Class #1362

Balance Challenge Variations

35 min - Class


Melissa Connolly teaches a challenging Wunda Chair workout that offers challenging balances and series inspired by Julian Littleford. She includes a Pull Up, Frog, Push Up Combo in addition to the other sequences that will make you sweat. Have fun with this class!
What You'll Need: Wunda Chair, Knee Pad, Pilates Pole

About This Video

Dec 19, 2013
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Hi, I'm Melissa Connolly and I'm here with Jenny and Jessie. We're going to do a [inaudible] chair class inspired by Julian Littleford. Um, the only props that I have that you might need is a knee pad for your knees or a pull for balance work. Um, we're going to start with what Julien referred to as washerwoman. So you're going to stand facing your chair on, I'm going to have you in a plotty stance, a first position. So the heels are together, toes are apart, and the toes are just slightly behind the chair sitting up nice and straight. Let's found out. Find our nice grounded stance.

So the heels are pressing down into the ground. If you have that connection down through the feet, up through the inner thighs, up through your core shoulders are back feeling that length. We're going to take a nice deep breath. Inhale, raise arms up to the ceiling, keeping the arms in line with your ears. You're gonna exhale. Start to round the spine forward placing the fingers facing each other on the paddle. Press that pedal down towards the floor and stay there. Feeling that Nice continuous round shape of your spine. Inhale, raise the chest slightly and exhale. Press down. Inhale, lift and exhale. Press down. Lift as you press down.

Feel the connection in your abdominals, so using your breath, it's an exhale to lower the bar and you pull your belly up to the spine, feeling that opposition. Good you two more. Exhale. Press the bar down. One more exhale. Press the bar down from here. Start to roll your spine up. Really curl the tailbone under the pedal releases. Arms go down to the sides. You're standing up. Straight. Arms raise out to the sides. Up in overhead.

Exhale, roll the spine down the fingers. Face each other. Press the pedal to the floors. Closest to the floors you can get. Your upper body stays still. You're going to bend your elbows wide. Bring the pedal up to your forehead. Exhale, press down. Bend. Bring the bar to the forehead. Exhale, press down. Breathe.

M and for us down. Good. Feeling your shoulder blades really sliding down away from the ears. Feeling about nice continuous. See shape of your spine. Good as you press down, increasing the hamstring stretch, and let's do one more. Press the pedal down to the ground, dry your abdominals end and slowly stack that spine up. One Vertebrae at a time. Inhale, raise arms out to the sides, up and overhead. Exhale, roll the spine down.

Next and final washerwoman exercises a balance exercise. Press the bar down towards the floor. Now keep the upper body locked into position. Abs are tight, shoulders are down. Your skin. Start going to start to shift the weight to the balls of the feet. Raise the heels, lower the heels. Exhale, raise the heels, lower the heels. Exhale, keeping those heels connected.

This is a strong abdominal exercise as well, so really feel those abs. Pull in. Feel the tension of your neck completely relaxed and released. And let's do two more. Raise the heels lower again. Raise the heels lower. Now keep the heels pressing to the ground.

Dry Your abdominals in and roll that spine up. One Vertebrae at a time. Arms stay down to the sides. Good. I'll hand you ladies and pole. So let's have the right side of your body facing towards the chair. So you're going to step your left foot, um, towards the back of the chair and your right foot is going to go towards the front paddle. So the feet are stacked. If you're looking at the feet, it's heel to toe and mind. Hold the bar with the left hand.

Both heels flat, right arm out to the side. Energy through that arm fee. The stomach. Now also be that you're really pulling up and squeezing behind your left leg. Raise the right leg. Inhale Axa Presa down. Lift up. Exhale down 10 times three.

Press Down for press. Damn good. Keep going at that tempo. The left leg is your stable, like that leg it's working and the right leg is working just differently. God, four more. Exhale, lower. Three more lower. Last two on the SAS would hold the pedal down.

Raise up onto the balls of the feet from here. Lift the bar up and prs down. Lift, press. Damn good. Really challenging that balance a little bit more. Feeling the were coming from your core, your abs are in, helps with the balance to find a focal point in front of you. Find something to stare at, something that's not going to move. Now press that pedal down and stay challenging it even more.

