How To Do Half Roll Back

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

Chris Freytag demonstrates a Half Roll Back

Half Roll Back is a pilates exercise that strengthens your core and helps create healthy movement in your spine. So many core exercises do a great job at strengthening your abs, but do not help create a healthy spine. This move, like many pilates moves, takes both of these things into account. While you are rolling back, your lower abs pull in tight to keep you slow and controlled. At the same time your spine gets a chance to practice mobility and the movement of each vertebrae separate from the others. If you learn how to do Half Roll Back you will have a stronger core and healthier back.

Most pilates exercises focus on the entire core as well as flexibility. What is pilates, you ask? Joseph Pilates (1880-1967) created Pilates almost 100 years ago for dancers. By using slow controlled movements, the core body is strengthened while lengthening and stretching at the same time. When done correctly, Pilates requires a true mind/body connection and sculpts the abs like no other exercise routine!

Half Roll Back trains the rectus abdominus and the transverse abdominus – the upper and lower abs all in the same move. As you slowly roll your spine back and forth, you focus on your breathing which helps to pull your ab muscles in and avoid relying on momentum to move.

Putting Half Roll Backs into your weekly exercise routine is one of the smartest moves you can make. It is a great way to warm up gently and prepare the body for more, but also an excellent cool-down at the end of any workout. Try our Power Pilates Workout!

Here are the steps to performing a Full Body Roll Up:

1) Start seated with knees bent and feet on the mat. Arms are rounded in a circle shape in front of the chest.

2) Scoop the abdominals and round back towards the mat slowly until you reach the mid back, then engage your abs even deeper and roll back up to your starting position.

Targets: core, back

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