Class #4885

Middle Spring Wunda Chair

40 min - Class


What exercises can you do in one spring setting? Enjoy this creative and challenging class with Regina Santos where you move through flexion and extension, side bending and twisting your body. And with staying on one middle spring throughout the class will allow you to focus on keeping your flow. Get ready to explore and have fun!
What You'll Need: Wunda Chair

About This Video

May 30, 2022
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Hi, I'm Regina and today's wonderful Wunda class. We're gonna explore all the exercises that we can do, or as many as we can do on one middle spring. And as I like to do, we're gonna start with footwork like we do on the reformer right away. So I'm on, remember it's one middle spring the whole time, so we don't have to change anything, except for maybe our pad settings, okay. So you're gonna have a seat and do your footwork.

And because you're on one spring, you're gonna change a little bit of the rhythm here. So you can bring your hands back to open up your chest and you want to emphasize the up. We're gonna do 10 of these. So emphasize the up. (exhales sharply) 'Cause the warm up is really to get the blood going, we're moving large muscle groups so that we can get that blood circulating and build the heat in our body as we work on building that connection to our center.

(exhales sharply) And two. Now bring your arches over. You can bring your hands in front of the chair if you'd like, there's so many different positions for their hands here on the Wunda chair when you're doing your footwork. But just make sure what you're doing is what? Always staying connected to the center of your body.

(inhales sharply) Okay, in and in. Notice the emphasis on the up instead of the down. So if you have heavier springs, you might emphasize the down, but because we are on one light spring, we think about going up and up and up to build the heat. Now for your heels, you can bring your arms back behind you, in front or even stretch 'em overhead if you'd like, okay. (inhales sharply) (exhales sharply) We're being creative here, we're applying some of the main keys of Pilates that we know, finding our two-way stretch, reaching. (exhales sharply)

Deep in the stomach. Building heat, I can feel it. And three and two, and just like the reformer, we do 10 repetitions of each. Now we stand up and we do our tendon stretch. We just push down on the step.

Some people call it a step, some people call it a pedal. You can place your pad off to the side. And then you bring your hands on top of the chair, the fingers are out to the side. You round your spine and it looks so simple. But I want you to think about pulling your belly in and thinking about reaching your back to the back behind you.

So you find your two way stretch, you pull the belly in as the heels come down. This opens up your back and opens up your whole back body and then push down. Once you found that connection, you can go down, maybe pick up this pace a little bit, but keep the work coming from the center of your body. Okay, pulling the belly in, pushing the heels down and up. Let's do maybe three more here, down and up, two more.

And up. Last one, push the heels down and then lift your heels, step off with control, and then come on up. Now we get to our warm up for real, okay, it's the 100. We can't forget the 100 everybody, no matter what we do in Pilates, you bring your knees in, shoot your legs up. You really feel the feedback on top of this seat and you push it down in.

And then you deepen your stomach, exhale. (exhales sharply) Now as long as you can feel your back connected to the seat, you can lower your heels down, but today this is where my legs wanna be for my spine and exhale. (exhales sharply) Inhale, exhale, we moved our legs, now we're moving our arms for big pumps (exhales sharply) And we'll do a few more. Exhale. Two more sets for me.

Exhale. (exhales sharply) Last set for me. Exhale. (exhales sharply) Let's bend your knees, hold onto your legs, come up just for a little reprieve. We're gonna do two more exercises here on top of the chair, actually three more.

Okay, first is you're gonna round back, you're gonna do a part of your abdominal series for single leg pull. Right knee in, left leg out, stretch. (inhales sharply) (exhales sharply) Again, this is part of our warm up to connect. (exhales sharply) Reaching leg away. (exhales sharply) Elbows out.

(exhales sharply) Pulling knee actively into the chest to stretch your legs, right, because Pilates is a full, comprehensive stretch and strength system. (exhales sharply) I would say you find like 85% of the principles of fitness in Pilates, I'm not kidding. Okay, two more each way, stretch and strength. (exhales sharply) And then another. Now if you can go right away, both knees in for your double leg stretch, okay.

