Shave and Hug on the Arm Chair

Practicing Shave and Hug on the Arm Chair provides feedback. You can feel if your back is tall, your arms are connected and where you tend to “lose it.”

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Equipment Needed: Arm Chair
  • Reps: 3-5 of each variation
  • Warning: May not be suitable for some shoulder issues.
  • Questions: Contact us here

Shave and Hug on the Arm Chair

** Private online Pilates sessions available with Lesley Logan on request, click here **

Shave and Hug are the simpler of the Rowing Series exercises. But, they are also the easiest to cheat. Without knowing it you may be slouching, arching or moving in and out of your center as you move your arms. Practicing Shave and Hug on the Pilates Arm Chair provides feedback. You can literally feel if your back is tall, your arms are connected and where you tend to "lose it." The lighter springs allow you to feel how wide you can make your hug, avoid using your pecs or triceps where your back should be working.

Allow the springs to provide feedback on how far to move your arms.

Sitting tall up against your Arm Chair holding the handles in your hands, press the soles of your feet together to connect more to your seat. Allow your back to become wide and take up space. Especially around your shoulders. Soften your sternum to allow the space between your shoulder blades to touch the chair. Press your arms straight to feel the springs connect your arms to your back and your center. Feel the whole palm of your hand connect to the handle. Keep this connection no matter if you are doing Shave or Hug.

Shave: Place your hands behind your head, index finger and thumb press together and feel your elbow go wide. Reach your hands up without disconnecting your fingertips. Pull your arms down as you bend your elbows. Repeat 3-5x. There is an element of reaching forward and up. Do not allow your elbows to narrow and make this a tricep extension. More advance: Round forward slightly and continue to "shave" 3-5x.

Hug: Sitting tall up against your chair, open your arms wide. Ensure that your hands are straight up and down and the pinky side of your hand is connected to your handle. Reach your arms forward and towards each other from your back. Press your arms wide without scrunching your shoulder blades together. Repeat 3-5x.


Be sure to check out more of my online Pilates Arm Chair exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Arm Chair training!

Loving this Pilates exercise tutorial? Take weekly online Pilates mat classes with Lesley Logan.

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