How to Do Boomerang Exercise in Pilates

Proper Form, Variations, and Common Mistakes

Targets: Back muscles, abdominals, core

Level: Advanced

Equipment Needed: Mat

Boomerang is an advanced Pilates mat exercise that comes near the end of the classical Pilates mat sequence. It is an opportunity to put many skills together in one flowing sequence of moves. Teaser and roll over are part of this exercise, as is the kind of abdominal muscle control that you call on in exercises such as rolling like a ball, where you hold a shape and affect your roll from the breathing and abdominal control. Be sure to have the choreography well in mind before you start. Breath and flow make the Pilates boomerang a joy near the end of your workout.


The boomerang and the rolling exercises that follow it in the classical sequence are more dynamic than less advanced Pilates moves, and you may even find yourself working up a sweat. This exercise will build the strength and flexibility throughout your core and back for good posture. It also builds long and strong legs and is a true test of coordination.

Step-by-Step Instructions

This is a mat exercise, to do it you need only a Pilates or an exercise mat. You can perform this exercise at home or at the studio.


Start Position for Boomerang

Pilates C curve
Begin in a C-curve. Credit: Susie Haggas: (c)2010, Marguerite Ogle

Begin the boomerang by getting into the correct position for this Pilates exercise.

  1. Sit tall on your sit bones with your legs outstretched and crossed.
  2. Seal your legs together and feel the sense of midline moving from your legs up your spine and through the top of your head. Maintaining that feeling as you move will help you keep the boomerang shape and give you a line of energy to move along.
  3. Hands are on the mat by your sides.
  4. Take your body into a Pilates C-curve.

Rolling Back

Advanced pilates
Credit: (c)2010, Marguerite Ogle

Now do the roll over part of the boomerang.

  1. Exhale: Deepen your C-curve and roll back taking your crossed legs overhead as you would in the rollover exercise. Your body has taken a boomerang shape and will keep that shape through the exercise.
  2. You are between your shoulders and the backs of your arms press against the mat, adding stability.
  3. At the top of the roll, uncross your legs and recross with the other leg on top.

Come Up to Teaser

Leg Lifts. Credit: (c)2010, Marguerite Ogle

Now do the teaser portion of the boomerang.

Inhale: Bring your whole body shape up to the teaser position. Keep your boomerang shape. This is an abdominal control move—not a drop of the legs and then a regroup.


Sweep the Arms to the Back

Leg Lifts. Credit: (c)2010, Marguerite Ogle

Continue the inhale as you hold your teaser shape and sweep your arms around to the back. Keep your arms high and perform it with your palms up.

Extra credit: Clasp your hands behind you as pictured.


Legs Down, Arms Around

Pilates boomerang exercise
Credit: (c)2010, Marguerite Ogle

Exhale: Stay in control of the shape as you smoothly let your legs come down and sweep your arms wide to the sides.


Stretch to the Front

Pilates exercise
Credit: (c)2010, Marguerite Ogle

Continue your exhale as you let your arms come all the way to the front (shoulders down, neck long, as you know) as you curve over your legs and prepare to begin the sequence again.

Start from here with a deep scoop of the belly. Your hands can come back to the mat along your sides to help you.

Repeat 5 more times.

Boomerang is followed by the seal.

Common Mistakes

Because this is an advanced exercise, you need to avoid any mistakes in order to prevent strain or injury.

Going Too Fast

As with all Pilates exercises, boomerang requires control and executing the move slowly.

Modifications and Variations

This advanced exercise has a small number of variations for those who need it to be modified and those who want more of a challenge.

Need a Modification?

If you have a weak lower back, you can modify the teaser portion of the move. Start with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on the back of each thigh to assist as you roll up into teaser.

Up for a Challenge?

As arguably the toughest Pilates exercise, simply perfecting boomerang to do with control each time is challenge enough. But one variation you might try is to do an oblique twist at the top of the teaser portion. Reach across your body to the left, then back to center, then to the right.

Safety and Precautions

You should not do the boomerang if you are pregant or if you have injuries to your back or neck. It is an advanced move that should not be attempted if haven't mastered teaser and roll over. Work with your Pilates instructor to ensure you have the strength and technique needed. Do not continue with this exercise if you feel any pain or strain to your back or neck.

Try It Out

Incorporate this move and similar ones into one of these popular workouts:

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