Rowing 3: From the Chest on the Reformer

Reaching from your back is essential to this exercise and also the hardest part. Hugging your legs together make this exercise more possible and full bodied.

  • Difficulty: Advanced
  • Equipment Needed: Reformer (I love using the Contrology Reformer.)
  • Reps: 3-5
  • Warning: Not Ideal for some shoulder issues
  • Questions: Contact us here

Rowing 3: From the Chest on the Reformer

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

Rowing on the Pilates Reformer is a wonderful series for training our bodies and helping us connect to our back. In the second section of Rowing exercises, the challenge is to work and move with the springs. It can be very easy to cheat your way through these exercises, especially Rowing 3, also known as From the Chest. But if you can focus on growing tall out of your hips, you'll love the connections you make. You'll typically learn Rowing 3 and its partner 4 after learning Shave and Hug, 5 & 6. Reach from your back here, it's easy to do this from the chest.

Reach your arms wide to the side and grow taller as your arms lower.

With one heavy spring on, sit facing your footbar, legs long and hugging together. You are sitting against the shoulder blocks but not resting against them. Hook your thumbs into the handles and with a tall back bend your elbows back and hold the handles in line with your chest. Reach your arms forward towards the high diagonal and then lower your arms towards the carriage and then lift your arms up towards the ceiling and then open your arms wide to the side, pressing your palms down, resisting the springs and growing tall until your arms are down then re-bend your elbows and repeat 2-4 more times.

Fine tune this exercise by maintaining connection to your handles with your whole palm. It’s easy to let the pinky side of your hand leave the handle and then allow your shoulders and pec’s to take over. Hug your legs tight together in this exercise and Rowing 4 to help you lift out of your lower back and work your seat. The more you reach from your back the more possible it is to keep the carriage from moving as your arms reach wide to the side. Note that this is very difficult and most of the time mine moves!


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

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