The Wunda Chair was the first piece of home gym equipment. And, it’s a great piece of Pilates equipment for Pilates lovers of all levels. If you get one like mine, you can even set it up like a chair in your house! But, unlike the Mat and Reformer, the Wunda Chair doesn’t come with an order. So, how can you create a workout for yourself on your chair whether you are a teacher or not? Here’s how I create all my Wunda Chair workouts:
1) Determine the goal: Is your goal to get better at another exercise in your Pilates practice? Or maybe it’s to help a weakness on one side of the body? Perhaps you want to simply kick your own booty? Or create a stretch and strength flow that leaves you feeling like you had a massage? Whatever you desire we can create in this workout on the chair but we need to know the goal.
2) Create a beginning, middle and end: To do this I like to know where I want to end up. If I want to end up with sweat dripping down my face, then I put some of the more difficult exercises at the end with 2-3 symmetrical exercises at the very end designed to put me back on my feet like the Push Down and Push Down From the Back.
If I know how I want to end the work out, then I can work backwards on what exercises should come before those to help warm me up. For example, if I want to end sweaty and I know I’ve got two good standing exercises to cool me down and leave me on my feet then I put a series of 6-8 exercises that are hard together before them. Let’s say it’s Pull Ups, Going Up Front both legs, Side Pull Ups, Going Up Side both legs, Standing Press Down Front into Mountain Climber on both legs. Then I need exercises that will connect my arms to my back, my legs to my center and some extension and side bending to balance out this flexion.
The middle of my workout would have some of those elements in it and the beginning of my workout would lead me into those middle ones.
I also love to start with Footwork and then the 100 and ab series on top of the chair. Those always get my blood flowing before I get to the middle.
Determine your ending and then work backward from there to get you to your middle and then your beginning.
3) Play with flow: I like to choose a spring setting and then flow one exercise into the other. Even if I do everything on one side and then do the series and then go back to the other side. It’s more fun and keeps the workout feeling like a workout. So, I choose everything on 1 spring or 2 springs and then when I am done with that chapter I will switch springs. Of course I will go back and forth with in the workout but I try not to have to switch them ever exercise. For example, I might do Swan, Single Arm Swan, Mermaid on top of the chair to one side then Teaser on top of the chair and then Mermaid on top to the other side and then end that series with a Horseback. I wouldn’t do Swan than Pull Ups then Teaser than Tendon Stretch. There isn’t anything wrong with that it just keeps taking me out of my center so that makes it harder to remain connected.
4) Keep it balanced! It’s not always easy but try to do some exercises in every Spine shape. There are 5. So, find a balanced amount of Tall back, Round, Extended, Twist and Side Bending exercises. This way you don’t do an entire workout of Flexion and Extension or Tall back and Flexion. You want a little bit of everything.
5) Have fun: It’s Pilates! And the chair is ridiculously challenging. Use this piece of equipment to tell you where you need to do more work in your Mat and Reformer and also help you do better work in your Mat and Reformer. The Wunda chair reveals everything you need more connection. So, try not to take it too seriously.
I would love to hear what Wunda Chair workouts you create. You can email me or post them in the comments. And, if you’re looking for a Wunda Chair workout then try this one with me. You can see how I take every one through a few series and flowed one exercise into the next.