Apr 23, 2020

Lovin' Life 23/4/2020: The Pilates Roll-Up.

So there's this exercise in Pilates and it's called the Roll-Up.

via catch.com.au
The first thing that came to mind when I first heard Roll-Up were these sugar overloaded snacks from Uncle Toby's.  You know the ones.  They look like sheets of brightly coloured plastic and taste mostly of sugar and reimagined fruit flavours if you're brave enough to unroll and eat one.

How to Do Roll Up in Pilates

But I digress.  This is how a modern-day Pilates model looks like when she executes the Roll-Up.  As you can see, she has a flexible, well-aligned spine

Roll Up - Aligned For Life Pilates
via Google images
Similarly, this gentleman from the archives of Pilates imagery demonstrates the same impressive amount of flexibility and alignment.

Which brings us to the plight of this fortysomething home Pilates student.  I can't even curl let alone fold and roll.  I think it's my lower back which has been rendered rigid by years of running, sitting and lounging.

This week, I discovered that the humble folded yoga blanket as a very effective prop for helping me get the feel of the roll-up.  All you need to do is line your lower back up to the long edge of your folded blanket and then lie back over it.  Perform the roll-up as per your Pilates instructor and voila!  The support from your blanket will help you over that initial hard bit and free up your pain sensors, allowing you to get the feel of your vertebrae articulating as you roll up and forward.

I know that it is technically 'cheating' but I've come to accept that I do need to work within the limits of my body.  But who knows, one day, I might just be able to do a roll-up on my own.

If you're struggling with the roll-up yourself, this video might help.  It's how I found out about the towel/blanket trick.


  1. Thanks for sharing the tip and video clip. With regular practice you'll definitely be able to do a roll-up on your own. #lovin'lifelinky

  2. Yeah, not cheating, just propping...

  3. Oh my lord! There is no way I'd be able to roll myself up like that! I am so freaking inflexible of body (I work hard on being flexible of mind and soul, not quite so hard on the body thing).


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