Push Down: Front on the Wunda Chair
Push down on the Pilates Wunda Chair is the Roll up Standing. That sentence was such a light bulb moment for me in my Pilates journey! When I first learned the Push Down I thought “cool, a hamstring stretch.” But, that was just the tiny beginning. You get a true sense of how to “root down to rise up.” I find that the Push Down is often harder to understand and feel than most of the exercises on the chair. Also, while it looks like a prep for the Pull Ups don’t let yourself be fooled. It’s a great partner in crime to the Pull Up but it’s so much more than a prep.
The tricky part is not sending your seat back to round forward.
With one middle spring on the Wunda Chair, step one of your own footsteps away from the chair. If that’s too far, inch closer. Standing with your heels together and your toes apart, reach your arms up to the sky. Press through all four corners of your feet and hug the back of your legs together. Reach your tailbone towards your heels and your waist up. The tips of your shoulder blades are pulling towards each other but your upper shoulders are still wide. Your low ribs are pulling in on the front side and opening up wide on the back side.
From this tall rooting and reaching position, begin to round forward. Imagine you are doing the roll up from a standing position. The tricky part is not sending your seat back to round forward. Maintain your reach down from your lower back to your heels and your hips over your heels as you push the pedal down. Once you find the end range of your reach, bend and straighten your elbows to close and open the spring 3x. Keep the elbows narrow and feel your shoulders find their place on your back with each pump. Then with straight arms pull your center up, reach your legs down and lift the pedal. When the spring closes press it back down and repeat the pumps and straight arm lift, 2 more sets. After 3 full sets roll up with straight arms and then standing through your feet roll all the way up!