Class #3244

Wunda Chair Variations

35 min - Class
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Description

Work on building strength with these advanced Wunda Chair variations by Kara Wily. She shows how changing the spring setting can really change how you feel an exercise. She includes many challenging variations like Pull Ups with no springs, Single Leg Pumping in all directions, and much more!

This class includes movements designed for advanced practitioners. We recommend watching the class before trying it to make sure you know what is coming. You may also want someone to spot you or something to help you balance for the standing exercises.
What You'll Need: Wunda Chair, Hand Weights

About This Video

Transcript

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We're gonna do some chair variations today with Christina and Ambika, and I just wanted to show this idea first. Romana would refer to this as a kunya. I think it means wedge, I'm gonna guess that. But that's sometimes, this little wedge helps to prevent the pedal from going all the way to the floor for people who are more petite. It is helpful because it makes the proportions, then, of the equipment more suited to this body.

Someone who's taller wouldn't need it. The other thing about it is that it doesn't change the exercise. You're still gonna use the same spring setting, but you take, you lift the floor up a little bit higher to the person. So that's another thing. We are gonna change spring settings today.

We don't traditionally change spring settings until a client gets stronger, and then we were taught that that is actually how we wanna progress a client in their chair work, for various reasons. If they want to be able to ski during the winter, maybe they don't need that strength all year round, but during the winter, you're gonna maybe build 'em a little bit stronger. They wanna be able to ski down that mountain five or six days out of the year. Give 'em the strength to do it, okay? So, this is how we will strengthen the body to do more is take away the spring, ask the body to do more.

So you guys, we're gonna start with the pull-ups. We're gonna do four spring settings. We're gonna start on one spring low and one spring high. I'm gonna have you guys come to the chair. Facing the chair, let's go ahead and step onto the pedal.

And hands over the front edge, good. So, our traditional spring setting: we're gonna tuck the chin down, we're gonna lift the stomach up. Good, arms may be a little bit wider than the shoulders, or they can go super narrow if you need that strength. And then, we're gonna push down into the hands, lift the belly and three times, you guys, let's raise the pedal up and hold it at the top. One, two, three.

And go down and be ready to come up again. And lift those hips even higher, Christina. Up, up, up, and come down. And one more time. Another way I can give little Christina help is to bring it and close the spring up, up, up.

And come down. And let's step to the floor, and we'll bring the pedal up. Spring setting number two, we're gonna take two springs low. So you guys go ahead and do a little shift around, come back to your chair, same thing. The spring is lighter.

We're gonna do three lifts. And let's hold the front edge. Using your powerhouse, good. Heels together, legs zipped up, powerhouse is strong. And let's rise, and pull it all the way up.

It's different with less spring. One, keep your feet on there, two, three. Push into the spring on the way down, Ambika. Push, resist, ready, go up, and lift second time. Lift, good, up into your powerhouse.

One, two, three. And good, and one more time. And I like to grab behind a person, grab on to 'em, scoop it up, that's it, two, three, and down with control. We're upping the ante. Step off your chair carefully, raise the pedal up.

Next spring setting is no spring. Take all your springs off. Now you have to work the pedal by holding one foot on top of the pedal and the other foot under the pedal. That's another reason why the little kunya helps. We're using little weights for Ambika.

That's also helpful. But you can use whatever you've got in your studio, whatever you have at home. Don't fall down. So one foot's on top, one foot is underneath. Here we go you guys, three times.

Scoop up into the belly and lift that pedal. Christina's got it. One, whoa she flies. Two, three, now she's gotta come down with control. Two, three, and down with control.

And up, two, three, and down with control. Good; I'm gonna help Ambika. You're gonna take a rest, Christina. And one, two, three, down with control, good. Take it down to one spring low.

Two, three, and down with control, good. Last one, Ambika. And scoop, and lift, and here we go. I'm giving you less help; you're doing it. And up, stomach, lift higher, two, lift highest, three, and down with control; good.

You know what, you're gonna try it with one spring low. One spring low. Just give it a shot. So one spring goes low. Come back to your back.

Let's step onto the pedal Christina; good. And hold it over the front edge. Now you guys would think, now this is gonna be easier. No, no, no, it's gonna be harder. So be ready.

