Rowing with Weights on the Mat

Do all six Rowing exercises or pick and choose what you want. You will see some variations that you can take advantage of the shoulder-back connections.

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Equipment Needed: 1 or 2 lb weights, Mat
  • Reps: 3-5 each variation
  • Warning: May not be suitable for some neck issues.
  • Questions: Contact us here

Rowing with Weights on the Mat

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

Rowing is a Pilates favorite! Normally done on the Reformer and sometimes on the Cadillac, having the option to do it on the Pilates Mat is essential for when you can't get access to a Reformer. You won't have the same resistance to work against but it's a great way to challenge your entire center, connect your arms to your back and spice up your Mat practice. You will see some variations in this video so that you can take advantage of the shoulder-back connections. Do all six Rowing exercises or pick and choose what you want.

Use your legs to maintain your inner thigh and seat to sit tall!

Into the Sternum: Sitting on your mat with your legs long and hugging together hold 1 or 2lb weights in your hands. If you have a strap use it. Hold the weights into your chest and round back until your legs move or until you've at the longest flexion you can hold. Open your arms out to the side, press them back and add 3 pulses. Then, round up and over yourself as you reach your weights back and try to touch them with straight arms. Lift them up and circle them around. Repeat 3x.

90 degrees, aka Flat Back: Holding your arms just slightly higher than your shoulders and with your elbows bent a little greater than 90 degrees, hug your legs together and lean back. Then, sit tall, round forward and reach your arms back behind you. Pulse your straight arms up 3x and then circle your arms around and sit up. Repeat 2-3x.

From the Chest: Bend your elbows up by your chest. Sit tall and reach your arms forward towards the high diagonal, lower the arms down and then lift them up to the sky. Open your arms up and press your arms down. Repeat 3x. You can add more lower and lifts in front of you if you would like to add some more work.

From the Hips: Place your weights by your hips, round forward and slide your hands forward, lift your arms up and sit tall. Open your arms out to the side and press down. Repeat 3x. Feel free to add side bicep curls.

Shave: Sit cross-legged and place your hands behind your head and then press the end of your weights together and lift your arms up and then bend down. Repeat 3-5x without making it a tricep exercise.

Hug: Switch the cross of your legs, open your arms out to the side. Have a slight bend to your elbow. Be sure that your hands are lower than your elbows and your elbows lower than your shoulder. Hug your arms towards each other and use your back to open your arms up. Repeat 3-5x.


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

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

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