Reach your arms and the legs away, big circle. (exhales sharply) Up, exhale, just do three more. (inhales sharply) (exhales sharply) Two. (exhales sharply) Last one. Come on up to sit, to take a little bit of a break.

Okay, now last exercise here is your criss-cross. It's a great way to really understand that you can really open those elbows as you rotate. So you lay back down, you have that support of the seat, hands go behind the head, rotate and get the elbow out and just focus on for your waist. (exhales sharply) Nothing new here. You've probably seen this, you've seen, hmm, a lot of this, right?

Just work on the rotation (exhales sharply) And then come on up to sit. So it's interesting, right? Same exercise versus on the mat, but because we're hovering over the floor and in a small amount of space, our brain tricks us to thinking that it's a little different and because of our brain tricking us, then our body responds in a different way. Okay. Straighten the arms and the legs.

Now we're gonna do spine stretch forward. It's sort of like how we open up with rowing on an intermediate reformer. You pull the belly in to find your connection to open up your back and then come up, right? The pedal comes down because you're pulling the belly in. And it's not because you're pushing your arms down, it's because you're rounding your spine and pulling the stomach in and your arms are connected to your stomach.

Okay. Ooh, one more here. And rounding And then come up to sit. So that was a rep of five, okay, a set of five. And then now I'm just gonna do my reverse push down first before I work on my sides, right?

'Cause in the principles of Pilates, you're gonna go front and side. You've got extensions of your spine, flexions of your spine. We really wanna be able to kind of address all different ranges of movement here. And I lift my chest and I pull the belly in and then I stretch, breathing down, all the way down into my seat. (inhales sharply) And then push, just like rowing here, you keep your spine nice and long.

You keep your chest open and you work from the center of your body as you root, whoops, you root down to your pelvic floor and out through the top of your head. So everything's working. Now, you can switch hands. Okay, and hands back, lengthening the spine. (inhales sharply) Small again.

But wow, does it make a mighty difference? Right, if we're like rounded over checking our devices all the time or standing over the stove and cooking or whatever it is doing what we love to do, right, we wanna make sure that we balance and get that upper back, that back connection to keep our posture nice and strong. Okay, let's release that. Okay, now let's do a little swan, we're gonna lie down on the tummy. Arms length away from the pedal.

I'm just gonna do the one version of swan. Okay, so arms are reaching out long and away. You're pulling the belly button in. The only time you get to move the pedal is because the belly goes in and then the chest lifts up and you push down. You look through the little window and then you lower down, keep reaching your arms down out as you come down with control.

And we'll just do two more of those, pulling the belly button in, (inhales sharply) open up the chest. And then lower. It's like the swan on the reformer, right. Okay. And one more.

(inhales sharply) Keep the energy of your legs reaching out and push down into your feet to lengthen the legs away. And then exhale and then come down with control. You know, even my legs came apart, you can try to work your heels together, whatever your body needs and is responding to in that moment. Now we're gonna do a side press down to connect more to our back. So one arm is going out to the side, you're on your knees, your left hand is just a little bit in front of your hips.

So you're gonna take the right arm up and you side bend. And you work that space between the ribs and the hips. You keep it long, right, so if there's no collapsing, right arm down, this really helps me connect to my sides and then my back. Okay. Again, it looks so simple, but if you're really connecting to your whole body, it's not really necessarily that easy, okay.

We'll do five repetitions on this side and really work that opening of the chest and work that upper back. Okay, two more. Really work the center, really come from the center. (exhales sharply) Last one. (inhales sharply) Ooh, that's gonna feel so good.

All right, we're gonna turn around the other side. It already feels good now, but it's gonna feel good tomorrow too. Okay. Right arm is right in front of your hips, Right, make sure you're aligned, left arm is up and side bend. Feel that back connection.

And then come up. (exhales sharply) Some people call this the mermaid, some people call this a side press down. Whatever you wanna call it, keep your spine long, keep rooting down in your legs and use exercise to feel that back connection. (inhales sharply) (exhales sharply) Okay, we'll do two more. Can you lengthen your spine a little bit more?

Can you defy gravity? Right. And can you think about gaining an inch in your spine after today's workout? (exhales sharply) Ooh. That feels nice.

