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If you are looking a for a quick pilates reference, take a look at this pilates animation. This a quick & easy, clearly explained diagram of the pilates mat exercise: Classical Pilates for Beginners:
The Rollup. Pilates exercises focus on breathing, alignments of the spine & build strong torso muscles.
Setup for the Rollup:
* Zip and hollow (engage the Powerhouse), and squeeze the buttocks and inner thighs together.
* Fully exhale when arms are long in front. Fully exhale when arms are long behind.
Action for the Rollup:
* Raise your arms long to the ceiling and look through your arms.
* Roll up vertebra by vertebra: Your neck, upper back, mid back, lower back, sacrum.
* Keep your spine curled as you flex forward at the hips and reach up and over a barrel.
* Reverse the motion to roll back down.
* Keep your mid back glued to the ground as you reach your arms long behind.
Classic Pilates Cueing:
* Head up, and rollup!
* Stretch forward, ribs away from hips!
* Zip up and roll down!
* Reach back, scoop deep!
* Reach up, then reach back!
* To work the abdominals (the powerhouse).
* To mobilise the spine vertebra by vertebra.
* To stretch the arms down and away in opposition to the anchored mid-back.
* Scoop your upper abdomen and "glue" your lower chest to the mat as your arms lengthen away to the wall behind.
* Roll down vertebra by vertebra; Roll up vertebra by vertebra.
Don't let an injury or weakness stop you! There is always a modification. Take your time and find the right one for you. If in doubt, seek advice!
* Lower back pain
* Weak hip flexors or abdominals