Drop the head, lift the stomach. Both feet do get to go on the pedal, but I'm helping Ambika out. Squeeze those legs together. Get ready Christina; here we go. And scoop, and lift, and you didn't believe me, did you?

Two, three and again, oh boy, and two, three. Good Christina, one more, and one, two, three. And come down; good. It's okay; step to the floor, carefully let the pedal up. Even to just tell the mind that that's what's supposed to be happening, it's an exercise.

Let's move on. We're going back to one spring high, one spring low. And we're gonna do the going up. We're gonna use the same four spring settings. So think about it, one spring high, one spring low.

Two springs low; no spring; one spring low. This is what's coming up. We're gonna just do three times on each leg, so don't blow yourself out of the water. You have four repetitions to do. Use one foot, press the pedal down.

I just wanted to give you guys an idea that, you can change the springs. It does change the exercise. You can pick all kinds of different arms to use, whatever makes you feel good. Toes at the front edge of the chair, stomach is strong, and here we go. Three times with control.

You're gonna rise up, and think about your center, and lower down with control. Do close the spring every time. Second time, rise up all the way to the top, Christina; make sure you're at the top, don't cheat me. And go down with control. Last one, here we go.

And rise all the way to the top, looking good. All the way down. Good, let's place the hands down. Let's change feet; we'll do the other leg. Same thing.

Think about where we're headed. Wherever you wanna place your hands, three times, and rise up. Lower. Good, so these girls have it. Rise up, lower.

If they couldn't, I would know we can't go on. But we can go on. Three and down. Looks great you guys, good. Take both feet down, carefully come to the floor.

Always remind people not to let that spring go crazy. Take it down to two springs low. That's your second setting. We are upping the ante. Back to the chair.

Start with one leg, out on top of the pedal. Press it down, and then next leg on top of the chair. Here we go, three times. And strong in your powerhouse, long in your body. Rise up, one, and down.

Rise up, two, close that spring all the way. Know you're at the top, and good, and. Slippery. Two, go up, good. Christina can you do one more for me?

That's it, and three. Good, here we go. Ah, I caught you. You see how you rest at the bottom? You're not ready to go right back up again.

That's gonna be troublesome when we go to the next variation. Be ready, be ready, be ready to come down, be ready to change feet. Good, change feet; other side. Here we go, good. So the moral of the story is don't rest at the bottom.

Be ready to come right back up. Here we are, three times. And let's rise up into your powerhouse. Good, oh sometimes that first one is the trickiest. Go up, go up, go up, go up, go up.

You're gonna use me a little bit more. Here we are. Give me some help, good. And, rise up; push onto me. And go up, good; push onto me.

Come on, lift yourself. Push me, push me, I don't feel you. Grow taller, lift your spine. Lift your body all the way to the top, Ambika. Lift that pedal.

Go up, go up, oh boy. One more, and go up. All the way. Push on me, lift up. Push on me, lift up.

And good, good, good, good. Place the hands. Okay, next setting: No spring. You actually might feel this is easier for you, because it's difficult sometimes to be messing with the equipment because it has its own ranges of motion, you have your own ranges of motion. Sometimes it doesn't let us do what we wanna do.

So, a little freedom now. Take a foot to the top of the chair. Again, the first one might be the toughest. But I promise you, if you think about stretching, you're gonna rise up. Give me your hands; that last one didn't go so well, so let me help you.

And good, rise up; you'll be better on this one, go. All the way to the top; all the way up. If you get up, Christina, you'll be able to come back down. Here we go, guys; all the way up, all the way up. The pedal's not gonna lift up, you have to just lift your body.

How do you expect the pedal to go up? There's no spring. Like this. Oh my gosh. (laughs) That's it, Christina, all the way up, good. So all the way up.

That's the exercise, you guys. Lower and lift. And, lift; don't go to the point of no return. Good, two, and lift back up. Nice, deep, three.

Good, and down to the floor with control. Last one, grow tall, grow tall, grow tall, grow tall. Other side, place the hands, good. Good, very good Christina. I know, you guys think I'm a magician.

I'm just a teacher. And, here we are. (laughing) And lift your stomach, and David Blaine, here we go. Rise up; push on me, Ambika. Good, I'm here to help. And push on me; that's it, use me and rise up.