As the pedal lifts your left heel lowers down and then press the pedal down. Raise the left heel up. Now lower the pedal as a right leg lifts. Press the pedal down left and for us down. Good. Raising up, lower down. Of course it's challenging holding onto the pole, but if you wanted to challenge your balance even more, eventually letting go of that pole.

And let's go for three and two last one. Lower the heels and raise the knee. Gently. Take the foot off of the pedal. Turn around. Let me just mention we're on balanced body chairs. We have two black springs, the second one from the bottom, so a medium to light resistance is what we started with what we're on now. So the right foot is back, left foot in front, they're stacked and here we go.

Just heels flat, raise a pedal, exhale, press down. Res, press down, going through those mechanics again. You're right, like you're really pulling up on that by pressing down from the back of the left thigh, engaging in those hamstrings and in the glutes. As you press down, you breathe out and you draw your belly in deeper and press down for three and two on this last one. Hold it down there. Good. You're going to raise up onto the balls of the feet. Find your focal wait, raise the leg up. Exhale, lower, good, staying nice and solid and that right leg, that right leg must fire.

That's your stable supportive leg. Only lifting the leg up as high as you maintain your balance pressing down from the back of the thigh. We'll do two more and now hold the pedal down as your left leg raises the right heel lowers and then press the pedal down. Raise the right heel, find that opposition, what the pedal is up. The heel is down. Good, lower and lift. If you are holding onto a pole, just see how much you're holding onto that pole. Always try to release tension where it's unnecessary. So relaxing in the shoulders and the neck, feeling about length, right up through the crown of your hat. And exhale, we have three and two.

Last one to fall. Good. Let go of the pedal. I'll take these poles. Next exercise we'll do pull ups front and sides. So face your chair once again. Okay. You're going to take your hands to the front edge of your chair and then place the balls of the feet right onto the pedal. Get a good grip with those toes.

So curl them over. Make sure your comfortable, your heels are together, toes are part, and then press your heels down below the paddle. That's going to make the work come from your hamstrings and your glutes as well as your apps. Let's shift the weight forward. Shoulders over the wrists, scoop your belly and round your back. Exhale, lift those hips up. Inhale lower almost to the ground. Actually lift or red. Inhale, lower right from that core left and lower. Good. You want to always feel that continuous c shape of the spine.

So notice if you're blocking any of that roundness in your neck. And then just let the head go. Let it hang heavy. And let's lift for three and two. Good. Last one. Really pull the belly in and up and lower down. Good. So let's do this. Take your body and shift to one side.

So what side do we have? So left yet. We'll go that way. So left hand to the edge, right foot or right hand to the other edge. Your feet are to the back of the pedal. So right foot is on the pedal. Left leg is right next to it. Round the back. Shift away over to the hands and left the hips up. One.

Lower down working those right bleaks. Lift to inhale. Lower lifter right up three and lower. Lift four and lower. Lift five stay here. Or straighten your left leg out to the side and lift for five more left. And there are little more challenging to and lower.

Really slide those shoulders down until the lift your hips. Two more. And last one. Good. Lower down and nice and easy. Just kind of swivel around there. Good. So you have the inside for on the pedal. Other foot right next to it. Bringing my hands to the edge of your chair.

Get the way over the hands and axial. Raise those hubs right up and down. Axial lift, up and down. Good. Right from the ABS. Pull the belly m two more with both p flat. You can keep those feet down or you can add a leg. Here we go. Lifted up and down. Little more challenging.

Your left foot stays flat if you can, and lift up and down. Two more left and lower. Last time. God. And now from here, be really careful how you step off. Get One foot grounded on the floor and then release the paddle. Good. Warming up. Okay, we'll go into lunges and mountain climber. Okay, so let's step your right foot onto the pedal guess and your left foot onto the chair. Okay, good.

So from here we're going to cross our elbows. Pull the stomach in, engage underneath your left leg. Exhale, raise your body app. Inhale, lower act feel. Raise the body up and lower. Keep going. What you want to feel is the work coming from underneath the left five so you think left hamstrings, left glute to increase that work more. The right heel presses down. That's very much Julian style. The more you press your heel down, the more work you feel in the back of your left thigh rather than the quadriceps. One more left, lower down, just an inch.

