Forget Crunches, This Exercise Is A Better Way To Build A Strong Core

Boost Core Strength with the Pilates Roll-Up

Tired of endless crunches? Meet your new core-strengthening ally: the Pilates roll-up. While crunches have their place, the roll-up offers a gentler yet effective way to build core strength without the discomfort.

In the roll-up, you transition from lying on your back to sitting with your spine curved forward and arms reaching out, all done slowly and deliberately. Unlike crunches, there’s no room for cheating by using momentum or straining your neck.

This exercise demands focus and control, almost like a mindful meditation as you lift your spine off the floor. Plus, its slow pace keeps your core muscles engaged for longer periods, promoting muscle growth and strength.

Image credit: Oliver Rossi / Getty Images

According to Pilates instructor Millie Shiers, the roll-up offers a myriad of benefits, including improved spinal flexibility and increased abdominal strength. It also teaches your body how to articulate and control your spine—a vital skill for overall mobility and stability.

Here’s how to perform the Pilates roll-up:

  1. Lie on your back with legs extended and feet flexed upward.
  2. Extend your arms overhead with palms facing your feet.
  3. Exhale as you lift your head and chest, peeling your spine off the mat while reaching your arms forward.
  4. Inhale to pause at the top, then exhale as you use your abs to slowly lower back down, articulating your spine onto the mat.

As you execute the roll-up, focus on keeping your legs together and drawing your ribs towards your hips. This ensures proper engagement of your core muscles throughout the movement.

Incorporate the Pilates roll-up into your routine for a stronger, more resilient core without the strain of traditional crunches. With practice, you’ll not only build physical strength but also cultivate mindfulness and body awareness—a true win-win for your fitness journey.

Repurposed article originally published in Coach

Forget Crunches, This Exercise Is A Better Way To Build A Strong Core

Boost Core Strength with the Pilates Roll-Up

Tired of endless crunches? Meet your new core-strengthening ally: the Pilates roll-up. While crunches have their place, the roll-up offers a gentler yet effective way to build core strength without the discomfort.

In the roll-up, you transition from lying on your back to sitting with your spine curved forward and arms reaching out, all done slowly and deliberately. Unlike crunches, there’s no room for cheating by using momentum or straining your neck.

This exercise demands focus and control, almost like a mindful meditation as you lift your spine off the floor. Plus, its slow pace keeps your core muscles engaged for longer periods, promoting muscle growth and strength.

Image credit: Oliver Rossi / Getty Images

According to Pilates instructor Millie Shiers, the roll-up offers a myriad of benefits, including improved spinal flexibility and increased abdominal strength. It also teaches your body how to articulate and control your spine—a vital skill for overall mobility and stability.

Here’s how to perform the Pilates roll-up:

  1. Lie on your back with legs extended and feet flexed upward.
  2. Extend your arms overhead with palms facing your feet.
  3. Exhale as you lift your head and chest, peeling your spine off the mat while reaching your arms forward.
  4. Inhale to pause at the top, then exhale as you use your abs to slowly lower back down, articulating your spine onto the mat.

As you execute the roll-up, focus on keeping your legs together and drawing your ribs towards your hips. This ensures proper engagement of your core muscles throughout the movement.

Incorporate the Pilates roll-up into your routine for a stronger, more resilient core without the strain of traditional crunches. With practice, you’ll not only build physical strength but also cultivate mindfulness and body awareness—a true win-win for your fitness journey.

Repurposed article originally published in Coach