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Equipment Series: Pilates Chair

  • Posted: Saturday, March 31, 2018


 

It’s a piece of exercise equipment! It’s living room furniture!

Wait. What?

Believe it or not, Joseph Pilates invented his "Wunda Chair" to serve both purposes: a piece of furniture you could turn into an exercise device. Don’t believe me? Check out the wording in his 1934 patent application: 

“My present invention relates to improvements in chairs. More particularly, it is an object of my invention to devise a chair which will better support the body, promote better posture and insure a more thorough rest and relaxation to the sitter. A further object is to provide a chair which is convertible into an exercising device as well as to provide an improved exercising device.”

Okay, I can’t imagine any of us would actually decorate our homes with a Pilates Chair as it looks today. But, if you’d like to see an incredible video of the original creation as Joseph Pilates demonstrates the Chair in his New York living room, check this out on Vimeo

Let me assure you, the Pilates Chair as it exists today will not provide “rest and relaxation to the sitter.” No. In fact, I have one client who groans every time I slide it towards her — she knows it’s going to be a challenging workout. But despite her resistance, she always thanks me later. Because the Pilates Chair varies the body positions used on the reformer or trap table, it allows for slightly different stability muscle groups to be called into action. 

Men especially enjoy sessions on the Chair, as it is probably the most athletic of all of the apparatus. I’ve also been told it feels the most like traditional gym equipment — calling to memory the seated machines — so there’s a sense of familiarity that many gym-goers enjoy.

But, the Pilates Chair is so much more versatile than those gym machines.

In fact, almost any exercise from the reformer has a counterpart that can be performed on the Chair. However, because of the seated or standing position, it can be argued that the motion is more functional as it relates to our daily lives. It is also a priceless tool for balance work because performing the movement in the seated or standing position requires much greater stability.

As you look at the Chair, you probably first assume its usefulness in developing leg strength. Indeed, many runners, skiers, and basketball, football and hockey players utilize it to focus on leg power. But what you may not realize, is the Chair is also amazing for upper body work! It is an incredibly well-rounded apparatus for the entire body — all while keeping your core strong and engaged, and developing better functional balance.

The Pilates Chair was an integral part of Joseph Pilates’ vision and is certainly an essential part of our practice here at Body Aligned. So, when we pull it towards you, remember the benefits of this unique apparatus.

For complete details on our Pilates offerings and pricing, see our Pilates section by clicking here.


 

 

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