Obliques Roll-Back | Pilates Mat Exercise | Abdominal Exercises

Obliques roll-back
Personal/Fitness Training Blog

What a way to work the waist! The obliques roll-back primarily targets the obliques however it also adds great mobility to the back, isolating one side of the body at a time and relying heavily on pelvic stabilisation.

Your spine and scapulae are a focal point. You need to remain extremely stable during rotation as the abdominals (rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis and especially the obliques) are recruited to support your back.

The obliques roll-back  is an undeniably powerful exercise devoted to sculpt, tone and streamline in just the right places, leading you faithfully towards your enviable waist-narrowing goal.

The Pilates obliques roll-back

Here’s how to perform the obliques roll-back:

  • Start in a seated position with your knees slightly bent, legs and feet hip-width apart. Your feet must be firmly planted on the ground.
  • Extend your arms and reach out in front of you with your  fingers gently together and your hands facing the floor.
  • Stabilise your scapulae far away from your ears.
  • Sit tall out of your sitting bones imagining a piece of string attached to your head and pulling you up towards the ceiling. Squeeze you glutes to achieve this.

Breathing sequence:

  • Inhale: Prepare,
  • Exhale: Drawing your abdominals in as if you are’ zipping yourself up‘ from the pubic bone to the belly button.  Keep your naval connected to your spine at all times. Rotate from one side of your body to the other keeping your arms long and at the same height as your shoulders. Go as far as your can without compromising your abdominal stabilization.
  • Inhale: Return to your starting position and repeat on the other side.

Body benefits

  • Strengthening  of the  abdominal muscles,
  • Strengthening of the multifidus muscles, which are a series of muscles attached to the spinal column that help to alleviate body weight pressure off the vertebral discs,
  • Creating awareness about scapulae stabilisation which leads the correction of posture, and
  • Strengthening of hip flexors (group of muscles located at the front of the hip).

Points to ponder:

  • Keep your shoulders depressed throughout the exercise. To achieve this draw your shoulders away from your ears and sink your wing bones down to your hips. This will ensure scapulae stabilisation.
  • Keep your arms at one level throughout.
  • Keep your abdominals tightly connected throughout.
  • Avoid this exercise if you have disc-related back problems.
  • To target the inner thigh (hip adductor) place a small ball between your legs and squeeze it together while lowering and rotating your spine.

This exercise is for the more advanced Pilates enthusiast who is comfortably au fait with all Pilates principles and has already mastered the pre half rollback. Whatever your shape of waistline, stick with daily repetitions of obliques roll-back and you are sure to see results!

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