Class #4445

Strengthening Wunda Chair

35 min - Class


Amy Havens layers in the key concepts from classes one and two to allow you to successfully achieve some intermediate Wunda Chair exercises. She adds more spring and tempo changes to challenge you, but also to inspire you. The clarity in sequencing and cueing provides the perfect flow for this class. You will use your newfound Pilates techniques to get a full-body workout.
What You'll Need: Wunda Chair

About This Video


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Hi everyone, thank you for being here, class number three in this Wonder Chair Progression. I hope you're feeling great, strong, connected, more familiar with your chair work. Where you can exhale, where you can inhale. What it feels like to connect deep up into your, this upper quadrant of power and string here, and also hips. So it was a little more oblique in the last class.

This class brings that back in but also some more extension. Okay? And when we think in extension we're gonna think the whole spine, but maybe a little bit more focus in our upper back extension right behind the shoulders that have been doing this thing. Okay? So here we go.

We are gonna do a little review. And I want you to come down on the floor. One spring for this warm up. Let's get reconnected or refund familiarize ourselves with the feet and the seat. Okay?

Pelvic curling, but take a moment. Get your arches on your pedal, neutral pelvis ribs are relaxed, deep breath in. (inhales deeply) Let's go ahead and exhale and roll ourselves up to a nice, the pelvic curl. You can call it a bridge. Emphasize your hip extension everyone.

That's gonna come up also, not just spinal extension, hip extension is really long line and then work from the back of the legs. Pressing the femurs forward right into that hip line. Breathing in and breathing out as we unroll. So just take two more of these nice pelvic curls. It's good warm up.

Definitely good connection wake up call for hamstrings to hips, feet to seat, the breath to movement. (inhales deeply) (exhales sharply) Let's do one more time. (inhales deeply) And again. (exhales sharply) Rolling up. Guide that tailbone up, up, up, up, up.

Nice breath in. (inhales deeply) And then exhaling down. All the way. Good sense of mobilization of that spine. Okay?

And then just feel yourself lift the pedal on an exhale, close the spring quietly. And I want us to roll ourselves up or sit yourselves up. Place your hands on your pedal. Remember, spine stretch forward from the first class. We're going here again, adding a little bit of spinal extension.

Okay? We'll start with that. So as I remember saying in the first class, we don't really do a whole lot of work with the arms in this exercise, except for right now I wanna add a little bit of scapula work. So with our shoulder blades, traveling back, gaze up a little bit with your nose, your chin and your chest vote. Make sure your ribs aren't pushing too far forward and your abdominals are deeply in.

And then center your gaze. Now relax your arms. Take a breath. Inhaling as you try to move the spring open with your pelvic tilt underneath here, that tailbone curl. Exhaling the pedal in.

Inhaling, shoulders back, lifting the chest and pulling the spring down a little bit. And exhaling pedal in. Inhale, tailbone under. See how the upper spine and lower spine are kind of playing along, right? (murmurs) gonna come back.

Let's Breathe in. Pick up your lungs. Exhale, a couple more. Inhale, tail curl. Try your best not to over pull with the arms.

Go for more effort in your core body if you'd like to. Coming on up, bring your scapula back first breathe in as you lift up your lungs. It's amazing. Sometimes you focus on the breath, the spring moves more. Inhale here.

Inhale big, the spring is moving more. Exhaling it close is our last one here. You'll be doing this extension a few times in this class. Scapula, scapula, scapula. And let's release.

Okay, wonderful. Coming up for footwork, every one. We're gonna go for a little more pace with our footwork. Okay? So again, I'm choosing the same springs as they did before.

I like to Lowe's springs, okay? V position, arches and heels. Here we go. We're gonna bring that pedal down. Now, in the first class we had hands here.

In the second class we had hands on around a ribs. I'd love to have you have your arms here. Hold your body with support. The spring is open. Let's go 10 times, exhale, inhale.

(exhales sharply) Focus on the up, pull yourself up. (exhales sharply) (exhales sharply) Six, and, seven. Resist any sliding on the chair because your glutes are really active. Nine, and 10. Push down, change your feet to the arches.

