Take the time to get to know this exercise and you will find that it has multiple uses as an awareness training tool, as well as an ab workout. You can use Supported Roll Back to help you tune into your abdominals and how to use them to create a deep scoop. Roll Back will reveal weak points and places that you might be tempted to try to let your back, shoulders or neck get in the act.
You may want to use Supported Roll Back as a time to really go through the Pilates principles: breath, centering, concentration, control, precision and flow to see how they are really operating in your practice. At the end of the exercise instructions I have included a set of suggestions for working with breath patterns in Supported Roll Back.
If Roll Up is a difficult exercise for you, as it is for many people, Supported Roll Back is the perfect preliminary exercise.The Set Up
- Begin sitting upright on your sit bones. The legs are parallel with the knees bent and the feet flat on the floor.
- Place your hands on your thighs just above the back of the knee.
- Engage your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles so that the upper body is easily supported. The shoulders are dropped and the neck is relaxed.
- Flex your feet. This will help keep the backs of the legs engaged, and a connection between your heel and sit bones as you roll back. If this is uncomfortable, it's OK, keep the feet flat.
- Take a minute to breathe fully, focusing on length up and down the spine.
Keep the mid-line of the body in mind so that the legs stay parallel with good straight alignment from toe to ankle, to knee and hip.