Many new students experience problems with the pre-rollup when they first start taking Pilates classes. This is especially common in people that have back problems, weak abs or tightness in certain muscles. Here are some helpful hints to mastering the pre-rollup.
When the knees are in a bent position it is easier to rollup if your heels are further away from the hips. Move the heels closer to create and extra challenge. Make sure to always exhale at the point control where you get stuck. Make sure to never hold your breath. The exhale helps to contract muscles that help to bring you to seated. Gently assist yourself by grabbing behind the legs and guiding yourself up to a seated using a little arm strength (while still contracting those ab muscles). Try weights in the hands. Usually 3lbs. is just right. Make sure you always have a tennis ball distance from chin to chest. Look to where you want to go. Look down and stay down. Look up...come up! Try anchoring the feet underneath the couch. This takes the focus off the feet popping up. Make sure that the pelvis is gently flattening into the mat from the start so the pelvic floor is fulling engaged. Think of pressing every vertebrae into the mat. Always use controlled movements all the time. Throwing the arms and kicking to get up to seated position are just cause for injury to the back and don't work appropriate muscle groups. Remember it is always ok to just come up as far as you are able. Just because everyone else in class can rollup doesn't mean you have too. Practice makes perfect!