Change the arm fold. Ready, inhale, the spring is open. And (exhales sharply) pull into yourself. Pull into yourself. (exhales sharply) Five, six, seven.

Diaphragm goes up and down. Nine. Hold it here, 10, lower. Step onto your heels. Now, hands behind head.

Let's just do one round here. No rib cage in front of hips, right? Head is back in the hands. Inhale, spring is open. Exhale, we go up and pull your strength up.

Pull your strength up. You keep the spine up five, six, seven, eight, nine. So it doesn't have to take forever to do those footwork positions, right? Come on, off, turn around. Step on your pedal.

We're doing those up and down feet movements, ankle movements. Hands here. This is a setup that you will see again shortly for the pull up exercise. But right now, get your arms over your wrists, heels up. Let's take heels down.

Heels up. Curl the spine, curl the tail. If you had springs, inhale, exhale. You need be stretching them. You'd be pulling them up, down and up.

Now feet a little quicker. We're gonna go down, up and down, up and down, up. Keep this rhythm. Find a little breathing rhythm for yourselves. (exhales sharply) Can you curl your tail more?

Can you feel the abdominals, activate in and up more? Eight, seven, six, five, ease your shoulders off your neck, nine and 10. And everyone step all the way down, lift that pedal and then just stand for a moment. Hopefully you're feeling a little bit of different vigor in the body, right? So we are gonna do teaser on top.

Take one spring down. One low spring is all we've got. I would like you to go back to class two. We held on. We're gonna round ourselves back into our teaser, kind of sacred position, lower back position.

Now, extend your hips, extend your legs. Always think about this position. And want I love watching the Olympics, the Winter Olympics. What have you in the luge? I would love to do that someday probably scare the heck out of me, but there, hold the position curl in, go back to it.

Extend yourself, curl in. Extend your hips, two more. Curl in. Extend your hips. And one more, curl in.

Extend your hips, now that we're gonna come up, hold. Let's try to go down and up three times. Let's see what happens. Down, no hands. Up.

(exhales sharply) Going down. Coming up. One more, coming down. Up and rest. Now we can get out of that teaser on top.

There's still even more to teaser on top. We haven't even gotten to hands back here yet. Another progression not for today. Okay, we're gonna go Swan front. We've already done it, one light spring.

Okay, transition. Come to that chair. Hello chair. Hands here. We're gonna try, walk back a little further.

We're gonna try to give a little bit of a placement into the exercise, the transition, go. Lift into it. Hands on the chair. Now I want you to put your hands on the pedal. Bend your elbows, pull them in close.

Look forward in your chest forward. Reach the pedal down. Your chest is forward. Remember the spring also goes this way. That's where you're going.

The legs are coming up also. You're coming up, you're going down. We didn't in class two, much slower than this. Keep your elbows close to you guys. You're doing a little seesaw.

Legs, torso. One more. Legs, torso and come on out of it. Reach back and just stretch. So you have all the components of that.

We just take it up a little bit, right? Transitions are part of the exercises. Okay, wonderful. Let's move on. We're going into pike or pull up, we need more spring.

Least I do, I could never do one light spring. I'm going over to the other side and putting the light spring on again. That puts me on to low springs. Okay, that should do it. We're gonna find out.

Step on your pedal. Inhale down, exhale here. We were here a few minutes ago. I said you'd be back, here we are. Okay, everyone.

I said it in class two that soon you'll be working more exercises that you're pulling yourselves up. You all know what's coming, this is the pull up. We need our arms above our wrists. We need to feel like we're pushing down. Arms, to hands.

What's not pushing, you know... What else is happening is we're pulling up in the upper tummy. Let's go, curl the tail. I want you to inhale because the spring is open. Remember, shift and curl.

Exhale that pedal up any amount. Inhale, lower downward, control. Let's go for five. (exhales softly) I'd like you to remember class two with obliques and inner thighs. Use them here.

Pull yourselves up, lower it down. We've got two more. (exhales softly) And down. And last one, pull up. Hold it up there.

Try to hold it up. Lower down with control. How did you do? Come on up. Feels we so hard to talk in some of these exercises.

Did that makes sense, the obliques and the inner thighs? And how that connection in the middle usually makes us go up? It's a pretty nice exercise. Great job. We're doing kneeling on the ground.

