“All the knowledge and repertoire that I learnt will 100% stay with me and I will pass this knowledge on through my work with clients. I will endeavour to utilise similar explanations when teaching clients how to use any for of Pilates equipment.”
What is a Wunda Chair?Posted on May 31, 2019 by admin
The “Wunda” or Pilates Chair is a versatile piece of equipment used in many Pilates studios, fitness centres and rehabilitation settings around the globe. Given that Joseph Pilates was born in Germany, it is no wonder that the original name of the chair derives from the German translation of the word “Wonder” which is “Wunder” and eventually was stylized to become “Wunda”.
The original Pilates chair was of a much more simplistic design than the models currently being used today, Joseph Pilates himself designed the Wunda Chair as a way to prescribe exercises for his clients to do in their homes, and given that his studio was located on Eighth Avenue at 56th Street in Manhattan, the Wunda Chair was designed to fit the limited space that New York City apartments provided. The Wunda Chairs that Joseph designed with his clients in mind were made to function as a regular chair and transform into a piece of exercise equipment whenever the desire struck, a feature which caused the Wunda Chairs to soar in popularity in the metropolitan area. Simple though it may have been – the engineering aspects which are based upon the resistance provided by springs was key to building strength and endurance. Before too long this invention born out of necessity would become one of the staples of his thriving Pilates studio as Joseph began frequently using the more refined models in his studio to rehabilitate clients with knee injuries. He specifically designed repertoire for use when the treatment required the intense hamstring activation which the Wunda Chair readily provides.
Unfortunately following the death of Joseph Pilates, the Wunda chair fell into obscurity as many of his disciples continued teaching on the equipment with which they were most comfortable such as the universal Reformer and the Cadillac.
Kathleen Stanford Grant who trained directly with Joseph in his original studio was considered to have the most knowledge on the Wunda Chair and she continued to share her knowledge with her proteges until her death in 2010. Most classical chair exercises that we know today have been passed down by her directly or through the archival photos and videos of Joseph teaching using the Wunda Chair.
The modern Pilates Chair (or Wunda Chair as it has come to be known) has a simplistic design- consisting of a box with a padded top and a pedal on one side that moves against the resistance of springs anchored to the opposite side of the chair. Some of the most important uses of the Wunda Chair are in the safe and controlled building of strength during pregnancy, as pregnant clients are able to work in a position that is safe and effective for them, especially towards the later trimesters. The Wunda Chair is also very beneficial for the activation and awareness of the intrinsic muscles of the feet to assist balance in clients of all ages. The Wunda Chair can be used extensively for a range of standing repertoire and balance work. Some Wunda Chair models even boast a split pedal which is a great for strengthening and mobilising the spine as it anchors the upper body and allows the client to isolate their spinal rotators in an unparalleled fashion.
The present day Wunda Chair repertoire has evolved to include a large collection of full-bodied, acrobatic exercises perfect for challenging and evolving your Pilates practice. The modern day Wunda Chair, accompanied by appropriate and dynamic training is a sure lagniappe both to studios and bodies alike.
Praise From Our Students And Graduates
“….Caroline (Caz) broke the days up well with a balance of completing the
practical and theory components. She was very flexible in her delivery
and allowed us to ask questions are we went. She also made it specific
and relevant to our needs and experience level e.g. desire for more
Pelvic floor set up etc. We would have loved even more time with her,
the course was incredibly valuable. All team members at Tensegrity
have been very helpful and approachable to help with our questions and
enquiries. Thank You!…..”
I feel the practical assessments is allowed me to feel confident in my understanding of the exercises. I thoroughly enjoyed this part!! Practicing how to explain an exercise and personally knowing how to do them was my challenge, that I’ve now overcome. I will confidently use my learning from this course to teach Pilates classes at the studio I now work in. I’m very excited to be ‘officially’ getting started on my journey as an Instructor!!
