By Fernando Sadir • Edited by Amanda Altman
How often do you feel strongly connected within your body? Have you ever dreamed of living in this permanent state of muscle engagement? Well, if this is something you’re looking to accomplish, try this short sequence that will keep you feeling fit and strong all day long.
The Wunda Chair is an extraordinary and incredibly versatile yet simple apparatus. It was developed by Joe Pilates for many reasons, one of them being to allow the client the opportunity to maintain their daily practice at home when the studio was closed. It allows you to exercise your whole body in a small space—even
in your own living room where I like to use it.
I designed this workout for the Pilates instructor or advanced student that may have a Wunda Chair, too—as Joe wished. It’s a great way to take your daily “internal shower” and keep your energy up. You’ll feel your whole body connect with all of your muscles working, giving you that great Pilates sensation in just 15 minutes—so try to do it every day! PS
PROP Feel free to place a nonskid pad under the Wunda Chair to help keep it in place.
BREATH Breathe naturally, always focusing on the exhale.
• Concentrate on working your center the entire time, reaching your body up from your toes to the top of your head (or fingertips when your arms are overhead).
• This workout is for the advanced student or teacher. Avoid it altogether if you have any issues in your shoulders, elbows, wrists or knees.
• As you get comfortable with this routine, feel free to change up the spring setting to make things even more challenging.
Sneak peak of the exercises:
SPRING SETTING 1 in the middle
WHY DO THIS
• Works your back muscles, glutes, legs and arms.
• Opens your chest.
• Encourages a lifted center and control.
START Stand tall behind the Chair with your heels together and toes apart. Lie facedown on the seat with your hands on the pedal. Press all the way down with straight arms, shoulders over your wrists. Squeezing your seat, lengthen your legs into a straight line that’s parallel to the floor from your head to your pointed toes.
MOVE Slowly bend and extend your elbows, bringing the pedal toward your chest for 3 reps, trying to keep your back connected to your seat, chest forward and shoulders back. Lift the pedal up, reaching your legs away, and try to close the pedal without collapsing in your lower back. Now reach your hands into the pedal, pressing it down, and bend your elbows to dive deep over the pedal and lift your lower body as you open your chest. Return to start. Do 3 reps.
TIPS Make sure your back is connected—don’t lose the connection! Keep moving, thinking about the two-way stretch you’re experiencing.
ADVANCED Do this exercise with just one arm on the pedal; your other arm is straight out to your side.