Merman, merperson, mermaid with a little extra. Drop it down to one light spring. Get your knee pad. Bring her out, bring it out. Okay.

So I like to mix up mat exercises to inch all of the work, because it's all layered. It's all in the same language, right? So think of your side planks in network. We're kind of setting up for it, aren't we? So here it goes the hand.

Push that pedal. Bring your arm up. Now, inhale over. Okay? Now, what I'd like everyone to do here, just stay and breathe a little bit.

Exhale. Remember, we're contracting and pulling the spring in when we're exhaling. And inhaling, stretching over a little bit. Just do that twice more. Little, little, and little, okay?

Now a lot so that you push the pedal all the way down and extend your outside leg. what I'd like you to do before anything else, go to the concept of hip extension. This hip is extended, no wrinkle here. No wrinkle here. So in other words if your hips are behind you that's not hip extension, that's flexion.

Extending, think pelvic curl, that feeling, right? I told you it'd come back. Here we go. Bear weight into this arm. You've already did it.

You just did it in the pull up. Now step the other foot to join and hold. Exhaling. Inhale step the knee down. Exhale, bring the pedal up a little bit.

Inhaling over. Exhale leg to leg, oblique to oblique, inner thigh the inner thigh. Inhale, exhale. Inhale to feel the breath. (exhales sharply) Oblique to oblique, inner thigh to inner thigh, knee, pedal.

I've got two more, I said five for myself. Lucky folks. Knee down and up. Keep your hips extended. That was my laugh to myself.

I felt myself going into hip flexion, extend yourself in all the way up. Goodness, other side. Great, everyone. Okay. So again, you're gonna see the backside, it's totally fine.

Hand on the middle of the pedal. Arm up, side bend again. You're gonna breathe in, get that spring long. Feel the exhale. You gather that spring up just a little bit up into your waistline.

Inhale over. Just one or two more there. Okay? Just feeling that rhythm of breath. Now, one more big one to bring you all the way out, knee goes out to the side.

Think knee, kneeling side (indistinct) mat. Let's breathe in and as we exhale bear onto that arm and step the other leg up, oblique to oblique, inner thigh to inner thigh. And bring the knee down with control and bring the pedal up with control. And we inhale. That's okay, I'm off my knee pad.

It's all right. Extend, knee down, body up. And pedal, breathe. As you exhale, oblique to oblique, inner thigh to inner thigh. Knee, body, we have two more.

Total of five. Press, knee, and up one more. Let's go for it. Inhale, exhale, inhale, and all the way up everyone, and rest. Okay, feeling how to side body becomes very, very powerful, very strong in these chair exercises.

We don't just have front and back, we've got a wonderful side body. We're gonna use it more in the hips now for going up front. All right? We definitely need a spring change. We need more spring to support us stepping up.

So I again, go to that second side and I add low. So I've got two low again. From class two, we prepared for it. Class three, some of you may actually be able to go up a little bit or a lot. I'll see what I have.

I'm gonna it step up with one foot. Inhale to pull down. Exhale, gather in, step up, lift up, okay. Feel how the feet pushed down into your surfaces to feel the relationship here. Okay?

And inhale, the spring is open. We exhale the spring in which may bring us up. Inhale, we come down. That's it. Exhaling up, inhaling down.

I'm doing five, everyone. If you're going higher, fantastic. I wanted to show you that. It's just about learning how to pull yourself up, right? I've been seeing it through all the classes.

We're pulling ourselves up. That was five. You get to put your hands down. Pull your knee to your nose and step down. Okay, how'd you do?

I hope Great. Let's do the other side. Okay. Spring extends, you inhale. (thumping) Woo, exhale, you step down.

Lift that leg, roll the body up. Look straight ahead. You're intended to go this way, and this way. Feet have to push down. The reaction of down is up.

Inhale, exhale. Push down in the surfaces with your feet. Pull up (tapping abdomen) here. Pull up here. Again, one more time.

That was fine. Wonderful. I sense that everyone did remarkably well. Right? I can't see you, but I think you did.

Way to go. Okay, in class two I had you prepare with this interesting standing thing, right? This actually, now you're gonna do this setup up here. I'll show you how it goes. Springs can stay the same.

