Pumping on the High Chair

This exercise will teach you how to keep it all together when you’re moving the pedal. And this is a key strength for all your Pilates exercises.

  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Equipment Needed: High Chair
  • Reps: 3 sets of 10
  • Warning: May not be suitable for some knee issues.
  • Questions: Contact us here

Pumping on the High Chair

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

Pumping was one of the first exercises I ever learned on the Electric Chair aka Pilates High Chair. I didn't really know it at the time just how many benefits Pumping holds within it. If you need to work on the connection to your seat... Pumping. Need to work on your tall back? Pumping! Looking for more midline connection? Pumping! And then there is even the added challenge of One Leg Pumping! This exercise will teach you how to keep it all together when you're moving the pedal up and down. And this is a key strength for all your Pilates exercises.

Try to keep all the connections you made as you lift the pedal up.

The High Chair has two spring settings. Typically, you'll have two top springs on or one top and one bottom. Sit on the pad with your back up against the chair and your feet on the pedal. You can place your feet on the pedal either on your Toes, Arches or Heels, depending on which position helps you find your connection the most. Also, each foot position can help you learn something new in your connection to other exercises around the room. Wrap your arms around the handles but be careful not to pull with your biceps. You want to feel your arms connected to your back.

Once you have chosen your foot position, find your tallest back and connect fully into the back of the chair. The feedback the pedal and the chair will give is key. Press the pedal down as much as you can and remain connected to the back of the chair. Then, as you lift the pedal up, try to keep the connections. Remember, Pilates is about closing the spring not opening it. Continue to press up and down 10x then repeat for two more sets of 10. The pumps should be fast, you are trying to make it difficult to keep it all together! For an added challenge, send one leg out and repeat it on one leg.


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

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

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