Use that leg; that's the way. Here we go again; push down, rise up. Awesome; that's the exercise. Don't let anyone tell ya it's different. Rise up, and rise, and lower all the way down; good.

Place the hands; last one is gonna be tougher. Go to one spring, low. It might be tougher, it might not. Good, good. Do you have to do 150 of these?

No; do three on each leg, and move on with life, right? Other side; good. These girls are huffing and puffing, like that is cardiovascular; those are big muscles. It is gonna work your body, but do it. Don't just say, oh, tomorrow I'll do it.

Do it today. Take a foot to the front of the chair. Get ready, be in control, and I'm here if you need me. Three times; rise up, good. I use my powerhouse when she has to use hers.

Good; and down, be ready. Two, don't rest; oh, we learned that lesson, don't rest, and up, three, oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. Good, and be in control. You ready? You're making a lot of noise.

I know. Last one, all the way up. And strong, go, go, go, go, go, go. All right, place the hands, good. It's great. And other side; good.

Good, good; I like the effort. Try to stay in control; good. You good, Christina? Yeah. Third and final one, here we go, fourth and final one; rise up.

Good, even think it, and go down. And rise up, and think about it, think about it, think about it, and go down. Lift the pedal a little bit, lift it two inches, and lift it two inches, go up, go up, two inches. And go down; that would be enough. It just makes everything have to grab exactly the way it would have to grab to go further, okay?

We're still going up. Yeah. Right. And what it'll teach you is, the next time you have more spring than this, you'll pay attention to the last two inches at the bottom; those are the hard ones, okay? We're gonna go on to pumping one leg, and the pumping on one leg, I don't know the official name of, but I saw photos of Joe Pilates doing it, and so I teach some of my clients to do it.

It's in black and white, so I figure I'm allowed to. So, you are gonna most, more than, like the easiest way to think about it is it's like a mountain climber, but you're gonna be still, and we still have the variations of front, side, and back, okay? So, we're gonna start like we did going up. So you guys, we're back onto one spring high, one spring low; we're not messing with all that light spring anymore. Take the pedal to the floor; good.

Does that feel okay on you, Ambika? It seems a little heavier; okay. Yes it is. Good. Let's take one foot to the top of the chair.

You good where you're at? Good; you guys are gonna pick where you want to place your hands. This one might be nice for this one; good. You're gonna be in your powerhouse. We're gonna rise all the way to the top, you guys.

We're gonna come halfway down, like we do mountain climber; lift up in your belly. And we're gonna pump that leg behind you 16 times. Go one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, 11, powerhouse, 13, 14, lift that pedal, 15, 16. Come all the way back up to the top, and all the way down. Take the hands down; change legs, other side.

How was that? Good. Here we go; and hands, strong powerhouse, and rise up to the top. Come halfway down, and pump the pedal 16 times. One, two, three, four, in your powerhouse, six, seven, good work, seven, nine, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, be ready, 16, all the way to the top, and all the way down.

Take your hands down; you ready to go to the side? So you guys just had whichever foot up, let's try one side now. So you're gonna press the pedal to the floor. Saying put it to the floor? Good, change feet if you like; good, good.

Now you're going to pivot to the side like we do going upside. That's it, and foot on the top; right. So once again, you could use the same hand position, you could hold them out; I'm not particular. But, we are doing the same thing. Do something, yep, strong.

You guys are gonna go to the top. This foot has to stay on the pedal. Let's rise all the way up to the top. Good; you're gonna go halfway down, Ambika. You're gonna lift your belly; here we go, 16 pumps.

One, two, without me, three, four, five, six, be in your power, seven, eight, feel that leg, seven, nine, 10, 11, stomach, 13, 14, 15, 16. We gotta go all the way to the top, and all the way down. Good; face the chair, let's do the other side. Good; everybody getting an education? (laughter) And, other leg.

Good; arms up, strong powerhouse, and let's rise up to the top. Good; you guys see I'm kind of favoring Ambika over here. And, let's rise all the way up, and halfway down. And 16 times; good, and go. One, two, cross those arms, press 'em, three, four, use those hands, five, six, use that foot, seven, eight, nine, stomach.