This is my right leg, I'm gonna step down in parallel. Different. This guy goes down. Inside leg comes up. Organize this angle here.

Shin, and knee, and ankle in this vertical. You're gonna feel a really nice opening of the hip. Now, for some reason this leg is parallel. Mr. Pilates knew what he was doing. (laughs) Let's do it.

Okay. Arms can be here, here, this is quite nice. You don't really have to go up. Let's think about the connections. Inner thighs together, obliques together.

What happens when all that comes to the center? Right, we go up a little. That's it. Even if nothing happens, your intention is that it is. Right?

That's our mind, body messaging, or our education mind muscle. Don't worry if nothing happens. Physically on the outside a lots going on an inside, I trust that it is. I know that it is. That's your last one with the other side.

Here's a quick transition. Both feet up here. A little ballerina move. That requires unbalanced, doesn't it? Okay.

Now you realize that my foot, I'm gonna (murmurs). I don't like that. I hate that. That was not at all what I normally do. No idea why did that?

(laughs) Okay, let's see I finished it. Okay, we have the other side to do. Let me show you a nice transition. Take your foot down all the way. Pivot turn, step to the floor.

Much better organization here. Here goes the other side. Okay, step your foot on the pedal, heel is pretty close to the back. Push that down, that's a foot to hip exercise. Step up for just a moment.

Again, inner thigh to inner thigh, side waist to side waist, arms here. Let's breathe in because the spring is open, exhale and see what happens. Whoa. And inhale down. And exhale.

And as you get better and better and stronger, stronger at this, you don't have to wait shift to the side as much. You could in essence, just go straight up. Okay? Only one more. And (exhales sharply), and we're done with that exercise.

Pivot toward the chair. Put your hands, take your foot down and lift that pedal with control. Wonderful. So you just did going up front and going upside. How's that feel?

How do your hips feel? Okay, pretty good. Let's keep moving on. We're gonna come around the back of the chair. And we're going into our side plank.

Again, light spring. I'm going one on low. (clunking) We've already done it. On your hip, hand in the middle. Come on over.

Remember, teaser from a few minutes ago? Our legs were really beautifully extended. Hmm, here they are, again. From the hips to the feet, nice and long. Okay, side body, oblique to oblique, inner thigh to inner thigh.

Crown, your head is to that wall. Now, I trust that you're feeling great in your balance. You're in class three, you want some challenges, some additional challenges. No hand here. See what happens.

Yep, you're probably gonna feel like you're falling forward or backward. It happens. Of course, ideally we wouldn't. If you're feeling like you're rocking backward not advisable 'cause you might be hanging on with your back. I'd rather have you hold and emphasize a little forward lean of your torso than leaning back.

Okay, safety first with your back muscles and your back position, but here we are. Or even here. Okay? Just feel for a second. Bring the arm toward the hip as we exhale, pulling the spring in.

Inhale as we go over. Exhale as we pull the spring in, that lateral flexion. I'm only gonna have us do three, 'cause there's a little extra today with this. So this is a third one. That's a lot of side bending.

We've done extension, side bend, and flexion. How about some rotation? So I'm gonna take my hand to my shoulder. Breathing in. I'm gonna exhale, turn my torso, pull the pedal up a little bit.

Inhale, open the spring, turn the chest up a little bit. This is interesting for me. Exhale. I'm rocking backward a little bit, I needed to collect my hamstrings and move smaller. There, not about big movement.

This is the first element we've done of rotation, or true rotation of things. It's difficult especially on one light spring and the side position. Okay. One more everyone. Exhale, spring closes, we rotate toward it.

Inhale away. And then collect yourself, come all the way up. All right? I kind of got in a zone there. Let's go to the other side.

Hand on the middle. Leaning over. All the checkpoints. Again, you can keep this hand holding the front edge of the chair. I'd love for the hips to be beautifully extended.

No wrinkles in the front of your hip joints, okay? Feel that crown of head to that wall across from you. Hand can be here. Hand can be here. Let's breathe in.

We're only doing three. Remember, arm to hip, side bend neck, and upper spine. Inhaling over. Keeping those hips in extension. Exhale, neck, upper spine and inhale.

