, exhale, reach my legs over my head, lift my bottom up a tad and come down. Inhale, exhale. My arms are pressing, my legs are squeezing. You'll notice that I'm actually on the Cadillac. Duh. Anyway, and then you'll notice that I've conveniently put this bar there because then as I roll over I'm going to go get the bar.

So now I've created a little bit of short spine feeling on the mat. I bend my knees, I straightened my legs. You'll notice that I'm not putting any extra weight on my neck because my voice is not changing. And then I let my toes drip off the bar, lowering down, realizing that my barrel is right here. Put the feet down. Rest a second. Take an inhale. Exhale, legs come in again.

Legs come up in the air again. Inhale, exhale, press arms, squeeze legs lifting up like I'm pushing my legs to the ceiling as I'm painting a rainbow over my head. So up and over grabbed the bar again, pressing my bar, if you will, towards the ceiling. So the back of my thighs are really, really engaged. Now I'm going to take one leg up to the ceiling, going to bend my left knee, curl my bottom underneath me, and then take my right leg, reach it back up to the ceiling. Bend the left knee straight and left leg on fire is this left leg.

I'm bending it to help me curl my bottom and press it up. The right leg comes, the left leg reaches, I bend, I press, I bend and I press one more time. Bend one more time, press two legs, come back, control it down. So that awareness of the bar up there and pressing away really helps me feel that connection in my thighs. The barrel helps me teach to curl up my spine. So now I'm going to come off of this and take the barrel away.

Hmm. And now I'm going to start in sitting. As I roll back and as I roll over, I'm actually going to start to lift my legs a little bit sooner using momentum. Okay, so I'm going to inhale here. Exhale, slowly roll back, arms come down. They pressed down. I start to lift my legs. I rollover, I get the bar. I've already been here. I already know what this feels like. I bend the knees. Notice how I curl my tailbone.

Think of knee stretch rounding on the reformer. Notice it's not my shoulders or my head rounding. I'm rounding from the bottom to the top. I roll myself down. I let my legs drip off. I bring my legs to 90 I lift my head, I curl my trunk, I press my hands into my size.

I roll myself up and over and I'm helping myself roll up. Now I stack up, I roll back, I start to press my arms down, lift my legs, rollover. I've been here before. Stretching, rolling down, let go. Legs come down, trunk lifts. This is still work y'all. This is still work and I'm getting that curl up and over and rounding myself forward. Now when I roll back, I'm not gonna use the bar. I'm going to press my arms, take my legs over, press apart on the bar. Now I can linger here. Flex my feet, roll down.

So I'm using the bar to help me get that feeling. Close the legs. Lift the head, press the thighs, curl my trunk up. Round. Forward. Inhale, stack. Exhale, roll. Rolling back. Rolling over. Open. Hold, scoop belly roll down. Roll down. Close the legs. Lower one, lower the other.


1 person likes this.
Great ideas for incorporating the caddy to assist with the rollover. Great breakdown. I have the arc barrels and can use the first part in mat classes. Great as always Karen!
Sharon O
2 people like this.
Thank you--fab use of the Cadillac to break this down!
My small intermediate mat group will love this with the arc! Thanks!
1 person likes this.
Great progression. Thanks Karen!
Theresa L
1 person likes this.
It really helped me to get the focus in the right place! Thanks Karen
2 people like this.
WOW! Great sequencing. THANK YOU! This focused me on recruiting al the right areas and brought success.
3 people like this.
Always AHA moments when Karen teaches!! Thank you!
1 person likes this.
Is there any way to add this to favorites or queue? THANKS!
1 person likes this.
Susan~ I shall forward your request to our tech department.
1 person likes this.
Thank you, Hannah!!! One more question...I checked into arc barrels and they are EXPENSIVE. What's the next best reasonably priced alternative? Thanks again!
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