Oh! Oh, boy! That's okay, if you have to bail, you bail. Go rise to the top, Christina, and come down; good. Face the chair; good. Let's now carefully step all the way up onto the chair. Rise up with control.

Stand on the chair, you guys, for me; both feet. And turn yourselves around; good, good, good, good. So now, I'm gonna grab one hand. You're gonna put the other hand wherever you want it. Not wherever; pick somewhere good.

(laughter) Good. So come to the front edge of the chair. So what's gonna happen now, you guys, is you're going to have to lower your bodies down, but you're gonna have to rise up onto the tippy-toe, not tippy-toe, little half-toe, and put the other foot to the pedal. So that's it; as you start to go down, your heels may rise up a little bit, and that's okay, that's allowed. Lift that left heel, Ambika.

Go down lower, go down lower, lift that left heel, lift it up, lift it up, lift it up, lift it up. Here we are; we're gonna go for a pump 16 times. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. Try to place both feet on the chair; stand up. Nice; we did it.

Take a breath, good; we are the champions, my friends. Other side, and hover down close to that chair. Raise the heel, use your powerhouse, and find the middle of that foot. Here we go; 16, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, nine, can those hips stay still? 12, good, then, then, use your center.

Good, both feet on the chair, and rise up. You made it. I did it. Turn around, face the other direction. Take one foot to the pedal.

And lower down with control. Nice; all the way down, and place the hands. Good, you guys; great. So we're still on the same spring setting. We're on one spring high, one spring low.

We're gonna do some pull-up variations. We're gonna start with pull-up with one arm. Everyone knows that. Step onto your pedal. Put one hand in the middle of your chair; reach the other hand straight out to the side.

Both feet on the chair, Ambika. Both feet on the, that's it, on your pedal. Good, good; so you guys have chosen opposite arms. So like I spoke to Ambika earlier, if you can't lift up, you will just think about what it takes to lift the first two inches; at least you will try, okay? So into your center; squeeze those legs together.

And pull up, and lift and hold. Good, Ambika; one, two, three, come down. Again, go up; one, two, three, come down. Last one, go up; one, two, three. That's what it takes; try the other side.

Wonderful work, you guys; how are you doing? Great; and stretch the other arm out to the side. And here we go, three times. And pull it up, and lift; one, two, three. There's always one side.

Go down; be ready. Go up; one, good, two, three, and last one. Squeeze those legs, lift that center, two, three, and come down. How was it? Enjoyable. Hands go on

the front edge of the chair. Try one leg; so in ballet we used to say Coupe, right? The foot comes back; nobody know what that is when they haven't taken ballet, but right. A little position with one foot behind this ankle, preferably this leg turned out a little bit, and people's bodies straight, right? Show me wacky, Christina; do something wacky.

That's it; people do all kinds of wacky things. Don't go wacky in your body. Hold your body straight, just hold that leg out to the side, and repeat again, three times. And let's pick it up. And lift up in your belly; one, two, three.

Go down; again, go up. One, two, three; go down. Last one; go up, two, three, come down. Looking good; let's change legs. Other side; keep the body straight.

Rise up, and one, two, three. Good; go down. Can that head hang a little lower and the belly lift a lot higher? And one, two, three, and one more. You got it, Ambika; and lift those hips higher than your head, higher than your head, higher than your head.

And down; nicely done. Good; you guys ready for just one more challenge? Just to try it? Yes. Take one arm in front of you, and one, the opposite leg, behind you.

(laughter) One arm front, the opposite leg back. Correct; this is your last challenge. Once again, if you cannot lift the pedal, think about lifting those first two inches, and give it a shot. And lift; one, two, three, down. Keep it in control.

Again, lift; one, two, three, down. Last one; just think about it, think about what would it take to lift my stomach, my stomach, my stomach, and change sides. Well done; other side, you guys. Good; you can build a back pretty strong this way, right? Somebody who has, you know, any kinds of issues with one side being weaker, one side being stronger, make 'em work.

And once again, and lift; one, two, three, down. Good, and again; that's good, Ambika. One, that's it, up in your tummy, stretching through the leg, powerful in the body, three; wonderful. Last one; and scoop, lift, two, three. Excellent; I love it.