I wish someone were behind my legs, you know what I would do? I'd press my legs against them. That would help my hamstring connection. Okay, everyone stay where you're at. Place your fingertips on your shoulder.

Rotate toward the pedal a little bit on an exhale. Open this spring as you inhale and open your chest a little bit toward the ceiling, itty bitty, okay? Exhale toward the pedal. You're gonna see this rotation in the next exercise as well where you may have more range, but let's keep this from tiny. Exhale toward the pedal.

How about the obliques? Waistline to waistline. Two more guys. Exhale, leg to leg. Pull into yourself, pull yourself up.

Inhaling, keep your self extended. We've got one more. (exhales sharply) And that's plenty there, come all the way up. Okay. To a little topsy-turvy on the hip, isn't it?

Okay, we're getting close. I'd like you to do a spring change. Okay. We're gonna stand from the back of the chair for this exercise called washer woman. All right, washer person.

I like a high spring. That's what I like. So one on high. We're standing behind. Okay, this is a fun exercise for a lot of reasons.

We really have to regulate our body weights going over the top of the chair. Okay, you know what I mean? And I'll talk it through. So for right now, reach your arms forward. Taking inhale and exhale.

Get yourself over. Don't go anywhere, get your hands on that pedal, okay? Now, see this distance here? We really want to keep it about the same. We certainly don't want to fall into the chair.

That's part of the exercise. So I've got to keep my hips above the heels and stretch the spine forward, what breath is this? Inhale, exhale without shifting backward on the feet. Ideally hips are right above the heels. I don't care how low you go.

Stay with the connections. Here we go. Three more. Inhale will stretch the spring. Exhale, close that spring.

Try to keep the tail curled in the head curl. Last two, Exhale. I feel almost like the teaser exercise again. A little bit different focus, it's more of the upper belly and not the lower. Okay.

Everyone opened the spring a little bit. That last exercise with fingertips on shoulders we're gonna do again here. Now, fingertips to shoulders. Whoa, we have one arm of support holding a heavy spring. This is not a big movement, everybody.

Inhale, press the spring a little bit. Open your chest slightly open to the elbow. And exhale, close. Only three. Heavy spring, stay in control.

Inhale as you rotate, and exhale as we close. (murmurs) One more time, inhale, and exhale. That hand can come on the pedal. Oh boy. Ready?

Other side. Press the spring, rotate a little bit. We're kind of glancing to the side, maybe up to my tip of the elbow. Exhale, close. Try not to fall forward, regulate your body weight.

(exhales sharply) Stay in control, one more time. And then we're gonna do cat on top. That might feel like an easy exercise after this. All right, team. Everybody roll all the way up to standing.

You're doing so great. Up we go on the knees. Okay? So now with the up on the knees, let's just touch on hip extension just a little bit. Okay?

Everyone loves thigh stretch, right? On the reformer or the mat. I like it actually. (chuckles) So right now I'm gonna just pretend I'm doing a little bit of thigh stretch. I'm not gonna lean far.

Okay. But that's that hip extension. Can we keep that openness when we round this way? Maybe one of the hardest things there is. But I'm trying.

Okay? I'm gonna try to go down. Now see, I'm already starting to ramp. That's okay. In my mind, I'm saying to myself, extend.

I'll get another chance. So will you come this way. As you're going down hips are basically above the knees. We just were in the shape. Stay here, look through the chair.

We're gonna do a little upper back's shoulder, upper back extension. So we need to shoulders to come back. It's that swan. Eyes, nose, chin, and chest. That's all.

That's a breath in. Exhale, let's come back to curving. We're only gonna stay over here and do that five times total. Shoulder blades, eyes, nose, you're going out across the room. Exhale, try to curled your body more.

Inhale. (inhales deeply) And I just changed the breathing on myself for some strange reason. Oh, well. Exhaling. That was interesting.

Still learning. I'm curious about that. And exhale and lift, spring closes. Inhale, spring opens, and we're rolling ourselves all the way up the top. Now, before you let your hands go see what you can do to extend the hips as soon as you can.

Pelvis forward, okay? That's how we practice that. That's how that's gonna continue to repeat itself. All right? Get everyone.

