Class #3042

Split Pedal Wunda Chair

35 min - Class


You will definitely feel the two sides of your body with this Wunda Chair workout by Niedra Gabriel! She uses the split pedal the entire workout so you can work on challenging your abilities. In addition to finding symmetry, she focuses on alignment and technique to make sure you are working the best you can.
What You'll Need: Wunda Chair

About This Video


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Good afternoon everybody. I'm here with two very good friends and peer teachers of mine. This is Chrissy who teaches in the Pacific Palisades and Heidi teaches in long beach. They are both used to be professional dancers and we're going to be working with the chair and it's a new piece of equipment for us working on this type of a chair. So we have two springs, we have four hooks and we actually working with the split pedal throughout the whole workout so we can really challenge these ladies abilities with their symmetry and even work as they go. So before we actually get working with the chair, I would like you to step a little bit backwards and do a traditional warmup that Ramana always used to do with us with your legs and upper [inaudible] stance like Jeannie position and lift one knee, and then the other knee and your knees are going forward in front of you.

So you're marching. Try to keep the hips very steady and down and down and down and down, keeping the hips nice and steady and down and down and down and down. Very good. Now bring your feet in a Pilati center. Little, little bit wider. We going to do a plea, eight to warm up the hips and you want your arms in front of you. So as you go halfway down, your hands will rest on the chair. So start bending your knees and bringing your hips down towards your heels.

Reluctantly leaving the heels. Look at these lovely girls and press straight up again. So imagine your back is flat against the wall. So Heidi, fill out the back ribs a bit more and down you go. The knees go over the heels and the tail goes straight down and press back up. Now normally one more time, I would want them with their hands on the chair, but they're way too good for that.

So they're just going straight for the simple version without any hands. And press back up. Now bring the hands behind your head with your elbows wide. Exactly Chrissy. And down you go again. Lifting up crown of the head is going right up to the ceiling and then push into the floor to bring yourselves up. Now before you go down again, feel the heels into the floor as you go down. Reluctantly lift the heels.

Don't let them go up before you need to so you really stretch. And then press the heels down to press your body up. Very nice. One more time. Nice long body, long spine, strong center, and press the heels down to bring yourselves back up. Very, very good. Get onto the top of the chair for the hundreds. So laying yourselves out.

You want your hips quite close to the edge. Now lift your chest up as much as you kind of want that whole lumbar spine nice and flat. Extend the legs out and start pumping. Breathing in and out. Two three, four, five in two, three, four, five and out. Four, five and in two, three, four, five and out. Now take the right play and lower it down and lifted up and switch your legs, other leg down and lifted up and see if you can lower both legs down and finish your exhalation and come on off. Very, very nice. So pressing down, come on down to the back. Stand in the back of the chair. You want your feet in a [inaudible] stance, and we have the inner spring on the second from the bottom hook.

So I'm naming the hooks, number one, number two, number three, and number four, inner spring or outer springs. So our let you know as we go along. So two springs on the number two hook inner spring, so the toes are touching the edge of the chair. Lift your arms up over your head, scoops the navel, narrow the hips and bend over. Placing your hands on the top of the step.

Now it's a split step, so as you push down, make sure the step is even to press all the way down towards the floor. Your weight will go forward. Keep going, keep going, keep going, keep going, keep going. And then roll yourself to the top of the spring and press down again. Push, go down, down, down, down, down, down, down, down, and open up the shoulders as much as you can and roll up and roll down again, down, down, down, down, down. Really lengthen the delta. Not pumped. Three times here, Ben, press. Ben Press, Ben, press and roll to the top of the spring. And one more time like this, press all the way down. And Ben Press, Ben, press, Ben, press and roll to the top of the spring. All the way up.

Come up to standing. If the arms up over your head all the way out and down. Come through kneeling position on the chair and I would like you to bring your knees right to the front and bring your hips down to you're sitting into your heels. So we'll be pressing down from this position and your hips will be lifting up reluctantly. So start with your arms up, bring the arms down to the step so it's like a child's pose ahead is dropped down and presses low down as you can. Your hip will come up. But use this to open up your lower spine and then bring your hips back to come to the top of the spring and lower down again to try and open up and let the shoulders go up as you lengthen and then lower back, pulling the back ribs into your spine. And again, slide the shoulders forward. And so you've, you're looking to get as much length in the side body and the lower trunk and come back up one more time like this, pressing down, lengthening the hips, come up reluctantly, and then press the sit bones back to bring you back down. Come on up to an upright position and now move your knees backwards so they will be in the middle of the chair and lift your arms up over your head.