Hansen thigh round the back, mountain climber, bend the right knee and stretch too and stretch all the belly in stretch and four stretch and five good abs tight. Six exhale seven and eight keeping the body still head to hip. 10 lower it down. Nice side too. Do you like how I sped that up for you? I was being nice. Okay, so left foot. It was on the pedal, right foot onto the chair, crossing the elbows, abs, engage heel presses down here we got, we're going to raise the body up and down and raise up and I'm beautiful.

So really feeling that work from the right hamstrings and glutes. You've got to put the minds on the muscle right away. The left heel presses down and then you really squeeze your bottom on that right side. Nice job. You have three more and two. Last one. We're going to stay lifted lower just a bit.

Hands the thigh around your back and bend the knee. One and two and three and four and five. Good continuous round shape of that spine lasts three, two, one. Bring it all the way down. Ah, that one's done with Steph off of there. You're going to have a seat on your chair, so sitting basing your pedals, so just sit with your feet on the foot bar. We'll do seated foot work. Go to your heels. Hip distance apart. Again, crux, those elbows.

You want to set your sit bones really close to the front edge of the chair. Good feeling that length. Head to your sit bones. Breathe in, hold it. Don't move anywhere. Exhale, press the pedal down. Inhale, left. Exhale, press the pedal down. Inhale left. Now keeping the body really stable.

You don't necessarily have to push that bar down far. You want to keep your back still and pelvis steady as you breathe out and press down. Feel your abdominals pull into the spot. Go ahead and now press down and stay. We're going to change. The emphasis is going to go a little quicker and you're going to exhale up. So here we go. Exhale, up and up and three and four engage the ABS.

Six, seven, eight, nine and 10. Stay there. Go to your toes, knees together, feet together. Heels up high. Same thing, so elbows are crossed. Exhale, press the pedal down. Inhale, left. Exhale, draw the ABS in and left. Exhale, feeling again. Work from the back of your thighs. Exhale and inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Good. These ladies who do a great job keeping the back straight, the pelvis, staying stable. Do two more.

We'll hold the pedal down. Keeping that body Nice and upright. Let's lift it up. Emphasis is up and up and up and up. Right from the core. Exhale. Exhale. We have four, three, two, one. Stay there. Take your heels wide onto the foot by your in second position. Good. Well again, cross the arms right here. Now keeping the back straight.

Think about those front ribs coming to the back. Ribs, abs engaged acts, press in half. Exhale, press in hell. Core is engaged. Back of the pis are working. Yes, quadriceps two but concentrate on that balance in the thighs, quads, hamstrings, enter thighs, all working evenly. Two more. Press down, hold it down. Here we go. ACH, fill up and I and three and four from the ABS. Five, six and seven. Eight to more.

Nine, 10 relax. Lovely stuff off of there. Okay, next one I think is the most challenging of this series. It's a pull up frog push up combination. So come standing facing your chair both of the feet onto the pedal. Again, you can change your springs. It's a high repetition exercise, so if you want more spring to support you, I would just lifting it up. They did. I didn't tell them. They just said, okay, so your toes go onto the paddle. Your hands go onto the edge of the chair.

Heels together, toes just slightly apart. So we're going to round that back. We did a pull up. That was a prep. Now we're ready. Our backs are around. Get your way over your rest. Exhale, raise the hips up. One lower down. Bend your knees into frog bed straight in the legs. Do one push up, bend straight in that lower and lift the leg. Lower. Exhale, lift. Lower. Exhale, lift lower. Bend the knees. That's a frog stretch.

Bend the knees. Stretch two push ups. Bend, stretch. We go to three. Here we go. Pull up for three. Lift to lift one into the frog for three. Two, one legs are straight. Three pushups. Lift one using that strength too. Three, four pull-ups. Lift one. Use those abs.

Lift two 34 frog for good and three. Lift to one. Four pushups. Bend per us to purchase. Three press four, five times lower and lift. And to lift from the ABS.

Three for keeping the hills below the foot. Bar. Five, five frogs. Bend the knee as one. Good from your abs to exhale. Three, four, five, five. Push ups down, up one and up to breathe out. Three and four and we go to four. We're loving life. Lift one and two 30 can do air four and frogs one. And to abs in three, four, four. Push ups.

