Differences Between Wunda Chair vs. Reformer Pilates

If you’ve been wondering about Wunda chair and Reformer Pilates. Which is better for you, and how to use them for your practice? Learn more here!

  • Author: Lesley Logan
  • December 4, 2023
Home  »  Blog   »   Differences Between Wunda Chair vs. Reformer Pilates
thumbnail v1 reformer vs chair | Online Pilates Classes
thumbnail v1 reformer vs chair | Online Pilates Classes

Pilates Reformer or the Pilates Chair?

If you’ve been wondering which is better for you – the Pilates Reformer or the Pilates chair – this video is for you. Today I’m going to talk about the Reformer, the Wunda chair, and my favorite ones for you to use at your house, and how best to use them for your practice.

Hi, I’m Lesley Logan, co-founder of OnlinePilatesClasses.com. And I’ve been teaching Pilates since 2008. My teacher was one of Joseph Pilates’ clients. And so I love to talk about all my favorite things about the equipment and how it came about. So I can’t wait to share it with you.

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Why we use Pilates Equipment?

So why should we use Pilates equipment anyways? I mean, the reality is, is that he did create the mat and the mat is something we can do anywhere we are wherever we are, right? Yes. And also he realized really quickly that people had a hard time doing the Mat. We are disconnected in a lot of places, we have imbalances. And so he created the equipment, like the Reformer, Cadillac, Wunda chair and all the other things to help us get those connections, so we can apply them to the Mat.

Today, we’re just talking about the Reformer and the Wunda chair. However, if you want to talk about the Reformer and the Tower/Cadillac, we have a video for you and it explains all the differences and which one you should be using.

Benefits of Pilates Reformer

Alright, so let’s talk about the benefits of Pilates Reformer. Really, it’s just called the Reformer when you’re in a Pilates practice. And it looks sort of like a half bed with a footbar and handles and shoulder blocks, and it has springs. And it really allows you to “close the chain,” what that means is your feet are usually touching something, your hands are touching something, and then you have the support of the spring. So you can repeat a lot of the same movements you would on the Mat, but using some support from springs footbar, straps to help you get into it. You don’t always lie down, oftentimes you’re sitting, you can be kneeling, there’s even standing exercises on it. The more advanced your practice gets, the more different planes your body goes through as you use it. The reason to who use it, the benefits are that it actually is really supportive. And it really does allow you to understand your body and get feedback. Whereas on the Mat, you won’t have that feedback.

Best Reformer for your home

So let’s talk about a Reformer for your home. Reformers typically range between 80 inches and 91 inches, there are some that are a little bit longer, there’s even some that have been built for children that are a little shorter. But that’s typically your average length of a Reformer. The width is about two feet, could be wider. There are some companies that do that. They do take up significant space. Yes, there are some that actually go under a bed, or there are some that people try to sell that fold up. When you get to those compact ones, you’re actually losing a lot of the support and sturdiness and some of the other things you’d use for the Reformer. So the standard ones that I like people to get are going to be between that 80 and 91 inches.

Reformer Cost

Now the cost, there are going to be some Reformers you’re gonna find under $1,000, but you’re looking at between $1100, about $5000, maybe more dollars, especially if you get one with a Tower attachment on it. So they are a significant cost. And they take up some space. But you know what, you don’t need that couch anyways do you!

Contrology Reformer

Now, my favorite Reformer is going to be the Contrology Reformer at 80 inches, if you are under 6’3″ it’s totally a great size for you. If you are taller than that, then you might want to look at their 86 inch one. The reason I like the Contrology is it’s most like what Joseph Pilates created, and the way the springs are really there to support you. It’s got a lot of great things going on. However, I’ve got the link below for that Reformer, and also all the Reformers made by Balanced Body who makes Contrology. They have some really great Reformers and the range of prices there and also the length and size, so you can pick the one that’s right for you.

For more information on the Reformer and actually all the details about it (because I do go into a lot more depth), we actually have a video about the best Reformer for your home. So make sure you check that out. Also, if you want a Reformer workout with me, below in the description, I’ve got a 30 minute and a 50 minute Reformer workout. You can definitely try it out and see how you like it.

