The purpose and benefit of this exercise are:
The prime movers in this exercise are the rectus abdominus and the hip flexors.
This exercise is similar to and builds on from the Roll Up exercise but with the hands behind the head throughout the exercise. It is usually better to start with the legs together and feet flexed as this encourages engagement of the inner thighs and hamstrings. However, the original exercise created by Joseph Pilates in ‘Return to Life’ is with the legs apart. It is better to see what suits you or your participants/clients.
Key cues when teaching or performing this exercise are as follows:
Modifications for this exercise could be:
To make this exercise more challenging you can perform the Hinge Back prior to rolling back through the spine, but this is only for participants who are strong in their abdominals and hip flexors. From rolling back up from arcing over the thighs, you would hinge back from the hip with a straight back, then roll back through the spine to finish off the exercise as opposed to just rolling back from the arc position.