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Hi, my name is Audrey Laurelton and I'm the owner of Equilibrium Pilates in Montclair, NJ. I'm here for About.com today to show you how to do a Pilates roll up. To get started with your rollup, you want to lie on the floor with your heels together, your toes apart, inner thighs squeezing, and then we're going to stretch the arms back to the wall behind you. So the fingertips are reaching out and the toes are reaching in the opposite direction. The ribs are anchored down into the mat. Then lift the arms up to the ceiling. Bring the head up and roll all the way up and over the legs to stretch the hamstrings. Make sure your abs are still engaged here. Then to come back, lead with your belly, pulling in toward the spine as you roll down one vertebra at a time. Once the shoulders and head have reached the mat, you can reach the arms back. Things to look out for include, letting the ribs lift and the arms fall to the floor. When you come up, really make sure that the head comes through the arms and that you are not leading with the fingertips and shoulders. As you stretch over the legs you want to make sure you keep those abs engaged, and not just fall over your legs and get a stretch. You want the abs to be engaged at all times. Squeeze those inner thighs tightly as you start coming back down to the mat, and rest. If you find yourself not being able to roll all the ay up through the center, or your feet lifting up off the mat, try a variation on the roll up called the roll down. You are going to go ahead and bend your knees, placing your feet flat on the mat. Lightly place the hands under the knees. Squeeze the inner thighs and start to roll back with an inhale. Round the spine into what feels like a nice, long C-position, until the arms or the feet start to lift. Whichever happens first, you want to stop and hold. Then find your exhale to deepen your abs in toward your spine and round your way back up. If you've mastered that, you can take it one step further. Extending the arms out, round the belly back, you are going roll down to the mat one vertebra at a time. Once the shoulders and head come down the arms can extend, keeping the ribs in. Bring those arms back up to the ceiling, find an inhale.   Lift the head and exhale your way back up. Once you get up, you can slide the legs out, find that same stretch over, pull the navel back, letting the knees bend, keeping the feet flat on the mat as you roll back down. Thank you for watching. For more information, go to: health.about.com.
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