Place the feet on the chair. Carefully step to the floor, bringing the pedal up with control; good, yeah. Cause it's like no matter who you are and how much Pilates you do, like, you've got so much energy in your body built up at that point, it's like always step down with a little bit of control, right? Good; let us do some pull-up to the side. So we're gonna keep the spring setting.

One foot's gonna step on the pedal. And now you're going to, can we face out this direction first, so you're gonna be on your right hand and your right foot. We're gonna again take this right hand a little bit closer, take this left hand, good, sorry, right hand a little further away, left hand a little bit closer. We're gonna again use a little Coupe of the foot crossing the ankle; that's it. Hips are strong, stomach is strong.

So this is pull-up to the side, and I'm gonna change you a little, Ambika. This ankle's just gonna cross. Good, good, good. I used to say Charlie Chaplin style, but nobody knows who he is anymore. It's just really sad, right?

And scoop the belly up, and now, we're going to once again lift that pedal up, and we're going to scoop, two, three. Come down; repeat. And scoop, two, three; come down. Try to be on top of that hip, you guys. And scoop; when you come to the top, can you stay at the top, and can the right hip be over that right ankle?

I like it right there; and come down. Good, because this can build you up to star, which we will do in a moment, and so it is a good idea to start to try to really find that leverage you need for that exercise. Let's turn to face the other direction. Cross the ankle, and here we go. And good, so one hand a little closer, that's it.

Ankle crossed, stomach powerful, and let's lift up. One, two, three; come down. Can that head hang and that waist lift? Again, and head is heavy, 17 pounds, lugging around way up there, let it drop. Two more, or sorry, last one.

And lift; one, two, three, well done. Turn to your first side; let's do a second variation. Good; how you guys feeling? Good. It's good work. Yes.

Here we go; that left leg is now hanging down by the side of the right foot. It's just hanging there; it's just hanging there. We're gonna do the same exercise three times. Pick up the pedal; one, two, three, down. Pick the pedal up; one, two, three.

One more time; be ready for my next direction. Lift; one, two, three, come down with control. Don't sit; hold yourself here. Your left leg is gonna rise up as high as you can reach it to the side, and lower with control. And second time; lift that left leg, up as high as you can reach it, and lower it with control.

Third time; raise it up as high as you can reach it, and hold it here one, hold it here two, hold it here three, lower the leg with control. Turn and do your second side. Good, good; you see how we're building up to do that star? Isn't this nice? (laughter) A little progression in our work, get people strong, and here we go.

Three lifts; pick it up. And one, two, three, down; good. Again; pick it up, one, two, three. Good; last one, pick it up. One, two, three; well done.

That right leg is ready. Lift it up, and lower it down. And lift it up a second time, and lower it down. I'm trying to get out of the way. And lift it up and hold it up a third time.

Good; it's a good idea if the leg is just a little bit in front of the hip. It doesn't have to be back there. And then down with control. Good; take a step off carefully, and let the pedal up for a moment, and take a little break. Good; I'm gonna work with one of you at a time.

I'm gonna start with Ambika. You're gonna do the next variation with your leg hooked around me, and Christina, I'm coming back to you for the full star. Okay. Okay? So, let's step on the pedal.

Good; and you can face one direction as we've been doing, your pull-up side. Good; and your hands are where? Good, except now that we're gonna go on one arm, I'm gonna have you put this hand right in the middle of the chair. This hand is gonna go right behind your head, Ambika. Good; this leg is gonna bend and wrap around my body.

Great; and here we are, we're gonna lift up three times together. Are you ready? I'm ready. And lift up; one, two, three. Good, Ambika, lift that elbow up.

And again, lift up, and lift the hip. One, two, three; that got even better. We've got one more; let's close the spring. And lift it up, and lift the spring, lift the spring, lift the knee. And down; carefully bring this leg down, face the chair, we're doing the second side.

Here we go; hand is in the middle, other hand is behind the head. We're standing up tall on this hip. You're wrapping this leg around me, and here we go. And eyes are up, and I've got her hip, I've got her knee, we're going. And lift; one, two, three, good Ambika.

Where's your powerhouse? Use it. And lift. One, lift that elbow, two, three. That looked even better.

Here we are, one more; powerhouse, here we are. Three, two, one, and down. That was good. The full star, Miss Christina. Good; so the bent knee helps, you know.