Okay, next up, we're gonna do a little teaser Legs up, hands are on top of the pedal. You're about arms distance away from the pedal. Now you keep your heels there and you think about open leg rocker while you're doing this, okay, so open land rocker, but you keep your legs down for now. So you round your spine and you pull the belly in and try to get down to your back. And then come up.

(exhales sharply) Okay, so the work comes from the center of the body. Again, I'm not pulling with my arms, I'm pulling from my belly. (exhales sharply) Now if you can, stay there, this is one version where you stay here, you lift the legs up from there, you lower, and then you lift the ribs away and then you stretch forward as you might in your tree on the short box. (inhales sharply) Okay, we're gonna do one more of those. Okay, so you round, pull the belly in, go down to your back.

And exhale and inhale. Exhale, one more. Tall spine, keep your spine nice and tall, keep your back nice and long. Stay down if you can, float the legs up. Lower.

Lengthen space between your ribs and your hips as you come forward. Now we've got one more version of the teaser, okay. Now it's like your open leg rocker where you're really gonna lift your legs up. So from here, hands are on the pedal, you round, and then immediately because you round, you lift the legs up. And then you come down with control, you come down and stretch.

Let's do two more of those and then lift up. And round. Last one, tummy me. And up. And then round over, and then come up from there.

Now since we're here, all we have to do is lie down for your semi circle, okay. So your feet and your knees are hip distance apart, we're gonna do two versions. The first version, we're only gonna curl our heels halfway, and then the second version, we're gonna challenge that and see if we can go all the way. Okay, so you'll follow me when you're ready. Arms are down by those sides, rooting down into your arms, pulling the belly in, feeling like you can control your movement from your center, curl the heels halfway, so the pedal is only going halfway down.

I just had to adjust my feet a little bit because I just got there preliminarily, but your arches are on the pedal. Try to keep the pedal, still lift the hips up. And then pull the pedal away and then lower your hips down. Okay. Connecting to your back body, again, curl the heels in, pulling your belly in, staying in control of that pedal.

As you lift your hips up, pull the heels away, lowering down with control. Wow, that feels nice, you feel like you're levitating here. Pull the heels in and then curl the hips up. And then pull the heels out and then lower. You see how delicate that pedal is, right?

You see how delicate that spring is? It really tells you if you're stable and you're working to find that stability passing through balance. We're reversing it now, lift the hips up. Now only curl halfway. Ooh.

And then lower everything down and then pull the heels away. If you have more resistance with this exercise, you have more support. So with less resistance, you certainly have more challenge here, okay. Heels curled, hold, lower everything down and feel the burn. And this way, it's not so bad.

Okay, one more here and hips up. And curl and then lower everything down with control, pulling the heels away. All right. Now for the doozy, we're gonna try to get that paddle all the way down and do the same exercise. So arms down by the sides.

I'm gonna start with the pedal up first and then curl the heels down because I find that a little friendlier and don't be afraid to crash, okay. So just stay connected to the center of your body and just go for it, okay. You've been practicing for a while and now you're gonna lift the hips up, hold it there, get those hips up, now control the pedal down. Keep your body suspended in air and then lower with control. And then lift the pedal up.

Hips up, roll up, reaching through the knees, reaching your arms long, curl, lower everything down. It's a full body workout, remember. Okay, one more this way, lifting. Up and then curl, keep those hips up, squeeze your bum and then lower the hips down. And then now let's go the other way, okay, let the pedal up, pull the pedal down.

Here we go, and lift the hips up. Hold it here, find that body connection, float the pedal up and then lower it down with control. it doesn't hurt to say a prayer. Okay. (chuckles) And then pull the heels down and then lift the hips up and up, up, up, up, up, now stay in control from the center.

Lift the pedal up and then lower it down with control. One more here folks, pull the heels down towards your seat. It all comes from your center, your powerhouse, lifting your hips up here. Hold, stretch your whole front body. Float the legs up and levitate and then roll your hips down with control.

And then come off to the side, come up to sit. We've got cork screw now. Okay, so corkscrew here is really just about testing the fact that we can find stability here without holding on too much. So the hands are outside on the pedal. Your elbows are slightly bent and we're gonna do a flat cork screw first, and if we feel good, we're gonna take it up over.