Lower. Lift one and lift two and lift three and four. We're going down three, two, one. Bend three, two, one. Push up. 32 one and two. Lift one to the frog.

One to the push up. One to one pipe. One Frog. One push up. Nice job. Whoa. They're sweating. Okay. Wipe off the sweat. They will like me on the next exercise. Let me blow your spring.

This one. Let's go to just one spring. Second from the bottom. Yup. Okay. This one will feel good. I'll give you an assistant stretch for the side stretch mermaids. So let's both have your left leg over that draped over the chair. Your right leg is up to the side. So start here.

You want the right foot to be flat like this. So Yep. Toes straight forward parallel. And you're gonna take your left hand to the paddle and your right arm raises just straight up. Go ahead. Now breathe in here. As you exhale, go up and over. So when I have Jesse, press weight into my foot and I'll give her an assistance to arrive and then lifting up and we'll do two more. I give Jenny a stretch, lift up and then exhale, stretching up and over and come on up. Good. One more time you guys. So you feel that you press weight into your foot and then you stretch a little, link that energy through the fingertips. Come on up.

We'll do the other side. So straight, straighten your left leg out. Right hand to the pedal. Left arm reaches up high. Okay, so pressing weight into my foot, reaching up and over assistance. Direct touch and lift God. And again, pressing apen over and lifting up. One more time. You guys reaching up in, over and lifting all the way up. Beautiful. Felt Gut. Okay. We'll go into some teasers.

So you're gonna sit facing the back of your chair. Okay. Your legs going to be out in front of you and your hands are on the pedal. Fingers facing back. Okay. We call this a body wave teaser. It's good for your brain too. So yeah, make sure you have enough room behind you. Maybe a hands distance or so. Um, from the back edge of your chair. Okay, so legs are long. We're going to start by rounding the spine down.

So scoop the belly in and roll back. Now lift the chest, lift the sternum arch up. Stay in that arch. Go back, Tuck the chin the chest and wave it up. Nice. We'll do that again. Round, back. Lift from the sternum. Arch it up. Stay in the arch. Go up and over. Tuck the chin. Wave it up. Beautiful. I can pull the belly in. A rural at down. Lift the chest. Open it up. Good. Stay there. Keeping that heart lifted. Go back.

Tuck the Chin and rural up. Feel scoop the belly and rural down. Lift the chest arch up and arch back. Tuck this into the chest. That was your last one. Roll Up. Okay. Raise your legs up to a full teaser. Make sure you have enough support behind you that you don't feel like you're gonna fall off. Okay. Take those arms up.

Now from here, your right arm is going to reach out and you can follow the hand with your eyes. Tickets to the pedal. Press the pedal down with a controlled weight is on both of the hips. Now lift up, reach both hands to the feet. Take the left hand down towards the pedal, look at it with your hand.

Press it down and then reach both hands up, reaching to the feet. Nice teasers you guys. And take the right hand down. Keep reaching energy through the fingers and the toes and lift up and the left hand reaches down and to that single arm teaser and you lift up. We'll do one more on both sides. Reached the right arm down, lengthen through the left fingertips, reach to the toes. Exhale lifted up. Last one here, reaching my hand down and lift it up. Take the legs down. Go ahead. We'll balance that with this swan.

So onto your stomach. Hopefully you don't collide legs. I think your gum. Okay, so hipbones onto the box and fine. It's, it really varies on the size or the length of your waist, so fine where you're going to be most comfortable and supported. Shoulderblades typically over the foot. Bar Legs are hip distance, so let's keep on legs just where they are nice and long and starts with slide the shoulders down and lift your chest up. Draw your abs in. Exhale, lengthen down. Good. Initiate by sliding the shoulder blades down into the back to come up. And then exhale, lengthen as you lower and again, the shoulder blade side down to left your stomach.

Engage as you go up in over. Good again. Shoulder blades, side down. Lift up. Exhale, go over and now stay there. Take your left arm out to the side, check that the hand is in line with your two shoulders and let's lift the chest. Breathe in and exhale lower. And again, inhale left and exhale, lower. Good, and again left and exhale lower. Nice. One more time.