If you want to later, you can always do more repetitions. I'm not gonna right now we're gonna get back down to the floor and we're gonna lower the springs down to, we don't need to spring change. Lucky us. We're gonna come all the way around on the floor. Okay.

Two more exercises. Lie back. All right. I'm gonna just move a little bit the chair away from my head and just sneak in here a tiny, tiny bit. Okay?

So we did the knees to the side at the end of class two. I'm gonna spice it up a little bit. Cross one knee over the other knee. I've just done left knee over right knee. I'm gonna rotate the knees, so to the side.

Hold there and bring yourself back. Three or four more, the same direction. Shoulders are nice and open. Breathing in, we're gonna start to kind of wind down the energy here, everybody. Crossing over, it wouldn't be out of the question to get your knees all the way to the floor.

I'm just holding back a little bit. I've got technology plugged into my body. I've gotta be gentle with wires, and cables, and such. Okay? Other side.

Yeah, but that full crossover, hey, if you feel it's good to get your knees all the way down, you can. And exhale. And this is an example here. We did rotation in the upper body. And a couple of exercises.

This rotations really occurring more in the lower, isn't it? The kind of lower half. (exhales sharply) One, two more. (exhales softly) And then the last exercise. One more of these though, that we're gonna do once again is a rollover with a little bit of difference at the end.

Okay, so take your legs to the ceiling. We'll go three repetitions so you know what's coming. In regular mat work, you know we roll over with legs together, roll down with legs apart. We're gonna do that. We're gonna do that, legs apart.

But over with together, here we go. Full breath. (exhales and inhales deeply) Reach for the top. Open, feel the weight at the corners of the chair. Flex your feet.

Roll yourself down. Once you get your pelvis down level, I'm just gonna bring the legs together for spacing in the room. You can lower your legs and do the mat version. Here we go. (exhales sharply) Open flex, full breath to come down.

We're not moving our chair, we're moving our body as if we had that spring inside. One more time, closing the spring. Flex, inhale, stretch those interior springs. Exhale, close those springs. Bring your knees together, feet down on the floor.

Finish everyone this way today just with your feet apart, arms by your sides, and three breaths. Just feel. (exhales and inhales deeply) So some pretty dynamic exercises in this three part series, in this Wonder Chair Progression. And those are just a few ideas. There are so many options that we can do in the chair.

As you all know or if you don't know, I hope you're gaining some curiosity with the chair. Probably one of my favorite pieces to work on and teach. But that's some examples. I hope you've enjoyed it. Let me know what you think.

And I hope to see you all very very soon. Okay, bye bye.

The Wundaful Wunda Chair: Wunda Chair Fundamentals


1 person likes this.
What a pleasure to see you teaching
2 people like this.
Thanks very much for this series, Amy!  It gives me details and a direction to move forward with my chair workouts.  This particular one will go in my “goal workout” playlist for now, but definitely will work toward it.   It was great to have new Amy classes and I look forward to your next one!  Thanks for your excellence! 
Lu C
1 person likes this.
Thank you for these classes, it s a  really effective exercise progression!
LAALE  -- thank you so much!  Lori so glad you took all 3 classes and yes, keep them and come back to them, mix them in with your other Chair classes!!  All good stuff!  Lu C thank you for saying so.  I hope you all keep up with the chair work!!
1 person likes this.
Great class, Amy!  Thank you!
Christine S
1 person likes this.
Thanks for this great class Amy. The teaser continues to elude me but went back to your version in the unilateral progression program with some improvement :D
1 person likes this.
Thanks Amy, I took the three lessons in the series and And it was wonderful, the classes brought me back to practice on the chair is a tool I really like in Pilates.
i enjoy seeing your way of teaching.
1 person likes this.
I took all three clasSes too and it was so helpful to see how you can progress the same type exercise and amp it up loooooved this'!!!!!
Carla R
2 people like this.
Loved this class and learned so much from this series, so much to offer thank you Amy!!!!
1 person likes this.
Lovely chair session Amy!! Thank you! I love the sidelying on chair w/slight rotation.  And sore in abdominals from mat yesterday! Thank you. Wonderful!! 
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