‘…..I was very fortunate to have Leanne Mollison as my teacher who kept me
motivated and engaged the entire time. Given Leanne is so passionate
and knowledgeable about Pilates, she was able to ignite a spark in me,
allowing me to be so excited about being a Pilates instructor.
Leanne’s method of teaching of ensuring we are all totally immersed in
the world of Pilates and the required anatomy knowledge, had the
greatest impact on me as I was able to learn the material so much
quicker and easier. Leanne was so supportive and she was able to
challenge us without pushing us over the edge….’
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‘….The entire day was super informative and working with Bruce was wonderful! He was very good at explaining everything and the day was great! There were a lot of phrases and explanations that Bruce used that have stuck with me since Sunday!…”
I have recently completed my Integrated Diploma of Contemporary Pilates and Teaching Methodology with Tensgrity Training and in partnership with Queen St Pilates Studio and absolutely loved every minute of it!
Leanne kept us all so engaged throughout the course and was able to challenge us, without pushing us over the edge. Leanne was professional, inspiring, supportive and filled with so much knowledge … it was a privilege to do the course with her. Leanne is so passionate about Pilates, our bodies and our overall health, it created a positive and enjoyable atmosphere to learn in.
Queen St Pilates studio was also the perfect environment to undertake the course, with so much support provided by all the current instructors and reception staff.
‘…Bruce’s communication style and his ability to enable me to “feel” what muscles were engaging was outstanding…’
‘…Kaz was simply amazing. She explained and demonstrated to us so well
and we were able to pick everything up so quickly…’
‘…..From as young as I can remember my mum has always been bringing me along to Pilates. It wasn’t until I was around 15 that I started taking interest and going myself. I always loved that ‘after class feeling’ and the perfect balance of strength and flexibility.
Along with my new found love of Pilates soon followed a passion for an all round healthy lifestyle. This is where my Pilates journey really began.
Three days before my 16th birthday I started my Certificate IV in my sunny home town of Port Macquarie.
With my teacher and mentor being my mum, it was such an enjoyable experience I gained a deeper awareness of my body. It was through my certification and passion for healthy living that I began my degree of Naturopathy and relocated to Geelong Victoria. It was here that I fell in love with Hot Pilates and started teaching at Upstate Studios. With the classes having up to 60 students each, every class has such a high vibe and is always nothing but fun.
I feel so grateful to have a job that I truly enjoy and is flexible around my studies. I hope to continue teaching and one day have my own studio. I couldn’t be more grateful!….’
‘….I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at Queen St Pilates Studio, feeling
very welcomed and included into a great group of people. Leanne is an
incredible teacher, I admire her passion and dedication to her
students and work place. I felt very supported throughout my face to
face learning time with her….’
I recently completed the group reformer course though Tensegrity training at Queen St Pilates Studio in Adelaide. Over the three fantastic days of face-to-face training, I was able to broaden my knowledge and understanding of the body and the benefits and versatility of the reformer. Being only 1 of 5 people in this course meant that we were very interactive with the teacher and were able to ask frequent questions, create relative conversations, and feed off of each others ideas. It also meant that we could all use each other to demonstrate and create scenarios, and the instructor was almost always available to tend to us.
The online theory was thorough and simple to follow, which prepared me well for the hands on learning. Ample time was provided to complete the assessments away from the studio, and I loved having to put my knowledge to the test using real life scenarios and putting together class plans for different injuries, ages and fitness abilities. I think this type of learning prepares you extremely well for taking on clients. It was only a week after the course that I taught my first reformer class and it was incredible. I felt like I knew how to tend to each participant based on their abilities and knew how to modify/progress them. It felt extremely natural. I am still teaching at this pilates studio in Moonta Bay and over the course of these past few months I feel like the information I was provided with through Tensegrity has sunk in and progressed, and has not only been of high value to myself, but to the studio and its clients as well.
I have also now completed the face to face component of the Certificate IV in Contemporary Pilates & Teaching Methodology.
