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  Pilates doing Pilates Exercises:   The Roll Up Joseph Pilates 34 contrology poses
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Tips on posture and muscle tensioning - "Pilates Contrology".

Pilates Roll Up, Pose 1:-
  1. Zip and hollow in preparation, and maintain zip and hollow throughout.
  2. Anchor your scapulas, and keep them gently anchored throughout.
  3. Arms "straight backward" (Important:- your back must not arch away from the ground. For those new to Pilates, this means that your arms will not make it all the way "straight backward").
Pilates Roll Up, Pose 2:-
  1. (Inhaling): bring your arms up.
  2. Toes pointing upwards.
Pilates Roll Up, Pose 3:-
  1. (Still inhaling): Tuck your chin to your chest.
  2. (Now exhaling): Roll upward by "wheeling the spine" off the mat.
Pilates Roll Up, Pose 4:-
  1. (Still exhaling): roll forward until head touches legs.
Pilates demonstrating the Pilates Roll Up, Poses One to Four:
(diagram derived from original photo).
Joseph Pilates doing the Pilates Roll Up

(Comment, Pilates Roll Ups, Scroll right>>>...)
Pilates Roll Ups, Watch Points:-
  1. Elbows and knees do not flex.
  2. Always apply the instructions recommended in Introduction to Pilates Contrology Exercises
  3. This exercise strengthens the spine in the forward bending direction, and must be balanced with exercises that strengthen the spine in the backward bending direction. I suggest: - "Runner's Squat" and "The Dart".
Pilates Roll Ups, Joseph's Comments:-
"This exercise strengthens the abdominal muscles, and restores the spine to normal".

Pilates then and now:-
The Roll Up is pretty much the same today. It will change the way you move! - You will be able to spot the Pilates adept by the way he or she uses this exercise to get up off the floor!

Roll Up too difficult? - Read this:-
"Many people can not perform roll-ups when first beginning a Pilates program. Keep in mind, it is easier to roll down than it is to roll up. On the way up, place your hands under the small of your back, and use your arms to help you up"(2).

  1. J H Pilates and W J Miller: Return to Life through Controlology. 1st Ed, publ. 1954 J.J.Augustin New York (Review & purchase...)
  2. Lisa Mercer: Pilates Based Conditioning

Pilates Roll Ups, © Bruce Thomson, EasyVigour Project