Tutorial #1370

High Chair Methods

5 min - Tutorial


Deborah Lessen shares a few of the advanced exercises that Carola Trier taught on Deborah Lessen's High Chair. She teaches foot exercises that Carola used to get your feet in correct alignment, Arabesque, and much more. She also shows how some of the exercises on the Wunda Chair are similar to a few exercises on the Reformer.
What You'll Need: High Chair, Magic Circle

About This Video


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Yoshi is now demonstrating the leg pumps on the chair. These are very similar to stomach massage, all abdominals and hamstrings. So even when he releases the foot bar, he's using his abdominals and east centrical using his hamstrings to bring the bar up. Now he's going into extension with the heels high and this is the opposite. Hip flexors back extensors.

Now we go to single leg back into flection, two positions first on the ball of the foot again accentuating the abdominals and the hamstrings and then on the heel always feeling some weight on the outer edge of the foot supporting the inside ankle bone. Okay. This exercise I've never seen anywhere, but at Corolla Studio Corolla actually would manipulate your foot and ankle with her hands to get you in the best possible alignment. This is very challenging to center your pelvis in a very prescribed movement of the legs. And then the flex and point, the heel reaches straight back and you have to control the alignment of the foot, use the muscles under the metatarsal arch and keep all of the toes active so you never perch onto demi point passively.

[inaudible] as with all the single leg exercises, one side is usually much easier than the other side and full attention is paid to the alignment. The spring tension is quite heavy, so you have to maintain the resistance and control the springs. The springs are your partner and you never exert more tension than necessary to work with the spring [inaudible] and now we go up to Relevate with the working foot and forced arch [inaudible] and what you can't see is that as you're performing this exercise, you're working very hard to keep your pelvis center [inaudible]. This exercise on the high back chair is very challenging, so the feet are hooked in to the vertical poles on the top of the chair and the trunk has to bear all of the resistance of the springs. And now we move into spiral [inaudible] inhaling up and exhaling, increasing the spiral.

Good and elongating from the hip all the way out through the fingertips. Good and rise. Oh, and arrest. Yoshi is now stepping up onto the chair and going all the way up to arabesque. And this is what Corolla called this exercise Arabesque.

[inaudible] good. And find your balance. [inaudible] no. Yoshi is in second position. On top of the chair. Corolla had a foot plate that sat on top of the chair that was made out of Mesa night with a vinyl covering and it had spines on it to align the outside edge of the foot too. So again, you're always in contact with the fifth metatarsal back through the heel.


fantastic! love it!
Very interesting Deborah. Challenging and inspiring. Love how the chair has the handles coming up the back for support.
Where is that amazing studio?!?!
1 person likes this.
Didis ~ This is Deborah's studio, Greene Street Studio, in New York.
great cues
Loved it
Thank you all- glad to stir some great stuff into the pot!
Kinney F
Are the reformer and chair photos of J. Pilates performing the exercises available for purchase anywhere? Your studio is beautiful. Thanks for sharing.
1 person likes this.
Clear, concise, detailed presentation on the part of the performer and the commentator. I learned a tremdous amount in a brief time. Thank you PA!
Yeong Cheol C
thank you
Bonnie H
I want to learn this!
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