About Pilates Wunda Chair

Now let’s talk about the Wunda Chair. So sometimes people call it the Pilates Chair. I just want to explain to you that there are actually three chairs in the Pilates world. There’s a High Chair, there’s the Arm Chair, and then there’s the Wunda Chair. Some people also have chairs that are called an EXO Chair or NVP Chair. All of those are still under the Wunda Chair family and you can do a lot of the same exercises.

Benefits of Wunda Chair and History

Now the benefits of the Wunda Chair are they don’t take up less space. In fact, you have some of the styles you can actually flip over on the side and use as a chair in your own home! They’re super, super awesome. Now, other things are that it’s actually more difficult and challenging piece of apparatus. It’s going to be more of an advanced piece of equipment. Joseph Pilates actually created it as like the first home piece of gym equipment, which I think is so fun, and he would make them for his clients. He was in New York and so obviously they’d go off to the Hamptons for the summer and they would take their Chair with them and they would do their exercises. In fact a little video of someone doing her Chair exercises in front of the TV way back in the 60s – it’s really cool. So the Chair is awesome. It’s got so many exercises you can do on it… over 70 without us creating more variations of it, and it doesn’t take up a lot of space.

Wunda Chair Cost

So let’s talk about the cost of the Wunda Chair. You’re gonna find some in a variety of ranges, especially some that may be a little bit more of an at home piece. But I will say if you’re going to invest in this, I really love some of the actual Chairs, a lot of studios buy. So you’re looking around between $1,000 to $1,300-$1,400 for a Wunda Chair. So they’re not terribly expensive compared to a Reformer, but still an investment.

Why I love Contrology Chair

My favorite is gonna be the Contrology Chair, holy frickin moly, I have had other chairs, other classical Pilates chairs in my household. And when this one came, I was in love from the very first time I used it. The springs and the angle of the pedal, and the cushion on top really helps you engage your muscles right away. You don’t have to tell the muscles to turn on. So that’s been my absolute favorite. We’ll have the link for my favorite below. We’ll also have the link to Balanced Body’s and all of their chairs. They have a variety of them based on the type of Pilates you want to do. I will say check out mine because it happens to be less expensive than a lot of the popular chairs out there.

If you want to do a Chair workout with me, check out the link below. We have a 20 minute chair workout and I go live every single Sunday at 9am Pacific Time answering your questions, so if you have a question about your chair and how to do an exercise on it, I want to answer that! Makes you subscribe to this channel, hit the notifications and join us on Sunday. So no matter what your Pilates level or experience is OPC is a great place for you because we really helped meet you where you are and we help you use your goals and your needs to apply them to the classes that we have. Thank you so much for watching. I hope this was really helpful and have an amazing day.

By Lesley Logan

Lesley Logan, NCPT, is the founder of OnlinePilatesClasses.com, the first free online catalogue of Pilates exercise tutorial videos, where you can also find weekly online mat classes and workshops. When not teaching from her studio in Los Angeles, Lesley can be found traveling the world leading Pilates retreats, or offering Pilates business coaching to studio owners and other instructors through her private mastermind group. Connect with Lesley on instagram @lesley.logan or through the contact page on this site.

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this article are “affiliate links”, a link with a special tracking code. This means if you click on an affiliate link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. The price of the item is the same whether it is an affiliate link or not. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers. By using the affiliate links, you are helping support our Website, and we genuinely appreciate your support.

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March flashcard sale | Online Pilates Classes

SUCH A TEASE

ONLINE MAT & REFORMER PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

Teaser is probably one of the most photographed exercises in Pilates. Which makes people think it's a "peak pose." But, it's anything but! It's simply another layer to your Pilates practice. This week we will acknowledge how each exercise contributes to your ability to do Teaser (someday) and then how Teaser teaches you where to get curious in your practice.

On the Mat we will use light weights for one round of Teaser as they can be helpful for those still adding into their practice.
No props on the Reformer.

See you in class,

xx~LL

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, light weights and a Mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a Reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

UP, UP, & AWAY

ONLINE MAT, REFORMER, CADILLAC & WUNDA CHAIR PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

We are all going to feel like Super Humans after this month!!

Whenever I’m in a hard exercise (for me) where I’m holding myself up with my arms and reaching my legs away I picture myself with super human strength!!! I can do ANYTHING! It makes me smile and helps me stay STRONG.

This month our exercise is Up Stretch and when you think about it - reaching your legs away and staying strong over the carriage may feel a lot like flying!

