Twisting Swan on the Wunda Chair
Not often done but one of my favorite twists in Pilates is the Twisted Swan on the Pilates Wunda Chair. It’s not easy and not ideal for everyone! But, if it’s possible for your body its a great way to challenge your twist, extension and even prepare for things like Snake or the Up Stretch Combo! There are two versions of this exercise. One with your legs together and one with your legs split apart. Try doing this with your legs together first. If that is going well then you can try adding the split leg version. But, if it does not forgo that version for now.
The movement is fairly small and more about length than lifting up.
Have one middle spring on and then to set up for this version of Swan is to sit on one hip in the center of the chair and then press the pedal down and send both legs straight out and together. To square off your shoulders, you may have one hand flat on the pedal and the other hand could be anywhere from flat to fingertips. It really depends on your range and flexibility. Squeeze your legs tight together and reach your sacrum for your feet. Be aware that in this exercise it’s easy to fishtail your legs around or try to twist so much that your top hip falls forward.
Once set up reach your heart forward and your legs away from your head and try to lift the pedal up. Be careful that you don’t let the pedal push you into a backbend. The movement is fairly small and more about length than lifting or backbending. Lower the pedal with control and then repeat 2 more times. If that goes well and you don’t feel your hips falling in either direction, then reach your bottom leg forward and your top leg back and repeat 3 more times. Then switch sides. You may notice one side is easier than the other.