Every time I teach a Pilates mat class, I notice people’s eyes wandering over at the part of the studio that houses the apparatus. I know you’re curious about it, and yes, I know that the two Beginner-level classes a week that we offer on the apparatus may not mesh with your schedule (we offer a Beginner Tower / Cadillac class on Tuesday evenings at 5:45pm, and a Beginner Reformer Class at the same time on Thursday nights).
So in the next couple blog posts, I’ll highlight a couple of Mr. Pilates’ and Mr. Horvath’s (creator of GYROTONIC® exercise) array of exercise apparatus! Here we see Joe Pilates demonstrating an exercise on the Wunda Chair. The Chair is a wonderful tool to help really isolate the core, and work on your balance since it provides a very stable base of support. It was developed essentially as the first home gym in the 1940s. Exercises are done side-lying, prone lying, sitting, and standing on the chair, as well as from all types of positions to the sides of the chair (push ups, reverse planks, side stretches in kneeling, etc). So essentially, it can be adapted for any body. One can expect a lot of stability and flexibility work on the chair. It is basically a box, padded on the top for positioning hands and feet, and it has a pedal that’s hooked up to either one or two springs, depending on the exercise. Each spring also has three different settings, so you can make the exercise much harder or easier (the lighter the spring, the less help you get from it. The heavier the spring, the more help you get from it).
Joe Pilates evidently used the Chair to help people with knee injuries. I’ll tell you my favorite applications for it are really working on strengthening the shoulder girdle (aka your shoulder blade), and the pelvic girdle (aka your hips). Because the Chair provides you with ample opportunities to work closed-chain (meaning your hands and/or feet are in contact with a surface), you really start to see increased stability and balance kick in. So if you have knee pain, you need the Chair. If you suffer from poor posture, you need the Chair. If you want to tone up your abdominals, you need the Chair (are you starting to see a pattern here?
If you’ve never been on the Wunda Chair, give it a shot. Book a session to try it, whether it’s in our Wunda Chair class on Thursday evenings at 5:30pm, or during a private or semi-private session. You won’t be sorry!