So now we're working into the ABS and your aspiration is to keep the hips as much as you can right over the knees and not let them move back if you can. So scoop the navel and bend forward towards the chair towards the ledge or this step or the double step. And now keeping the hips as far forward as you can. Push all the way down, down, down, down, down, down, and your back will have to extend a little bit. Yes. And now scoop the naval to bring yourself up and you tried to stay as forward as you can see it's a lot of work into the trunk. Again, down, you go down, down, down, and lengthen out, lengthen out, reach with the shoulders to get that traction and school the naval to bring yourself back up. And again, pressing down, sit bones will go way up as you do this. Yes, that's lovely. And come back up. Now. Keep your hips as far forward as you can.

See if you can come up to an upright position, lift your arms up over your head. Good girls all the way out and all the way down. And please step down. Our next exercise is spine stretch forward. And we want one outer spring on the bottom.

And the outer springs on this chair are slightly stronger than the inner spring. Nope. Chrissy, do you see how you flip the spring? We have to, we have a spring that took black and an outer screen, the top front. So we're all learning about the springs right now. Um, so yes, very good. Two outer springs on the bottom. And please ladies, if the tension doesn't work for you, speak up because we're all learning how to make this chair serve us the best possible way. So let's have you on yours, on the floor with your legs apart. Your hands will say you want the legs touching the base of the frame. Very good.

The arms are long in front of you. And now start by getting the spine as long as you can. So Heidi, there we go. I'd like you to fill up your back ribs. Just that's it. So we get this beautiful long flat fine. Fill up your back ribs a little bit more and now pull the shoulders.

That's right. Okay, so lift your stomach and round your spine a little bit and use the pressure from your upper arms to press down and hold, hold, hold, hold, hold. And lift the step back up. And again, lift, scoop. Fill up the back ribs and press down and come back up and lift. Scoop and press down, filling up your back ribs and come back up. Now take your right hand right to the inner part of the that Ledge, left-hand by your side waist. And press down with the right hand.

Push down and come back up. Change your hands and press down and come back up and change hands. So I'm looking at your bags. Press down. I want them nice and even very good. And come back up. Change your hands and press down. Pull the ribs back Heidi and come back up.

And one more time and press down, filling up your back ribs and come back up and other hand and press down and come back up. All right, so moving into footwork. Now I would like you to set up with two inner springs on number three. So it's right from that right inner spring number three sitting right quite close to the front of your chair. Palati stance. So we have a no resistance, be no connection between the right and the left pedal. So you really need to make sure you're working evenly, nicely lifted spine.

And first time just press the pedal down and pause at the bottom, lifting your spine up and then come back up and press down, get taller as you go down and then lift the heels up and press down. Very nice and come back up and press down and come back up. So why don't you to try and even out the feet. Hug the heels as strongly as you can. So Heidi, lift the heels a bit more. Pressing together and press and up and press.

That's better and up. One more time. Very good press and a burden of perch. So the feed will be touching, but make sure one is on each pedal. So a little bit more forward. Maybe Heidi. And let's have your hands. The allies have your hands behind you, right Christie? I don't want the shoulder blades together. So no, crunching the shoulder blades.

Open up the collarbones just wide. Yes, yes, that's, now we're talking beautiful. And here we go. Push down and lift and press and lift and press and lift and press and lift and press and lift and press and lift and press and lift and press. And if dawn your heels, pull the toes up, lengthen through the center, see if you can find that even relationship right and left side. Both legs go down evenly. Press down and up and press and press.

And up and press and up em, press bed or Heidi. I could see you with struggling with the right and left and press and up. I shouldn't talk too soon and up. Okay, now push the step down. We're going into tendon stretch. You're going to come all the way down. You know what? I think not. We're going to step off.

I was thinking of how do we swivel around with the loose pedals, but I think when we're going to do to tendon stretch, so know your face this way. Put your hands on gonna face this way and push down with one foot and then the other. So press a step down. Press bring your hands to the back of the chair. Your feet are right close to the middle. Now I would like your weight of the shoulders right over the wrists. Even the knuckles. Can you spread n? Oh, that's it.

With the neck long and now keeping you awake forward like this. Lift the ribs, lower ribs up just now low. No, no, you're not going up in the air. You lowering your heels down. Lowing your heels and trying to stay forward and then lift your heels up and lower down, spread the shoulder blades and lift the heels up. And so you're lengthening and tractioning this whole back body as best you can and up and lower down and lift up and lower down and lift up. And one more time down and up. Now keep hugging the midline.