Slide the right shoulder blade down to come up and exhale, stay down. Let's change hands. Checking that the hand is in line with the shoulders. And inhale, raise the chest up. Exhale, pull the belly in and go down. Good. Slide the shoulder blade down. Feel the neck in line with the spine and lower down. Two more. Shoulder down. Lift the chest. Exhale low are beautiful.

Let's do one more and left and lower. Take that hands to the pedal. We'll go into swan rocking. So start by lifting your Tufts up. The shoulders are down. Exhale, lower the chest and raise the legs. Lower the legs, raise the chest. Exhale. Lower. Inhale left. Exhale, lower. Inhale, lift two more. Lower and lift. Last one left and place to feet down to the ground.

Step off of there. Okay. Side work. Lie On your right side. So I guess you'll have your back this way. Okay, so you can take your right hand to the center of the paddle. Okay. Do we have room? Hopefully. So you want to feel that you're in a straight line. This is a hard one to get that body lined up. So from the feet to the hips, the shoulder to the head, stack it up. Okay. The left arm is down to the side. Feel these front ribs come to the back.

Ribs had is not lifted up, but it's lengthened. So visualize that length crown of the head, reaching to the opposite side of the room. Breathe in where you are. Axial, lift the torso just a bit. Inhale lower. We're going to do five. Exhale, lift two. And though the left leftover bleak exercise, lift three, lengthen down, and two more, four and damn good on this last one. Really pull that right shoulder down and stay there. Your left arm is gonna reach forward, up and around.

Exhale, reach full forward. Ah, and around. Go ahead, keep going. Three more in this direction. Take that crown of the head to the opposite side of the room. Challenging your balance forward up. Keep 'em down to the side. We'll reverse it to the I'm overhead and circle around. Take the arm overhead, circle around. Exhale. Three. Inhale around.

Exhale four. Inhale around. One more nice and come all the way out. We'll do the other side. Okay, so we get our left hip to the center of the chair. Left hand is down to the pedal and again, we're just on one light spring. Okay. Legs are stacked, one on top of the other. Now just take a moment to feel your body in this position. Toes to crown of the head, length and long stomach is end.

Breathe in where you are. Axle, lift the torso. Inhale, lower. Exhale, lift the torso and halo are good. Feel the belly button. Pull deep to the spine and feel those ribs come to the back. Ribs. Maintaining alignment like there are two panes of glass on each side of the body. Let's hold it up there and take the arm in front of you. Up and overhead and around. Exhale, circle and around. Good, nice and solid.

In the torso you have two more around. Nice job. Last one. Re burse arm goes up and overhead circle or round up and overhead. Circular. Now just re tell yourself shoulder down. Lengthen. Then now you're almost there.

Last two and around. Good job. Last one and we'll come off of there. Nice. Okay, I'm going to hand to you guys. I'm a pad, so actually I'll just place it here. So this if, especially if you're on a wooden floor, you might want a knee pad, you're going to be kneeling doing a tricep exercise. So I'll give you a little bit more resistance. Say two springs to the bottom is probably good. Um, the heavier the spring is, the more challenging the exercise is. So kneeling, we have the um, right side body facing the pedal. Good. Now you're going to take your right hand.

So fingers are forward in line with the pedal and the left arm is taken. Inhale, feel that length, feel your glutes tight, your abs tight. You're going to stretch up and over to the side, only going as far as your waist. And your flexibility will allow from here Ben, the elbow and per us two and press three and press. Keep going.

You want to feel bull shoulder blades sliding down into the back. Good. You want to feel the elbow pointing straight back. So you're working the try. Sapp you're also getting a stretch in your waist. Two more. Now keep the arm straight and lift up just a straight. Keep the left arm reaching to the ceiling and go up and over. Once again, second set bend and per us bend and press.

Good. Keep going again, front ribs, the back ribs and feeling that work in the back of the arm. Feeling your abs engaged. We're also working those right obliques and three and two and keep the arms straight. Lift the tourists up, keeping that left arm straight. Go up and over for the last set. Here we go, Ben. Press one, Ben, press two. Shoulder is down, abs are tight. Act XL, last four, three, two, one and lift all the way up. Nice.

