That Damn Rollover

In order to put my name in the running for the Lead Blogger position, a personal challenge needed to be declared. I, not considering the possibility I would actually have to follow through, pledged the following:

“…to conquer the rollover. Without momentum but instead with the grace and control that Joe intended.”

I have a love-hate relationship with the rollover. I love the way it looks when executed properly and I appreciate the work that goes into that execution. However, I hate that I cannot do it.

Do you ever watch the instructors at Lead perform this position? Do you see how graceful and effortless it comes across? I am pretty sure if I filmed myself today attempting the rollover, I would see all kinds of cheating going on. For instance, Chrissy is always telling us not to pike our wrists but I am pretty sure that is physically impossible for me (don’t tell her but I have this theory that certain movements are easier for her because her limbs are longer than mine…not sure if there is any truth to it but it sure helps me get through some of the tougher movements).

The thing about the roll over is you can never really know how hard it is until you try to do it yourself. The first time you see it, it looks so easy. The person doing it isn’t breaking a sweat or crying out in pain. It seems like something people do. Then you decide to follow suit. And you realize your body can’t move that way. You have to engage in all sorts of prep work to convince your body that the roll over is something that actually can be done. For some bodies, this preparation doesn’t take much time and for others, like me, the preparation seems to become the exercise.

Joe Pilates, in his book, “Pilates’ Return to Life through Contrology,” breaks down the rollover as follows:

  1. Lie flat on the mat
  2. Stretch arms (shoulder-wide, touching body, palms down) straight forward
  3. Stretch (close together, knees locked) straight forward
  4. Stretch toes (pointed) forward and downward
  5. Inhale slowly and
  6. Begin raising legs upward and over until
  7. Toes touch mat or floor
  8. Exhale slowly and
  9. Press arms firmly against mat or floor
  10. Spread legs as far apart as possible
  11. Inhale slowly and
  12. Begin “rolling” slowly downward with
  13. Both legs (tensed) straight (and spread as far apart as possible)
  14. Until spine touches mat or floor
  15. Exhale slowly while
  16. Returning to position with legs about 2” above mat or floor

 

Amanda Roslinsky, during mat class, can do the following:

  1. Lie flat on the mat
  2. Stretch arms (shoulder-wide, touching body, palms down) straight forward
  3. Stretch (close together, knees locked) straight forward
  4. Stretch toes (pointed) forward and downward
  5. Inhale slowly and
  6. Begin raising legs upward and…done.

 

I am currently stuck between using momentum and lying on my back. One is almost too easy (which invites cheating) and the other is still too hard (which invites cheating). So, I have some work to do. But I am hopeful with some extra effort, by the end of the blogging adventure I will be posting a video of me executing the roll over .

Now all I need is a “This is how I want to roll” tank top and I will be all set!