The Pilates Rollup is an elusive exercise. Oftentimes struggling students incorrectly point out their “weak abs” as the reason why they can’t do this exercise well.

This is not always true. One may have abs of steel and still not be able to roll their torso off the mat.

So what is the secret to a good roll-up?

The answer lies in understanding the bio-mechanics of the movement, specifically at the common sticking point: the pelvis. The roll-up requires the pelvis to take a journey from horizontal to vertical and back again to horizontal.

If you look at people doing the roll-up, you will notice that their legs seem to “slide” underneath them on the way up and again on the way down, sort of like a conveyor belt. This sliding movement is an indication that the pelvis is articulating in the hip sockets correctly.

In this video, Mary Jo Falvey, owner of the center Studio in Marietta, demonstrates some pre-rollup exercises that can help teach the body how to create the “slide”.