They done turn around side too. So knees are open in line with the hips getting the left hand set so the fingers are straight forward. Now again, you want to be careful, I'm not arching the back, but keeping the ribs close. Tighten your bottom. Pull the belly in. Let's raise the arm up being true to your side. Stretch. Go over just where your body will allow and then bend the elbow straight behind you. Press down, bend, press down. Good. Keep going. Feeling the shoulder. Really pulling down into the back.

Good. The tendency is to raise the shoulder up when you do this exercise. So engaging down from the scapula. Last three, two, one. Lift the torso out, pull the ABS in. We go up and over a second. Set. Bend straight back. Press down, bend, press down. Feeling that sensation of going up and over the way is balanced on both of your knees. Good. You're working in the arm. You're working your core.

Last three and two and one. Lift up. Final set. Reach up and over and bend and per us two and press three. Exhale for left shoulder down bat, abs tight. Six. Exhale.

Seven finger left obliques per us last two one and come off, although way. Oh Nice. Okay. Stepping off of there. We'll keep the spring setting where it is. I'll take these pads out of the way. Let's go on to ab work on the box. So why don't we sit? So you're both facing in this way? I think. No, actually Jenny, why don't I have you face that way so your legs will just go straight to scissors. Okay. So you're gonna lie on your backs. Okay.

Not a lot of room on this box. So make sure you're supported. So you have enough of 'em your body like shoulder blades on the box and the lower back on the box. So straight to scissors. You're going to raise your right like up to the ceiling. Now hold onto your calf and stretch your left leg. Long snow right here. I really reached us like down.

So you're feeling the stretch in your so as engaged the back of the fat. Give that like two poles towards your forehead. Pull. Pull now switch. Now pause there for a second again, feel a stretch in the front of the left high and thigh and hip. Getting that so as stretch, pull, pull, switch up to tempo. Pull, pull, switch, pull, pull, switch, pull, pull, switch, pull, pull, switch. Good. It's a great stretching exercise. Feeling it in the front, the quadriceps, so as failing the hamstrings. Nice little release towards the end of our chair class and last four and three and two. One step off of there.

Okay, last exercise. Yay. We're going to do a handstand. So I have them set at two springs of the bottom. This you really would need to play with to see what is best for you. Okay, so you're going to place your hands on the floor, the feet, the balls of the feet onto the paddle. Keep the pedal worded. Okay, so ground those hands. Lift your head. Just pause there. Should feel kind of good in this position. You're in this, this looks gorgeous, this beautiful pipe position. So hips down to the hands. Now your core, real important. Tested out at first, just lower, slightly and left. Good. Kind of just go at your own level.

You are your own pace, you guys. So you just lower the legs to your point of control right before you feel like that pedal is going to fall down, which it will if you're new to this exercise. Good. Let's just do a few more. Really engaging those apps. Last one. These guys look amazing and now up your feet onto the floor and just pause there. Open your feet, hip distance apart. Hands. Walk into your feet.

Soften your knees. I'll do this with you. We're going to relax the head. We're going to shake that head out. No, we're going to shake the head out. Yes. And then just with a nice strong core start to slowly rule the spine up one vertebrae at a time and we are done.


3 people like this.
Great class
1 person likes this.
Thanks, Melissa! I can not wait to try this sequence tomorrow!!!
1 person likes this.
Loved this class! The teasers, single leg push downs...everything! I was going to do another class afterwards but this was a full workout for me! Thank you:)
This is a great wunda chair class. I am going to try it with my clients in the morning. Thx Melissa
This is a great wunda chair class. I am going to try it with my clients in the morning. Thx Melissa
Wonderful! Thank you so much! Melissa, you are quickly becoming one of my favorites!!!
Melissa just had the time to try your chair class.. I love it and cues are good. Love when you mention as well what you learned or comes from Julian Littleford
Feeling so energized! Thanks for this class!!
Fantastic....enjoying an all JULIAN week. Thank you for this one...that chair is a doozy! great sequencing here...creates nice symmetry. Thank you again!
Joyce Dev
loved this workout Melissa! Pefect 30 minute full body workout.
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