I have to remind myself that you only need to do a few reps of the Roll Up on the Pilates Mat, especially if you are going to go into the Roll Over. But, sometimes the Roll Up feels so good I just want to keep doing it. Now, I prefer to use a strap and a weighted pole when I do the Roll Up. I was told that beginners needed a strap and that advanced persons do not. But, after 10+ years of Roll Ups and talking with my teacher who studied with Joseph Pilates I have learned that the strap becomes more essential as you advance in your practice.
Press your legs together and into the mat feel your spine on the mat.
Hug your legs tight together and lay on your back with your arms up to the ceiling or more advanced overhead. Ideally, holding a weighted pole and with a strap around the base of your flexed feet. This exercise is taught in parallel but if necessary to connect more to your seat go ahead and turn your legs out. Pressing your legs together and down into the mat feel the length of your spine along the mat and your shoulders connected to your back. It's easy to allow your ribs to pop out in this start position. Find a connection to your upper abs before you begin.
Lifting your arms over your chest roll forward and as you do reach your legs long and away. Your goal is to round up and over your legs without reaching your tailbone behind you. Pulse your spine longer over your legs three times before rolling back down. Repeat 2-4 more times. The key to this exercise is the opposition. It will feel as if you are "tucking" your pelvis but you are truly trying to reach our lower back out your feet as you reach your mid-back up and over your legs. The pulses allow for more stretch and strength.
Be sure to check out more of my Pilates Mat exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Mat training!