Next, see the tips below for mastering this difficult exercise.
3. Build Strength and Flexibility
Start with wall roll down. This exercise is an easy way to develop the articulation of the spine that you need for roll up. Next, do chest lift. Chest lift will help you develop the strength for curling up the upper body. Then, work on supported roll back. This is a great exercise for strengthening what feels like "lower abs," for getting that roll under motion in the pelvis, and for learning to work the spine in a deep curve.
Abs in, ribs down and in, and a big curve of the spine are crucial parts of roll up; and that is what the transversus abdominis does. The transverse muscle compresses the abdomen and bends the trunk forward in flexion. It also helps close the ribs toward the midline. Other abdominal muscles will be working in the roll up. But if you focus on the action of the transversus abdominus, it will help take the focus off the hip flexors and result in less "flying feet."
5. Stabilize Your Pelvis
One of the most tempting mis-alignment of the pelvis is the overly tucked position. If you do tuck your pelvis though, it will make it much harder to get up in a roll up. All your energy will be directed down into the lower part of your body and your feet will probably want to fly up off the mat instead of your upper body!
What you need to do instead, is stabilize the pelvis in a more neutral position so that your core muscles can lengthen out of that, and all of your abs can work to carry you up-and-over.
Learn about the perils of tucked pelvic alignment.
6. Engage Your Butt and Legs
7. Bend Your Knees
Keep the basic form of the roll up and just bend the knees slightly. You you can also bend the knees more as you come up and use your hands to grasp behind your knees to help yourself up and support the rest of the roll up/down. Don't get your heels too close to your butt or the exercise will get harder.
8. Use a Prop
One of the best tips for roll up is to put a small bolster under the legs, just above the knees. This has a similar effect to bending the knees but in some ways it feels better. It is more subtle and helps the body find that important sense of letting go of the hip flexors while letting the abs drop back into the trunk.
Another prop you might want to try is an exercise band. Wrap the exercise band around the balls of your feet and then lie down. Instead of going overhead, the arms will start from down by your sides with hands holding the band. Adjust the tension in the band so that it gives you a little support as you roll up and down.