We’ll be focusing on stabilizing our strong cores while staying equally balanced in our arms and legs. We are giving you some amazing building blocks by merging strength and stretch in all directions. You are going to get a little bit of everything that you can use to connect to your Up Stretch (and even your Roll Up and Knee Stretches Off).

Chair: Please have a foam roller and a balance pad available. We are going to challenge your balance safely.

xx-LL

CRAB SPECIAL

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

I've had a lot of questions about the Crab on the Mat and I think there are a lot of fears around it. I believe you can Crab sooner than you think! On the Mat, the focus is about the Crab which comes at the end of the order, so let see how everything we do is to prep for it. On the Reformer, there's so much we can strengthen and practice so that you can do the Crab. Let's make a Crab Special!

Mat - Magic Circle. If you don't have one, you can use a ball or theraband or an old pair of leggings

Reformer - no props needed

See ya in class,

xx~LL 💋

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, Magic Circle (ball, theraband or old pair of leggings) and a mat!

    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

    EVERY BREATH YOU TAKE

    Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

    An OPC favorite theme is back! This week's class is prop free and all about focusing on your breath. Focus on when you're holding your breath so we can explore why. And as best you can inhale and exhale as you move so that the breath can help you rock, roll, reach and stretch!

    Joseph Pilates was BIG ON BREATHING! I won't make you pull out your breathisizer but I do want you to fill those lungs up!

    See ya in class,

    xx~LL 💋

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, and a mat!

    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

    HIPPY KI-YAY, MAT & REFORMER

    Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

    To find the work, we’ll use a hip band and mix some reformer exercises into the mat workout and some mat exercises into the reformer workout. We’ll work on finding connections to our hips while loosening them up and making them stronger.

    Mat Props: hip band, light weights, and something to prop the hips up.
    Reformer Props: hip band and your typical reformer pieces

    See you in class,

    Rachel

      MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, hip band, light weights and a mat!

      >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

      REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, hip band and a reformer!

      >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

      ANCHORS AWEIGH!

      Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

      Anchors Aweigh is often misspelled as Anchors Away! Did you know this? And did you know this - The expression anchors aweigh means all the anchors are clear of the sea bottom, and the ship begins its voyage. So, I actually thought I was being clever when I changed it to Anchors Aweigh because I want to use the 1 lb weights as a prop. Also, I want to use this theme to bring focus and clarity during each exercise about what's not moving vs. what is moving. And really keeping what’s not supposed to move as still and stable as can be. May be harder than you think to do, so let’s have fun with it! Think of it as a game.

      Mat prop: 1 lb weights (water bottles or soup cans as substitutions ) + pole (dowel/broomstick/swiffer as substitutions)
      Reformer prop: 1 lb weights (water bottles or soup cans as substitutions ) + pole (dowel/broomstick/swiffer as substitutions)

      See you in class,

      Christine

      MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, 1 lb weights, pole and a mat!

      >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

      REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, 1 lb weights, pole and a reformer!

      >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

      WINTER WONDERLAND

      Online Mat, Reformer, Cadillac & Wunda Chair Pilates Class Descriptions:

      OPC Teacher Christine loves the snow! Snowy days make her happy. So during the winter season, her Pilates practice is more to support her snowy activities. Skiing, Ice Skating, Snowboarding and more! In class, we’ll work on some breathing, balance, lower body stamina, and upper body strength to carry all that gear!

      Cadillac/Tower = no props needed
      Wunda = no props needed
      Reformer = no props needed
      Mat = no props needed

      See ya in class,

      xx-LL 💋

      THE BIG 4-6

      ONLINE MAT, REFORMER, CADILLAC & WUNDA CHAIR PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

      It's Mindi's BDAY month y'all and she is turning the Big 4 6!!! Oh yeah, which means that we are going to be doing either 4 reps of an exercise or 6!!! Alternating between the two means you get to explore what it feels like to have more reps or less reps to play with an exercise.

      Mat class - have your magic circle ready!

      See ya in class,

      xx-LL 💋

      Wish I was a Baller

      Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

      In this class we will use the small ball in a variety of ways to find more connection in each exercise. Finding your upper back, Thass and inner thighs to name a few. We have added a few variations and a little creativity to make this class fun and challenging. Hopefully in the end you will feel like a baller!

      Mindi

      MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, small ball and a mat!

      >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

      REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, small ball, sitting box and a reformer!

      >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.