Pilates – The Roll-Up

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 28,309
    Certified Pilates instructor Dori Markakos demonstrates a core exercise called the roll-up.

    Dori Markakos

    Dori is an experienced fitness professional whose love of fitness began in grade school with her love of dance and ballet. She’s danced classical ballet since she was 5. As her interest in fitness grew, she began experimenting with all varieties of group fitness and weight lifting. Dori went the practical route to college and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business with a specialization in Marketing from the University of Virginia’s School of Commerce, but not before receiving her fitness instructor certification in her spare time. After college, Dori went to work for Environmental Design & Construction, LLC (EDC) where she is presently the Controller. In this position, Dori serves as the company’s chief business officer. But, Dori’s heart is in the field of fitness. Dori maintains her certifications and puts them to work as a personal trainer, spinning and Pilates (mat and reformer) instructor. As part of her career development, Dori also received specialty training in pre and post natal fitness, with a specialization in pre/post natal Pilates. Dori currently works with clients as Pilates instructor, while keeping up with her own workouts. She’s run multiple marathons and is an accomplished triathlete having run numerous triathlons as well having completed the Ironman Triathlon. Dori resides in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Peter and daughter Mia.

    Hi! I am Dory, your personal Pilates instructor. Today I am teaching you some of the most basic Pilates exercises, and right now, I am going to show you how to do the roll up. You go ahead and sit at your mat, sitting comfortably; your feet can be just a little bit more, a little less than hip with apart, sitting up nice and tall. Take a big, deep breathe in, and as you exhale, release your shoulders, and go ahead and hold on to your hamstring to help your self down. Adjust your sit bones which is this two little bones, the bottom part of your glute, and then hold your spine, one vertebrae at a time. Lying down nice and flat, extend your feet away from the middle of your body, shake your legs out and bring both arms straight up over your head. Now go ahead and engage your cord just the way I showed you during the warm up. Take a big, deep breathe in and rotate those hips under. Remember thats pulling your navel into your spine and your spine right into the floor. You cant put your hand between the small of your back and the floor.

    So with your abs engaged, go ahead and look straight up at the ceiling, rotate those hips, shake your legs out and exhale your breath. Let your shoulders sink in towards your feet. Big, deep breathe in and as you exhale, I want you to start to bring both hands straight up over your head. Once these hands come into your vision, tuck your chin to your chest, eyes are on your navel, rolling one vertebra at a time, feet are released, eyes are looking straight down at your knees, rolling nice and easy, just nice and comfortable, just pass your feet. I want you to adjust just where you feel comfortable. Dont over stretch those hamstrings. Inhale and exhale, unroll your spine, one vertebra a time, nice and easy. Keeping your heels connected with the floor the entire time, let those hands come straight up over your head. Now I am going to show you modification. If you feel that will be a little challenging for you, go ahead and bend one foot, keep the foot flat on the floor, and keep the opposite leg stationary on the ground.

    Take a big, deep breathe in and as you exhale, release your shoulders, hips are rotated under, abs are engaged, and we are going to start with the same thing. Both hands reach straight up over your head, chin tucked to the chest, as you slowly come up, eyes are on your navel, hold on to that hamstring for leverage and roll yourself up, nice and gently, release the leg, extend both hands reaching straight up, pass your toes, nice, long finger tips, pause right here as youre doing straight down at your knees, and unroll again, all the way down, nice and easy. Again, both heels stay flat on the floor, and this time for the modification, grab on to your hamstring for leverage, and slowly unroll your spine. Both hands reach straight up over your head and lets do that just one more time. Inhale and exhale, finger tips reach straight up over your head, abs rotated under, so engage that core, let your shoulders sink into the floor and slowly bring both arms are straight up. Once those hands come into your vision, your chin is going to tuck to your chest, eyes are on your navel.

    Rolling up one vertebrae a time, then heels are flat on the floor reaching nice and gently pass those toes, glancing straight down at those knees, in and rolling again, one vertebra at a time, opening up the chest, and the shoulders, heels stay flat on the floor, all the way back down and hands reach straight up over your head. Let's take that two more times, just a little bit faster. So inhale and exhale, torso still, finger tips reach, chest open, and bring both arms straight up, chin tucked to the chest, eyes are on the navel, reaching nice and gently, pass those toes pause and hold it, inhale and exhale, unroll. Then heel stay flat on the floor, last roll up right here, big, deep breathe in and exhale, engage those abs in a torso till, reach those finger tips up. Let those shoulders sink in to the chest, chin tucked to the chest, eyes are on the navel, rolling up nice and gently, pass those toes, pause and hold it, inhale and exhale, unroll your vertebra one at a time, restacking your vertebra, so you are sitting up nice and tall. Perfect, let's go ahead and move on.