Your weight should be right forward and you're going to do your pull ups. So your head is down. See if you can lift your hips up all the way up, up, up, up, up and lower down, and again, up, up, up to the top and down. Now we'll go up and pulse there and press up, up, up and pulse up. Pulse up, pulse up and tail goes down, tail down to the Mat. Going down, going down. You're done. So I'd like to see even more opening in the lumbar spine. Yes.

So you need to work very strongly in your low abs and try to get the lift from the front stomach instead of the button back muscles. So one more time going up. Go for it, Chrissy. Just pulse away up and lower up, lower up, lower up and all the way down, tail down, go, go, go. Lovely work. Step off with care. [inaudible] it's interesting. This double pedal. Yes. Yeah. Our next exercise is a swan in the swan dive.

So we want the springs on the one on the lowest rung inner spring. So once spring on either side and lay yourselves out on the top of the chair and press alleged down and you want your hand just under your shoulders so you have to position yourself. And right now just get a sense of this very long trunk. And I'd like you to find your hamstrings so you act yes. So you need to be connected.

So when you go into the rocking you all one long piece. Fill up these back ribs, Heidi. Okay ladies pumped three times here. Pump and pump and pump and lift up into a lovely art from your stomach. Press down again. Same thing again and pump and pump and pump and lift up. Make sure the legs are working. One more time.

Push down and pump and pump. Fill up here and lift to the top. Now see if you can go from here into a swan dive. Can you lower down, bend the elbows and lower and calm back up and press down and bend your shoulders towards the Ledge Yass and rock back up and press down. Lifting those legs up and come back up. Bring one hand to the step and slide yourself back.

That was lovely. Swing around. Now you have to both springs on number three. So you have to lift the springs up because our next one will be table top. Everybody's favorites. Come to a sitting position. Place your hands at the back of the chair. Now before we start, I would like you to say yes.

This is when you can actually squeeze your shoulder blades a little bit to get that anchoring and feel your armpits down into the side ribs. So Chrissy, you are, you have so much mobility. That's almost too much. You need to think also lats. Yes, that's it. That's a girl. Good. So from this position, lift your hips up in the air. See if can get from your armpits to your knees. And along plank.

Now push the step down. Three times, press, press, press, and then sit back in the chair, right. Push the step down and hold the front of the chair. You going into tendon stretch. So you're gonna put your hands here. Push down, lift your hips up and bend over. And three times your lift up. Lift your bottom up to the top of the spring. Lower down, lift to the top of this spring. Lower down, lift to the top of the spring. Lower down. Sit back in the chair and back to tabletop. Hands behind you. Lift the hips up.

Push the step down. One and two and three and sit back on the chair. Switch your hands. Push the step down. Bend forward and lift up three times and up to the top and down and up and, and up. Up, up, up, up, up and down. One last time. Sit hands behind you. Lift a step up. Lift the step up first.

Now lift your bottom up. Hips and down. Three times one and two and three. And sit back in the chair. Push this step down. Lift your bottom up. Scoop the naval and three times up, up and up and up and sit back down. Let the step come up and step off. That was lovely.

So now we're going to do a side stretch and rotation, working into the low obliques in the rotational part of the body. So your hip, you will have your legs going on a diagonal this way, hip on the side, right hand on the step. So it's you want to sit as much of a diagonal as you're able to get on these chairs. I think Heidi, you want the hip a little bit more towards the middle of the chair. Yes. Now your left hand is nicely placed right in front on the chair just to give you stability. The most important thing is that you get your hips square. So first of all just push down in up a few times. Press down sideways and lift up and press down. Heidi, I want the back ribs yas and press down and lift.

Now press down just the way you've done. Take your left handed reach towards that chair. So rotation and bring the hand back to the and lift up and again, press down, rotate, bring the hand back, lift up. One more time, press down. There's your links. Rotate and back and lift up.

Lovely other side. So the hip is more or less in the middle. This looks all wrong. You hadn't had the hand on the back? Yes, the hip has to be in the middle. Chrissy. Oh my goodness. How can you mess up on me like this? Okay, down you go.

Press add up and press and up and press. There it is. And up. Now press down, bring your right hand rotating, bring the hand back and bring it up. Chrissy, can you get your hand back here? That's it. And press down. Rotate, hand back and lift up. And I want the legs a little. There it is. And press down, rotate and back. Good Heidi, and come back up and step off. I. Next variation is back arm pumps.