Okay, so the legs go up, circle, legs away. They don't have to be big, they can just stay controlled, you gotta keep those legs together and then work from the center of your body. We'll do one more. Flat each side. (exhales sharply) Now let's try to lift, okay, bring your legs forward and lift up to the ceiling.

Hold that, use the pedal. Circle the legs to the right with control. And lift, circle to the left with control. (exhales sharply) Come up and then lower down with control. Bend your knees, come up to sit.

And then now we get to come up on the seat of the chair. Ah, let's see. I'm gonna go ahead and do my swan first 'cause I was in a flexion, now I'm gonna go into an extension. I just put the pad here just because it's nice to keep it like, you know, secure, you don't need the pad, but I intuitively said, okay, I'm gonna use the pad today. Right, so my hands are gonna go underneath my shoulders immediately.

I'm gonna stretch my legs out, I'm gonna pull my belly in and then just make sure the hands are right underneath the shoulders and the legs are reaching away. And then lifting the chest, lifting the spine, keep the legs reaching, the head follows the rest of the spine. We'll do two more of those. (exhales sharply) Keep the tummy in and last one. Now stay down, pump your arms three times with control.

(exhales sharply) We'll do one more set. Up. Keep the legs moving away from you. (exhales sharply) Last one. And pump three times.

(exhales sharply) All right, come on off. Give yourself a little bit of a break. And now we're gonna try that with one arm at a time because why not practice balancing and that unilateral training, right? Keeping our right and our left brain moving together and actually to get all sciencey on you, there's this thing called the Corpus callosum. It's a bundle of fibers that connects our right brain and our left brain together.

And that's actually what we're training when we're switching right and left. Okay, pull the belly in lifting. Up and down. Two more. Up and down.

Last one. Up and bend three times. (exhales sharply) Ooh, that's not easy. Okay. Right arm out, left hand, belly in.

You gotta work from your upper back. It does not come from your lower back, it comes from your stomach and your upper back. (exhales sharply) Three pumps. And then you step off. And a big smile for success.

All right, so now pad down. Some people like to use the pad for your horse back. I don't need it, but if you want, you can use two pads. But for me, I'm good with just myself on the chair. Okay.

So some of us, we like to do a little fancy mount where you jump on it, you don't have to do that, but it goes like this. And you try to land (chuckles) with grace and precision. You flex your feet, bring your hands to the ribs and you squeeze in, rounding your spine, reaching your arms up. And then the arms go down because the body rounds and you find the pedal with your hands, you press down, and you come in and up and you push, and up, one more. (inhales sharply) You stay connected, rooting down into your legs.

The arms come up because the body comes up and then you come down with control. We'll do two more sets of those. You squeeze in, think about exhaling through your pelvic floor, reaching your arms out, finding that two-way stretch, rounding over hands, on the paddle and you push, and up. And then another, hold it. The arms come up because the body lifts.

And you come down with control. Let's do one more of these, okay. Rounding in. And rounding down And push. And up.

(exhales sharply) Last one. Hold it, the body comes up. And you come down with control. Now I did the horseback before I did my teaser because for me, the teaser on this is pretty challenging, and the horseback helps me connect to my lower body because the teaser isn't just an upper body or AB workout, it's your whole body. Okay, so you're gonna come as close to the edge of the chair as possible, so you have a place for your lower back to go.

Now you're gonna place your hands behind your legs, and then you round your spine and you straighten your legs out in front of you. Find your focus, connect, trust that you can reach back for the pedal. Keep your legs up, round as far back as you can, get your lower back down, pull the belly in. (inhales sharply) Opening up your chest. You see that reverse push down here and then come up, reach into the pedal, take the legs up, bend your knees and then come on down.

Let's do two more sets of those, okay. So lift the legs up, pull the belly in, straighten the legs, reach, bend, look into your stomach. Somebody once told me if you just look into your belly and talk to it (chuckles) and convince it and ask it to do the work for you, it helps. And I'm doing that now, holding it here, asking it for help and reaching and then bending and then coming back down. Okay.