‘….Further information around achieving neutral spine through various
exercises. Greater depth of understanding of Cadillac repertoire. I
very much enjoyed learning form Bruce who not only has extensive
knowledge & experience, but has a very inclusive and approachable
I have recently completed Integrated Diploma of Contemporary Pilates and Teaching Methodology through Queen St Pilates Studio and Tensegrity Training. I found the learning environment that Leanne Mollison has created at her studio to be very supportive no matter what background the student may have. The course prepares you to enter your career as Pilates instructor both from a technical and physical perspective with lots of opportunities to practice and perfect your teaching style along the way. Leanne is a wealth of knowledge and keeps the course interesting and engaging for the students. After completing my face to face hours of the Cours I gained work in the industry and that is a testament to the quality of my knowledge and teaching skills gained from the course. I highly recommend the course offered through Queen St Pilates Studio to anyone who is looking at becoming a Pilates instructor.
Clinical Practice hours were valuable time spent under supervision getting hands on training in a safe and supportive environment. I had “lightbulb” moments throughout the training with certain phrases, cues or knowledge that the trainer shared with us. The dots started to slowly join. I really enjoyed the Cadillac training and feel confident to go ahead and instruct in all aspects of Pilates instruction.
I have taken away the knowledge acquired in the Integrated Diploma and put it into practice at the Pilates & Yoga studio where I now teach. I am seeing better results and from clients in my classes and have had great feedback. I have learnt so much about my own body and now have a deeper understanding of both my personal Pilates practice and teaching.
The quality of the training provided by Tensegrity Training was excellent. The modelling was impressive, and they demanded and succeeded in getting the best from each of us. I was challenged and encouraged greatly as a result. The requirement to complete observations sessions was greatly appreciated as I learnt a great deal from viewing qualified instructors. I was impressed by my trainer’s knowledge and mastery of her craft. Inspirational!
The course thoroughly covered safe movement for various conditions and rehabilitation exercises for various pathologies. As most people have some sort of physical issue, I thought this was extremely valuable. Every aspect of the course was so valuable and had a positive impact on my Pilates teacher learning journey.
‘….I undertook my Diploma of Contemporary Pilates & Teaching Methodology with Tensegrity Training in 2015. For me, it was a total career change having spent the previous 10 years practicing as a litigation attorney. After years of doing Pilates for my own body and experiencing its many benefits, I decided to turn it into a career. The training I did with Tensegrity gave me the skills and the knowledge to work for myself, support my young family, be more present at home and to teach others the joy of Pilates.
The course is well structured, beginning with an understanding of anatomy before diversifying into content that covers both the theoretical as well as practical aspects of the Pilates method, including how to operate a Pilates business. Tracey is a charismatic and passionate teacher whose extensive knowledge is founded in many disciplines, resulting in an educational experience that goes beyond ‘just Pilates.’ In this course you are challenged to think independently, to deduce, differentiate, apply and justify what you are taught. You are required to think critically, logically and thoughtfully in order to successfully and accurately apply what you know to any given scenario. This is how all Pilates courses should be, in order that students enter the profession as self-contained, independent thinkers. The Diploma provides a solid foundation from which to begin your Pilates career.
The learning environment at Tensegrity is relaxed, beautiful and collegiate, and there is opportunity for continuing professional development after you have completed your initial training.
After completing my training with Tensegrity, I worked for a number of studios around the Sunshine Coast before opening my own small, boutique studio. I have a dedicated clientele and delight in what I do every day. For me, witnessing the difference Pilates makes to my clients’ physical and mental health is the greatest reward. I am forever grateful to Tracey at Tensegrity for encouraging me along this path….’
I enjoyed the academic and physical components of the course equally. I am very fortunate to have been offered work in a Studio, so everything I learnt in the Course has proved invaluable. Thank you! I also feel well prepared to teach and confident to ask questions and seek guidance from Tensegrity if needed. They are so supportive of current and past students.