So we need to put the springs on number one on the bottom, the inner spring out at the bottom. And please sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Reach back with your hands and press a step all the way down and position yourself in such a way. If you can that it, I would move your bottom a little bit further. Wait, no other direction, Chrissy. So the handle is highly to a little bit further out with your hips. Yes. Now think of the tip of the shoulder going almost up, but get there, not by hiking the ribs up, but by opening up the whole collarbone area.

Yas now nice tall spine and let the step come up. So both hands, let those elbows bend all the way up and pushed down and lift up and press down and lift up and press down and lift up and press down. Getting Taller every time. Lift and down and ribs in and down and lift and down. And last one and down.

Now let this step come all the way up with care. Let go. Bend over, grab your ankles and just stretch yourselves down. Very good. Come back up. And our next one will be the pushups from the side. So we want two outers spring. I'm sorry, two inner springs on number three. Number three. I think that's right. Let's just double check and see the tension.

Yep. I think that'll work very well. Yes. So how does that seem? All right. So I'd like you both standing. You're going to be in your Little v position, but just kind of still your little toe is in line with the chair. I'd be a little closer in and reach the arms up over your head and start bending forward. And as you bend down, you put your right hand on the step closest to you and use it to press it all the way down to the floor. So both hands, one hand on the step on hands on the floor. Your left hand should be more or less under your shoulder.

Walk both feet back to a plank position. So first of all, check the hips. Hips are steady, floating ribs are steady and nothing moves. Just bend your right arm and lift the step up and push it down and lift and down and lift and down and lift. Very good. And I've keep pressing down. Walk your feet back in, roll up, releasing the spring as you come up. Very good. Now step a little bit further to your right and you're going to do the same. You're to do the other variation where you will have your hand here.

So as you press out, you will bend the right arm. So start bending out down and press out. Come see if we can go all the way to the bottom and then press with that right arm to lift. And maybe you can go to the bottom just to there. Now can you bring this elbow in more? Is a spring tension too tight.

Too Light. Okay, so we moved Heidi up to four. Now Heidi, I'd like to elbow in by your ribs just like that and press up. So I don't care how low you go, but I want, that'll start to build up the tricep. Good. And one more time. What's that? Okay, come back up. Okay, good. Let's go to the other side. Hard work. Very good. And I'll see if I can stabilize you. So you are on the third spring for the first variation. So bend down, pushing the step down, push the step all the way down.

Chrissy, I would tell I want to start actually with a step down. That's it. And walk out your cool hip. So even to the floor, floating ribs. Even now, bend the left arm and push and bend and push and bend and push. One more time. Then push. Keep the step down. Walk all the way in, in, in, in, in, in, and rise up. Lifting the step. Heidi, I'm adjusting the tension a little bit. Heidi, higher for you. Move over one hand on the chair, one hand on the step and start bending and push the step.

Walk out and you're going to press out. So you hug those elbows in. Push and lift and down. So it doesn't matter if you don't go all the way down, Heidi. Yes. Try and keep that elbow in and push up and walk all the way in and come on in. All right, now let's have you both sit in.

We're going to do the pushups from the front. So I would like you to, we're actually not going to do pushups. We're going to know, but you're correct. You're correct. It actually, I would say it's balanced control front. Um, so third spring, going back to third spring, sitting both feet in a [inaudible] stance. Push the step all the way down and then forward and put your hands on the floor. So this and you're going to walk yourself out to a plank position. Keeping those steps down if you can. Nevermind.

If you came up, you popped up. Well now you're going to take one leg, do your right leg and push the step down and bring it up and the left leg pushes down and bring it up, right? Like pushes down and up. Left like pushes down and up. Last one, right leg down and up. Left leg down and up.

Now walk your hands in towards a step. The hips lift. Try to get to point. Can you hide it? Can you come? And even more. That's it. Just like that. No further than that. Now want the ribs over your wrist, over your wrist, up, more back, not there we go. Now lift your right leg up slowly enough to make sure you balance lower back down to very important here, not to move too fast and left leg and back. Very good. Now. Nice, narrow hips. Walk back out with those hands. Walk, walk, walk, walk, walk. Good. And then step down.

