Equipment Highlight: Stability Chair

A view of the Pilates Wunda Chairs, also known as Stability Chairs in the SOMA Movement Studio Equipment Gym. We offer both group and private training using this versatile piece of equipment.

A view of the Pilates Wunda Chairs, also known as Stability Chairs in the SOMA Movement Studio Equipment Gym. We offer both group and private training using this versatile piece of equipment.

This is an awesome piece of equipment that adds more upright exercises to your Pilates repertoire. While exercises on the Stability chair run the full gamut from rehab to beginner to advanced, it's no secret that Joe Pilates' exercise chair has more than its share of challenging exercises. The stability chair, also known as the Wunda Chair (pronounced Vun-Dah) or low chair (yes, there was also a high chair), has a much smaller footprint which leaves you mostly hanging out in space, having to support your body weight against gravity with minimal support from its spring loaded pedal.

A bit about the history of this versatile piece of equipment. The Wunda chair was originally designed as a home exercise machine for New York City apartments. Early designs actually converted from a chair you could sit on, complete with cushions and trim, to a Wunda chair you could exercise with.

Joe Pilates demonstrating some of the beginner to intermediate exercises on his Wunda chair. Exercises are more upright so they require more balance, coordination and strength than some of the more supported exercises done on the Reformer, Mat or Cadillac/Trapeze Table.

Joe Pilates demonstrating some of the beginner to intermediate exercises on his Wunda chair. Exercises are more upright so they require more balance, coordination and strength than some of the more supported exercises done on the Reformer, Mat or Cadillac/Trapeze Table.

The basic idea of the chair is that there is a seat with a spring loaded pedal in the place where your legs would normally go. This pedal  can be depressed with either your legs or arms to provide resistance or support, depending on the exercise. Additionally, there are optional handles that can be mounted to the sides of the chair for either support during beginner exercises, or to hold your body suspended in air for advanced exercises. Pilates’ background in gymnastics is reflected in some of the chair exercises. Men often prefer this apparatus because of its emphasis on upper-body strength.

What is it like to exercise on the Stability/Wunda chair? Most exercises are done either sitting or standing so gone is the luxury of laying down on Reformer, Mat, or Cadillac. To perform the intermediate and advanced exercises you need good upper-body strength, scapular and pelvic stability, and good control of your core. The upright position of exercises which are great for functional and athletic training.

At SOMA we have a bunch of these wonderful apparatus available for both private and group training. Click on the interactive, three dimensional picture for a closer look at our Stability/Wunda chairs.....Or for an even more up close and personal experience, come into the studio for a free demo!