Exercise #4025

Rowing Back and Rowing Front

5 min - Exercise


Muscle Focus: Arms.

Objective: Strengthening the arms and stabilizing the powerhouse.

Reformer Setup: Start with one medium tension spring. Tension can be made heavier or lighter depending on the resistance desired.

Start Position: Sit tall facing the back of the Reformer about a hand-distance away from the edge. Legs will be straight ahead in one of two positions: ankles crossed or legs together. Hold onto the straps with the arms reaching out parallel to the floor, hands facing each other.


Rowing Back 1: Bend the arms and bring the hands in towards the sternum. Roll back to C-Curve keeping the hands in towards the chest then internally rotate the arms and reach them out to the side. Bring the arms back as the body flexes forward, then lift the arms up to circle them back to the front. Roll the spine up to sitting and return to start position. Repeat two or three times.

Rowing Back 2: Start with the arms parallel to the floor and bend arms to a 90-degree angle. Maintaining the shape of the arms, roll back and bring the arms down to the torso. Slightly increase flexion in the spine, then take the arms forward and lengthen the spine. Finish by sitting up tall and bringing the arms back to the start position. Repeat two or three times.

Rowing Front 1: Facing the front of the Reformer, sit tall with the legs together straight ahead. Place thumbs in the straps and start with the hands just outside of the sternum. Reach the arms forward then lower the arms so the hands touch the carriage. Internally rotate the arms as they lift up, then reach the arms out to the side as they lower back down. Bend the arms back to the start position and repeat two or three times.

Rowing Front 2: Starting in the same position as Rowing Front 1, flex the spine forward. Reach the arms out in front and internally rotate them as the spine extends to a flat back position. Sit tall as the arms open out to the side and return to the start position. Repeat two or three times.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

About This Video

(Pace N/A)
Mar 01, 2020
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Read Full Transcript

This is the rowing series. Now there are many different ways that rowing is practiced. Um, I will teach the version that I learned in my Bassey training. So here it is. Christie is going to demonstrate for us today and we'll start with the rowing back one. So Chrissy will face the back of the reformer with her legs out in front of her and she wants to orient herself so that she has about a hands with the space behind her.

Doing so will enable her to be able to put her lumbar spine on the carriage and have it be supported using one red spring. So Chrissy's sitting up nice and straight. She's going to take her arms out in front of her with the palms facing each other as she inhales. She maintains that upright position and bends her elbows, bringing her a hands towards her sternum, a little closer together, Christie. And as she exhale, she or rolls back into the carriage, bringing the arm position with her. On the inhale breath, we take the arms internally rotated and out to the side. On the exhale.

Breath the arms reach behind the body, comes forward over the legs and Christie's reaching her head forward rather than dropping it down into her leg. She's doing a beautiful job. She then lifts her arms up, circles around in her shoulder, joins to bring her arms all the way out in front of her again before she rolls back up to sitting and inhale to Ben. Brewing your little bit apart a little. We want a little space between the chest and the and the hands and then maintain that space as you exhale and roll back. Inhale, take the arms out to the side, stabilizing the scapula to bring the arms all the way back to the back of the body near the sacred. Then lifting the arms, taking the arms all the way around to the front of the body and once she arrives there, she rolls back up to sitting up straight and Benz her Elvis again. We'll do one more time. Exhale, keeping that orientation of arms to body in. He'll take the arms.

Exhale, bring yourself forward. Take the arms behind you. Reach up, go around to the front of you and roll all the way back up. Rowing back what? So now we're going to do the rowing back to the arms. Come up parallel to the floor. We check to make sure Christie's sitting absolutely upright, which she is. And we inhale to bend the elbows into a 90 degree angle.

Maintaining the shape of the elbow roll back and bring your arms down to your torso. Good. See the angle of the arms has stayed the same. There's a little hint of affliction on the inhale and then as you exhale, lean back. But take your arms forward. So you finished with a straight back in your arms in front of you, and then you come all the way back up to sitting. Just dropping your arms back into the start position in health at bend. Exhale, take that 90 degree angle down next to the ribcage.

Tiny little flection on the inhale. And then exhale, reach forward. Take the body in the arms in the opposite directions. And then the final inhale is to sit up to bring the arms down. Let's do one more. Inhale to bent. Don't lean back when you bend your arms. Exhale, roll back in. How Jaz. Find your abdominals and then reach forward. Lean a little bit back. That's it, Christie, and then sit all the way up to finish rowing back.

Let's turn around. We'll do the rowing front. Yeah, so in the rowing front we're just hooking the thumbs in the straps, not the whole hand. I'm going to start with the arms just outside of the sternum. Just the lights are a little bit off center, so we go. Exhale, the arms go for the straps will end up just underneath your arms. Inhale, touchdown. Start right away to internally rotate the arms, lifting them up. This is a really nice opportunity to lift up into the straps with the spy.

Rotate out to the side with the arms and bring the arms all the way down the hands. Turn the elbows, bend XL. Continue to sit up straight as you reach forward. Inhale, go down and up. Exhale X, certainly rotate the shoulders to bring the arms around Xcel to go forward. Inhale, touch, add, reach. Internally rotate. I think of catching the straps with my hands and pushing forward on them as I bring my arms around. Let's do one more exhale. Are you leaning back?

I don't think. I don't think you are. And then we hear each other and we take it around. Yeah. Good. So that's the rowing front one in the rowing front to this one in my opinion is the most complex one. So are you ready Christie? Here we go. So we start in that same position with the thumbs.

You're sitting up tall, you're going to breathe in. Now this time as you exhale you, I'm going to go a little slower on this one cause there's more steps. You're going to flex your spine forward and as you do that, drop your arms and next year ribs, three thing has happened in this next step one, the bat goes straight on the diagonal to the arms internally, rotate and straighten. Nope, just two things. Here we go. So reach out, extend through the spine, the arms come right to the ears, the shoulders are relaxed and then we sit all the way up. That was amazing Christie. And open Ben arms. Exhale, flexing the spine. Take the arms down. Inhale, lengthen up on that diagonal, taking the arms up towards the ear. Set all the way up and exhale to take the arms around.

Very nicely executed my friend. Exhale, roll down. Inhale, hit that flat back. You see how Christie's initiating from her back, not with her arms. That's exactly what we want. And reach your around. That's great. Chrissy, really nicely done. So those are the four exercises of the rowing series. Let us know if you have any questions.


Magdalena O
1 person likes this.
So beautifully taught ! Thank you Meredith so informative!
1 person likes this.
Love these quick tutorials! Great reminders/refreshers for everyone and gives all of the teachers' access to all programs rather than just the ones we've trained with. Thank you for taking the time to beautifully cue and execute these lovely tutorials. 
1 person likes this.
Thank you so much, Meredith and Kristi. I love both your teaching and these short tutorials are so rich and beneficial.
Thanks ladies!!  So happy to hear that these are helpful for you.  More on the way so keep watch for them.
Michael Mary S
These short tutorials are so helpful -- also a good reminder about proper techniques.  Love them.
2 people like this.
Thanks. Like much of the world, we are now in lockdown from Corona so it’s such a really great opportunity to review technique and cues
Heather keep the mind active!
Karen P
1 person likes this.
Thanks so much - so useful, especially if you're a student and in need of tutorials to guide you through each step. Keep it up!
Karen more to come as soon as we are back in the studio!!
Laurence F
1 person likes this.
Hi Meredith, I happen not to have access to a reformer at the moment. Could you give some alternatives with Theraband? I have tried, but it tends to flick a bit, especially when raising the arms above the head... Many thanks in advance...
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