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
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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.

Loving this Pilates exercise tutorial? Take weekly online Pilates mat classes with OPC Teachers.
Enjoying Lesley's teaching style? Willing to travel? Explore the world while maintaining your practice by joining Lesley on a Pilates retreat.

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pop up summer tour | 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

BACK IN THE SADDLE AGAIN

Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

Yes, we are focusing on Horseback in this week's workout. But, we are also giving a celebration to all of us who might be back in our Pilates saddle again. Or, maybe you've been in the Saddle but stuck in the mud. This week's workout it's designed to be a positive play time with an exercise many of us avoid and one that we may never get. But, hey, it's always fun to be out where a friend is a friend - get it? If you know the song you do!

Mat: Theraband and light weights
Reformer: no props needed

See ya in class,
xx~LL 💋

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, Theraband, 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.

    99 PROBLEMS BUT BRIDGE AIN'T ONE

    Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

    Shoulder Bridge has multiple phases. It's a phenomenal replacement exercise and also can be a huge challenge. You can balance your asymmetries while also revealing them. It's an exercise that can warm you up and can be part of an advanced series. This week we'll focus on exercises that benefit from Shoulder Bridge and what Shoulder Bridge is telling us about our practice that day.

    Mat: magic circle for the warm up. If you don't have a circle a ball and a theraband.
    Reformer: no prop needed but can use a theraband or circle for short box

    See ya in class,
    xx-LL 💋

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, magic circle, a ball, a theraband and a mat!

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

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, a theraband or circle for short box and a reformer!

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

    AIN'T NO PARTY LIKE A 100 PARTY

    Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

    So many people don't love the 100. But the 100 is an incredible exercise that when you know all its capabilities can be something you might look forward to...maybe even like a little bit. Or a lot!

    We often wonder why the 100 is the first exercise. I mean, it's got a lot going on for a warm up. To me it's a survey, a feedback, a mirror to how our body is doing that day. And, how cool it is to know how your body is feeling as you go into your practice. This way you can explore what your body needs in other exercises.

    Let's explore what the 100 is telling us and how to make it our own each day!

    No props needed.

    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.

      STAND BY ME

      Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

      The key to longevity is being able to get down to the ground and up again with as little assistance as possible. In this weeks class we are going to focus on how to stand in your feet no matter where they are in space.

      On the Mat we will have a playful ending that Joseph Pilates would do!

      The Reformer we’ll end challenging ourselves standing on our carriage. (Options to do the exercises off the Reformer too!)

      No props needed.

      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.

      FRENEMIES

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

      Hello, it's OPC Teacher Christine here! I used to get commended for my form and flexibility in any type of movement class I went to, even if it was my very first class. But what I struggled with was always hitting a plateau where I couldn't make progress or improvement. For me, that changed when I discovered the strength and control I found in practicing Pilates.

      Getting on the apparatuses puts your body in a position where you find strength, stretch, and control through your center. I was unable to fold my body like origami anymore. One of the mat exercises - double leg stretch - is great for finding a strong center regardless of what the arms and legs are doing.

      For this month, we'll explore using the concept of finding an inner lift of the belly away from the thighs to find a strength in our center, the two-way stretch of the limbs, while controlling the movement of the arms and legs whether they move away from center, or come back to center.

      Mat class: Magic Circle and squishy ball

      See you in class,

      Christine

      HANG 10

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

      Grip strength as well as upper body strength plays an important role in so many different exercises throughout the mat and all apparatus. Our grip can influence the connection from our wrists - to our arms - to our back. And building strength in our chest and upper back can help us connect more to our center in every exercise.

      All month long we’ll explore the feeling, the strength, and the position of our hands and upper body to see how our exercises change with a little extra focus. We’ll also play with ways to gain more strength and awareness in our chest and upper back to create even more connections to the exercises.

      Props:
      Chair - short pole* and a foam roller for balance
      *A thicker pole or roll down bar size might feel nice, but no worries you’ll find your connections no matter what you have on hand!
      Mat: a pole
      Reformer: No props needed
      Cadillac: No props needed

      See ya in class,
      xx-LL 💋

      I LOVE ROCK & ROLL UP

      Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

      Finding some love for Roll Up and Open Leg Rocker isn't easy! But, these two exercises unlock the potential for so many other exercises. And what we don't like we often need. So, let's dive into what we need to rock our Roll Ups and Open leg Rockers and see how that changes the rest of our practice in the meantime.

      Mat: Magic Circle, Pole or Theraband
      Reformer: have your shortbox pole near by

      xx~LL

      MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, Magic Circle, Pole or Theraband and a mat!

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

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

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