How to do the Pilates Roll Up on the Mat

Since most of us do not have a strap and pole at home to help us do the Roll Up on the Mat “successfully,” it can be frustrating and even deflating.

  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Equipment Needed: Mat
  • Reps: 3-5 of each
  • Warning: May not be suitable for some back issues
  • Questions: Contact us here

How to do the Pilates Roll Up on the Mat

** Private online Pilates sessions available with Lesley Logan on request, click here **

I get a lot of questions about how to do the Pilates Roll Up on the Mat. Since most of us do not have a strap and pole at home to help us do the Roll Up on the Mat "successfully," it can be frustrating and even deflating. Which is why in a collaboration with Andrea Maida we are talking about how "the struggle is real: Roll UP." In this video I will show you other pre-Pilates exercises you can do to help do the Roll up. And, at the end I talk about all the ways you can use the rest of your studio to help your Roll up.

Hug your legs together, pull in your center more each rep

There are several ways you can gain strength to get to where you can do the Roll Up without skipping parts of your spine, lifting your legs, or whipping yourself up. Some simple ways to work on your Roll Up while taking a class: 1) only roll up as far as you can before your legs lift or you skip parts of your spine. Hold it there, hug your legs together, pull your center in more and then lower yourself down. You can also do this starting at the top and rolling back only as far as your legs do not lift or you don't just drop down.

Some other "pre-Pilates" exercises are the Half Roll Back or the Elbow Slip. Set your self up sitting, bend your knees, and hug your legs together with about a 45 or 60 degree angle at the knee joint. Using your center, roll back as far as you can keep your legs down and together and then pull your center in to roll back up. Or, prop yourself up on your forearms. Pull your lower back towards the mat, leave your legs set up for the half roll back and then without leaning reach one arm forward. Place it back on the mat and switch. If that goes well, your legs don't lift and you don't push your stomach out, try doing it with both arms at the same time. These preps will help you refine your Roll UP!

Loving this Pilates exercise tutorial? Take weekly online Pilates mat classes with Lesley Logan.

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