The Roll Up is a fantastic exercise from the Mat work repertoire. It not only mobilises the spine in flexion, strengthens the abdominals and enhances scapula stability, when performed correctly it clearly demonstrates sequential articulation of the spine. Correct execution of the Roll Up can be seen as the prerequisite for so many other moves such as Crab and Seal, Roll Over and Jack Knife, Boomerang and Neck Pull. As an instructor observing clients performing the Roll Up can give invaluable insights into postural imbalances and incorrect movement patterns. Many clients find the Roll Up incredibly frustrating. I often hear them remarking that they seem to hit a brick wall, that they never progress. Here are two videos showing common issues seen when performing this move and how to use verbal and tactile corrections to address the incorrect movement patterns. Props such as mini balls, cushions and resistance bands can also be used to assist and improve the movement.
The first clip shows how the client initiates the move by flexing the lumbar spine but then tight erector spinae and iliopsoas cause the pelvis to begin to anteriorly tilt leading to the spine extending. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAJ37OGzZT4]
The second video shows how the client over flexes in the thoracic spine rather than sequentially articulating from the lumbar spine. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uU8MGHAG2iI]
Posted with many thanks to Mel and Beth for regressing back to old habits!! They both perform Roll Up with perfect execution!