#3 in Joseph Pilates 34 Classic Mat Exercises is the Rollover. This exercise is A beautiful challenge to and development of spinal articulation, spinal flexors (abdominals) and co contracting hip extensors (hamstrings, glutes). I couldn't resist the addition of Long Spine at the end of this video as it is a nice switch of focus from spinal and hip flexors to the hip and spine extensors and it balances the end of this exercise nicely (but only if you warmed up!!!). *note: If you are using the Rollover in the order in which it was originally intended -the 3rd exercise of the day- you would not likely be ready for the Long Spine variation. 😝
*press down with the back of the shoulders and upper arm (triceps) in order to encourage the action of the abdominals and hip flexors.
*Think of rolling your pubic bone "in" not "up". The idea is not to "lift" your legs up but rather to roll and ultimately "fold" yourself into a curved half of yourself. So you are not rolling straight up like an elevator you are instead a long roll of ribbon being rolled into itself. Focus of curling the pelvis "in" rather then the lifting legs "over".
*Reach through your legs in both directions. Keep the back of the legs energized.
*Engage your pelvic floor, inner thighs and glutes. They create a "trampoline" of buoyant energy from which to spring off of and rest into. :)
The Roll Up is the second exercise in Joseph Pilates Classic 34 Mat Exercises and it is a wonderful way to wake up the abdominals while stretching the lower back and hip flexors while also engaging the hamstrings. This exercises builds an awareness of the importance and necessity of engaging co-contracting abdominals (spinal flexors) and hamstrings (hip extensors) in order to successfully roll up.
*Sometimes people feel "stuck" when they roll up. Part of that can be due to tight hip flexors and/or lower back extensors. In that case take your time and bend your knees if necessary when first learning the Roll Up. You can even place your feet under a strap or a couch in order to put more emphasis on the abdominals. Just don't rely on this modification too long or it will back fire and actually cause you to build even more reliance on the hip flexors for your roll up.
*The timing of the breath is very important as well. Inhale during the chest lift (the first part of the roll up) and Exhale as the ribs leave the mat. The Exhale will give you an extra burst of power to help you cross the finish line!
*Also, don't forget the importance of pressing down with the latissimus dorsi muscles (the muscles underneath your arm pit) as you start to roll up. Think of your arms like butter knives (the armpits are the handle and your hands are the serated edge of your knife) and "slice "through space with energy and intention. Its a funny image but it works! :)
*Advance this exercise by adding leg lifts or arm lifts or by incorporating a Teasar or rotation.
***And don't forget to have fun!!!!! :)
The Hundred is an excellent warm up exercise and the first in Joseph Pilates's Classic 34 Mat Exercises. It involves considerable focus on breath and incorporates the global muscles of the body including the abdominals, glutes, hamstrings, inner thighs, quadriceps, latissimus dorsi, and triceps. It is primarily a warm up and breathing exercise and the ways to advance and modify this exercise are endless. Have fun and enjoy the journey towards making the challenging Hundred one of your favorite exercises!
CHRISTINE IVY, Author
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