Okay, good work. Not Easy. Nice work, Heidi. You correct it. It's, I just want to mention something. When you go in, especially if you're a flexible person, it's feels safer to kind of be hyper extended. And I was blocking you a little bit here. This doesn't feel as easy, but then you're riding on your muscles and not your joints and you will build power. So I mentioning this because all of us Flexi Loosey goosey dancers who love to hang out in the joints and it's really not that good to do and you were fighting for it and that was excellent and you've mastered it. So that was excellent.

Our next exercise is stepping up front and the spring tension we are going to be using for this is two outer springs at number two and two inner springs at number four. So we're upping the tension cause this chair is a very high chair and um, this seems to be the most optimal spring tension. And just as an aside, if the, your chair doesn't work on these dimensions or these tensions adjusted, you need tons and tons of common sense with the window chair to make it work for your body. And chairs are a universe of variety. It's like Japanese food and, and Italian food and very barely different. So ladies, we can now go to do some Chinese food stepping up front. So let's do advanced version Christie, Christie, Christie are standing with the arms to the side and take your left foot and step and place it on the step.

Push it down. Now let's see if you can step up with the other foot without hand if you can't use your hands and step up. Yes. So that's okay. Duh, Duh, Duh. Very good. So option is either the foot is going straight forward, a very safe Pilati stance turned out, square your hips, shift your weight towards the front foot and step to the top of the spring and lift up. Good. And then lower down and lift up.

So this is a big challenge because this step is very deep and lower down and lift up. Try to go to the very top of the spraying. Yes, Heidi and down and lift up and down. And one more time. Lifting up to the top of the spring. No slowly take your standing leg to straight and lik lift the back leg behind you a little bit up as far as you can go. Then bend the knee to the side pass. Say these are dancers. Lift up on your standing side. Bring the leg in front of you, keeping the hips square, take the leg to the side, take it all the way around and lift up on the standing leg is go back, lowered slowly down and slowly bend your right foot and reach for the step.

So you there, it goes lower all the way down to the bottom of the spring with control. Very good. And now with care, if you think you can step straight down, do so. If not, put your hands on the stair first and step down. Yes. And come back up and other side. Very good. So you always have the option. If you really feel you, you're not up to stepping up or stepping down, putting your hands down to support you and stepping down.

It's just an option that you know you build up to these abilities. Other sites, you are your choice. Re lift the other foot, put it on the step. Use the powerhouse to step this. Push down with the foot. And now can you step straight up with the other foot? And if not, yes, my power women. Yay. So off you go. Lifting up and lowering down and lifting up to the top of the spring and down and lift up and down and lift up and down. And this one you lift up and then continue going till your legs.

Standing leg is straight. Lift the back leg behind you as far as you feel ready to lift it. Bend the knee in, lifted to the side and your passe high passe. Lift the leg straight in front of you. Take the leg to the side, lifting up on the standing leg.

Take the leg behind you, lifting up on the standing leg. Slowly lower the leg down, lifting up the body, Ben, the stent, the standing leg. As you reach lower down to the [inaudible] bottom. [inaudible] slowly take the other foot to the floor and [inaudible]. See if you can lift the step up with control. Lovely, lovely, lovely work.

Come on around and we will do the finishing part. You know, we did the princess to begin with. So I'd like you now to do lifting your knees the side, up and up and up and up and up and up and up and up and up and up. Very good. And hands down. Lift your heels and down and lift your heels and down and lift your heels and down and lift your heels and down. Bend the knees and lift and bend the knees and lift and bend the knees.

And now we're gonna jump and jump and jump, jump, jump, jump, jump, jump down. And Ben Dover, thank you, chair and come back up and lovely.


Really enjoyed the variations in this and using split pedals throughout. Thank you x
Colette C
1 person likes this.
Love this class! Beautifully taught and demonstrated! Love that it is ALL split pedal! ❤️
It's always exciting to see Niedra and her great style, really enjoyed it all!
Niedra Gabriel
Thank you all for you comments. Yes, this was an interesting class to work iwht as I am not used to this type of chair, so we were very creative with it's usage. I really liked the challenge of keeping the pedal split as it shows any imbalances instantly. Now I learned this is not the usual usage, so I suppose this class added to the pilates repertoire, by accident. we all loved the challenge.
Wonderful Pilates session. Thank you
Niedra Gabriel loved it ! challenging but at the same time peacefull. Thank you !
Niedra Gabriel
thank you both for your posts Vanessa and Heidi.
Thank you, great class . . . Loved it!
Creative and challenging Thank you Niedra
thank you Niedra! Always enjoy your knowledge and your teaching. Thank you for talking us through the springs ~ still not sure its clear why there are outside and inside springs? :)
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