I have a question about roll ups in Pilates. It is my favorite exercise because I have to use my stomach, my back, and other important muscles. My teachers all know that I am a roll up fiend. (I have private lessons and also work on Pilates machines.) My question is this--I normally don't have any problem with the roll up, but have had difficulty with the roll down part. My back seems to give out. (I also have scoliosis.) I'm okay when I hold a weighted bar, which holds my shoulders in position when I go down. But we want to get closer to the exercise as it should be done.

One of my teachers came up with a trick. I hold a small weight ball (1 Kg.) and a switch it from hand to hand very quickly when I go down. When I do that, I go down like a charm, exactly as you're supposed to. I've gotten up to 8-9 roll ups before I get tired. Last week we tried a regular smallish ball with no discernible weight. I did the same thing--switching the ball from hand to hand as I went down, and it worked.

My teacher thinks that maybe I am fooling my brain somehow. Do you think that this is correct? If not do you have any explanation? Many thanks. Liz

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