It gives a little bit of extra help, also helps the teacher. (laughter) Good. Don't wear yourself out. Step on the pedal; pick a side, any side. So once again, one hand in the middle.

Good; the other hand is behind the head. Now we're gonna stretch the leg out straight. Good; and Christina blends beautifully into the ocean today. (laughter) And here we are; we're ready. And into your center, into your powerhouse, and here we go.

And rise up; one, two, three, that's the position. Here we are, and be ready; up. You remember how strong it was to be on top of that leg? Three, nice; here we are, one more time. And rise up, go higher, go higher, go higher, go higher.

That's a beautiful picture, Christina. Lower that leg; let's turn around, second side nice. She's gonna go fly like one of those seagulls. Here we are, and three times, and rise. One, higher, two, highest, three, awesome, Christina.

Here we are, this is your good side. And rise up; and one, I'm here, I'm here, I'm here. You do it, you do it, you do it. That's it; I gave her less help cause she's strong on this side. Last one; and lift, stomach, rise, rise, rise.

That's it; you barely needed me. Lower that leg; take a breath. Step off with control. To finish you guys, let's once again grab either weights or a sand bag for this last part. Sand bag is not always in every studio or every home.

You can make one if you want to go through that. You can also just use hand weights, okay? So I'm gonna have you guys carefully stand to the top of your chairs for this exercise. Good; so again, lesser known, the reason we stand on the top of the chair, I wouldn't need to do this, except for the fact that with Ambika, she's got this long string, and it's nice to be able to unroll it all the way up and roll it all the way down. If you're using hand weights, don't stand on the top of your chair; stand on the floor, right?

Bur for continuity's sake. Arms are gonna stretch out, once again in your powerhouse, so heels together, toes apart. Now you guys just work your powerhouses strong. Use those strong powerhouses, and let's start to roll the hands, and stretch the wrists, and lower. That's it; and Christina, go a little bit slower, and think about your alignment.

So you're still trying to stretch your wrists. One direction, and stretch your wrists the other direction; right. And stretch, that's it; and stretch, right. And she's looking right down the length of her arm, the length of her hand; she's looking for that alignment, and then she's looking for a full flexion, full extension, full flexion, full extension. Good; when you get to the end of the rope, end of the line, pull it back up.

Good; good. Standing in your powerhouse. Lot of times people want to dump a little bit, so good idea to just stay still, strong. That's it; can you turn your wrists really big, Ambika? Turn, turn; we're only doing one.

Turn, turn with your powerhouse, turn, turn, all the way to the top, turn, turn. If you're really dying, you might have to take a break, but you try to get it all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up. Christina's with you; she's sticking with you. As long as you're taking, she's still going, too. That's it; turn that wrist, turn, here we go.

A few more turns, I know; think about using your stomach, think about going for a dive in the ocean, think about getting on a boogie board, think about a nice cold drink, think about anything other than how your body feels. Keep going, though; keep going, keep going. Keep going, to the top, to the top, to the top, all the way, all the way, all the way, all the way, and right. And that's called fatigue, folks. (laughter) And when you get there, you had a good workout. (laughs) Thanks for joining us.

Comments

1 person likes this.
Wow, incredible job by the ladies demonstrating! Thank you. Some great new ideas!
2 people like this.
I agree, WOW, so happy to see an advanced chair workout on PilatesAnytime and fantastic cueing! Thank you Kara!
Love ❤️ this.. especially the lady names Ambekia.. these are the kind of clients we have.. Great moves!!
Melissa I am so glad you and your clients can get some use from it! Ambika is strong, I like to push her ;)
Shari Thank you! I like teaching in this format on line, I feel I am a stronger teacher than presenter, so I really appreciate the compliment on the cueing, I hope you got a great workout!
3 people like this.
Lori Thanks for the feedback, take those springs off and see what kind of strength is in your body :)))
1 person likes this.
OMG! I've never been challenged like that before, this class was so great! Although I may need to do it more times to get as good as the ladies!
1 person likes this.
Sorry ,I didnt like 😏
I love the strength and progressions in this class. I think there's a lot of influence from Russian style strength training in Pilates. The lunge on the chair is really just a fancy box step up, isn't it? Brilliant! Thank you!

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