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Reformer: Rollbacks



Reformer: Rollbacks

– sometimes the sitting up is harder than the rolling back!!

Again, just like Footwork and Feet in Straps, this is a mini series of exercises.
They are useful to help us learn important aspects of other more challenging exercises such as short box abdominals and Rowing on the Reformer to give to two quick examples.

What’s it good for?

🌟 Strengthen the abdominals.
🌟 Stretches the lower back.
🌟 Help to develop shoulder stability and arm strength – both the front and back of your upper arms (triceps and biceps ).



Rollbacks: quick “how tos” …

  • Springs = light / medium
  • Repetitions = x8-12
  • Headrest = down
  • Footrest = down


Rollbacks: the mechanics

Set Up & Ending Position
Sit on your sit bones with your ribcage directly over your pelvis. Put your feet flat on the headrest and have slightly bent knees. Hold the ropes by the “pears”. Keep your knees together throughout. If this is very difficult you can begin by sitting on a long box.
Inhale:  squeeze your bottom…
Exhale: draw in your abdominals and lengthen your lower back by rolling off your sit bones and rolling back until your sacrum is fully on the carriage.
Inhale:  by taking in a sip of air through your nose maintaining abdominal activation.
Exhale: roll back up keeping your abdominals pulled in and maintaining a slight curve in your spine until you sit up into the starting position again.

Rollback and Roll Up: as described above.
Roll back in rotation: rotate your knees to one side and your torso to the other.  As you roll down,keep the angle of your legs and torso the same throughout.  When you’ve rolled down, switch to the other side to roll up.  Stay rotated to roll back down again.
Posterior shoulder press: once you’ve rolled down, open your arms out to the side 6-6 times.  Inhale to press out, and exhale to return.  Then roll back up and sit tall.
Posterior shoulder press with arms externally rotated: (not on video) as above but externally rotate your arms so that your palms are facing backwards.
Roll back with bicep curl: as Posterior shoulder Press, but bend your elbow to do a biceps curl.

Hints and Tips

💡  Scoop your abdominals in and up to start.
💡  Sit tall at the start and between each repetition.  If you have tight hamstrings and / or hips – this might represent the greatest challenge of the whole exercise!
💡  Perseveree.
💡 Lock your elbows, keeping a connection between your shoulder blades and teh springs.
💡 Keep your thighs together.  Try with a piee of paper, a ball or a bolster between your knees – don’t drop it!
💡 Make your spinal curve as big as possible.
💡 Keep your shoulders down.  Imagine them melting don your back as you roll back and up again.


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