This exercise combines two difficult variations of the Classic Pilates Roll up to make one very challenging exercise.
To do this exercise you will need a mat. Start by lying on your back with your legs lengthened long beneath you and your arms lengthened along the ground behind your head. Inhale to prepare and then exhale as you narrow your ribcage to lift your head, neck, shoulders, and arms. Be sure to keep your arms reaching towards the ceiling right next to your ears. Pause the movement as you inhale and then exhale again as you peel the ribcage away from the floor. Inhale again as you pause the movement and then finally exhale as you find your way to a seated position, keeping your arms next to your ears the entire time. Return to the ground with three breaths, first exhaling as you curl the sacrum to the ground, and then the ribs and on the final exhale release the head, neck, shoulders, and arms to the ground.
Things to think about
If you have osteoporosis start this exercise in a seated position and take three breaths to hinge your spine back towards the floor. Maintain a neutral spine the entire time.
This exercise can prove to be quite a challenge. The more that you can keep your arms next to your ears, the easier it will be to find the deepest abdominal muscles. It may take a few repetitions to perfect this exercise.