The vision, sometimes, the visual cues help us, right? So when you're looking somewhere, it really helps connect to that brain, body connection. Last set, okay. Lift the legs up. Float them up, reaching, arms up, bend your elbows.

And you push. (exhales sharply) You can see the shape that my body is making here, it's very similar to the front rowing. Again, or the back rowing. Right, so again, Pilates is a system that we build on. Now speaking of system, we're gonna do the snake twist.

All right, so I'm gonna start on this side and you have to kind of take a pause and see where hips are gonna go, right? So you're gonna actually balance on one and then you're gonna roll onto your side. So you're positioning the pad to where your hips are gonna be rolling, right? And you're gonna work on like really finding your balance here. So one cheek is off the seat, right?

And then you place your hands behind your legs like you do in your teaser and you're gonna stretch your legs up. Now keep those legs reaching, keep your arms reaching. Now keep the left arm reaching up as you rotate the upper body down and you reach the legs away to twist. And then you keep those legs reaching away and you twist your upper body. And then you come up, keep your hand on the pedal, lift yourself back up, come into a nice teaser, take the arm up and then rotate.

I was just thinking about how I was so thankful for my Pilates practice because you know, one of the last concerts I went to before the pandemic, was inside and it was such a full house that I actually ended up sitting on a banister in this venue with my one cheek off, and I was so thankful that I got to enjoy the show because I was doing my Pilates, I was practicing sitting on one cheek. So you never know when this comes in handy. So now you're gonna change the positioning of your pad and we'll do this to the other side, okay. You know, find your focus, find your center, balance, on this is my left cheek now, both hands are going behind my legs. I'm crossing my left over my right.

I reach the arms up and I keep reaching the legs back behind me as I find the pedal with my left hand and I keep the right arm reaching up, and then you're gonna rotate upper body towards the floor, and you come up and you roll up. Lengthening your body, lifting the arm, and then rolling. Keep reaching the legs away as you rotate. (exhales sharply) Breathing. We'll take one more, up, trusting your balance, trusting your strength.

(exhales sharply) And letting go of any expectations, but just focusing on the present moment and focusing on what your body needs at the time. And then you come on off. Now we're gonna do push downs. It's a nice little treat for ourselves to open up our back. You're gonna place your pad down, you stand in front.

Your toes are about maybe six inches in front of the pedal so that you're about arms distance away from the pedal. So the arms are up and you round over, keeping your belly in, putting weight into your toes, right, stay forward so you're in your center. You push down and you use a step to find your back in your connection to your stomach. You round down and you push. (exhales sharply) Now hold it, keeping your spine long, bend and straighten in your elbows three times.

Hold it round. So it's kind of like that tendon stretch. But now you're just moving your upper body. Bend, then straightening three times (exhales sharply) And then roll up all the way, staying connected to your toes. If I had a teacher, that teacher might be behind me making sure my hips stay in front.

Now let's do one arm, right hand behind the head, left arm up rounding, pulling my belly in. Again, corpus callosum training. It's basically that bundle of fibers that have the right and the left brain communicate together as I mentioned, and they're rolling up, because actually, you know what? Those operating systems, they don't operate, they only operate individually from one another. They can't operate together.

So we want those systems to be able to communicate very efficiently, to switch back and forth between the right and the left so that's where that corpus callosum is important. It's that messenger between the right and the left brain. Okay, so I just switched hands. Hold it, and then I forgot my rounded, so I'm gonna do that now. Okay, so it doesn't matter which order you do it, right, as long as you get to it, okay.

(exhales sharply) And down. And then rolling up. Yeah, sometimes with life, life is like that, right? Pick the arm up and then bring your arm down. Okay, now we'll do our, some people call it standing saw, some people call it a side arm push down, right?

So whatever way you call it, it's again, working both sides of the waist. Arms reach overhead. You round down, place the left hand on the pedal, the right arm goes out and you rotate and twist your upper body. (exhales sharply) Now it's a nice twist. It's like your stomach massage reaching.

Okay, let's do three more. Keep reaching, that right arm, open up the chest on both sides. Use your center to push. And then come up with control. Bring your arms all the way up and then bring 'em down.

