Pulling Straps is an excellent exercise for connecting your arms to your back and strengthening your back body. When you don't have a Reformer, you can still do your Pulling Straps exercises on the Pilates Mat. All you need is a set of 1 or 2 lb. weights. Give this exercise a try if you are working on getting more length in your Swan, Long Stretch, and Breaststroke. And, it's a great warm-up for your Teaser, Arm Circles and more. You can also use this version on the Reformer if the springs are too heavy for you in the beginning.
Reach your chest forward more than up, press your legs down and away.
Laying on your stomach with your legs long and together, reach your tailbone towards your heels. If you have back issues, separate your legs slightly but maintain parallel legs. Starting with Pulling Straps 1, hold your weights by your ribs, elbows bent and up towards the ceiling. Your chest will rise slightly but focus more on it pulling forward. It's easy to extend from the lower back. However, you want to get the longest length you can find in your extension. As you reach, your hip points up away from the floor, you'll feel your center supporting the length in your lower.
Lifting your fists, holding the weights up off the mat about 1-2 inches, reach your hands back towards your hips. Find length in your upper back and then as you bend your elbows keep your elbows up so your fists can clear the mat. Repeat 3-5x. Then for T-pull take your arms wide to the side and maintain your palms face down. With your chest lifted and reaching long take your arms and reach them back. Pinky side of the hands reaching for each other. Then open the arms back up and repeat 3-5 times.
Be sure to check out more of my Pilates Mat exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Mat training!