Let's step to the other side and do the other side. My right arm is gonna go down, right? And my left arm is gonna go back. So up. Right arm goes down as I round down, I find the pedal, take the left arm back.

Some people might turn their head to look at the arm, for me, I'm just looking down into my legs and my stomach. (exhales sharply) And then I stay connected. And then I roll up, with control taking the arms up. And that is preparing me for our last exercise. And I'm gonna end with a little push up variation, similar to how we end on the mat work with our pushups.

So you're gonna stand, just like you did off to the side, a diagonal to the chair. You're gonna take your arms up and you're gonna round your spine. You're gonna find the floor first. And then from there, you step back in a nice, long back position without moving your hips, take the left hand out, place it on the pedal, push the pedal down five times. (exhales sharply) Don't move your hips, stay connected to your powerhouse, stay connected to your center.

Now if you wanna get fancy, you know, we play around in the studio and do this, we switch, we move to the paddle and then we come up from the center. Okay, so this isn't just an arm exercise, this is a full body exercise. So I've adjusted my feet, so my heels are together and I'm moving from my stomach. So it's not just a tricep push up, it's a whole body workout. Okay, so come on down, float down.

Okay. Step out, left hand goes back on the pedal, come back into position. Lift the pedal up with control, take your hands down, walk your feet, smooth control to your hands. (exhales sharply) Rolling on up, and then opening your arms out. And let's do that one more time.

Stepping to the other side, heels together, turn your toes out, reach your arms up overhead. Dive down to the floor, pulling the belly in, stepping back into a nice long back. And then from here, don't move your hips, take the hand on the pedal, push down five times. Staying connected to the center, your power. Hold it.

Now step to the right, place your left hand on the pedal, right hand on the chair, heels together immediately, whoa, that's really not that easy. Take the push up from the center and I'm only gonna do three repetitions 'cause that's all I need. Hold it. Come down and float, levitate down with control. Step the left leg out.

Step the right hand back, left hand out, find your Pilates position with your legs, don't move your legs, lift the pedal up. Place your hands on the floor, walk your feet to your hands. Hold this position here, round your spine. Then come all the way up and open. And last little bit, because we have a little time, you can step back behind the chair.

Okay, for a nice long back, take the arms up, inhale, exhale, round. And you're gonna find the pedal, your toes are just behind the wood and you push. And then you round. Just another thing to keep our back open, stay down, bend and straighten three times like you're shaving and we'll do two more sets. (inhales sharply) (exhales sharply) It's just a nice little flow to keep your spine moving, to connect to your body, Right?

And there's actually a few more things that you can do with one middle spring, but maybe you can join us for another time for that. Okay, so let's roll up one vertebrae at a time, getting connected, opening up your chest and returning to life and celebrating your little Wunda Chair flow. I hope you have a continuous, wonderful life and you continue practicing your Pilates. We'll see you next time.


Selene S
very nice workout. I like the flow and ease of cueing not too much not too little and your smile. Thank you!
1 person likes this.
fantastic....thank you.  Such great flow, esp loved no spring changes, horseback & semicircle....and the factoid on the cluster of nerves!   thank you, Regina & thank you PA
1 person likes this.
Great class! And a great concept (keeping the spring at one/middle.  Nice long warmup as well.  Really gets us juicy-warm!
Caroline B
1 person likes this.
Content phenomenal, cuing clear and concise. Thank you.
1 person likes this.
What a fun Wunda chair class!  A good challenge, especially the snake twist.  Thank you, Regina!
1 person likes this.
Thanks Regina loved the flow!
1 person likes this.
Wonderful workout on the Chair.  Great cueing, clear and concise!  I, too, liked no spring challenges.  Thanks Regina and PA
Regina Santos
Selene S aww that's nice to hear, thank you for working out with me - the pleasure is mine! 

Regina Santos
Jennifer S oh thank you for working out with me and for following along! I love pilates for all of the treasures that it has for our well-being! I hope to hear from you again! 

Regina Santos
Frank Thank you for working out with me! Yes, to juicy warm ups!! :) 

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