The Pilates System: Teaser on the Wunda Chair

The Pilates System: Teaser on the Wunda Chair

For Andrea

A big thank you to Studio Flo Pilates for hosting me this past weekend.

It was a pleasure to be in your studio and get to know your teachers. I love connecting with fellow Pilates nerds! Thanks for stimulating such a wonderful conversation on the order of the Reformer exercises. I look forward to future collaborations with your bustling studio!

It was a fun 2 months of focus on the Reformer. Thanks also to Studio S Pilates for hosting my Transitions workshop in the month of March. You guys are always a good time 🙂

If you're like me, maybe you too can't get enough of the Reformer?

Meanwhile, on the other side of the studio…

The Pilates System: Teaser on the Wunda Chair

Our beloved Pilates method: so many exercises, so little time…in our workout hour.

Many of you participated in my recent Small Barrel Project.

I was thrilled to learn you found the Barrel exercises to be as helpful jaw-droppingly informative as I did. The Spine Corrector packs quite the Pilates connection wallop.

Reformer? Check.

Small Barrel and Spine Corrector? Check, check.

Wunda Chair?

The Pilates System: Teaser on the Wunda Chair


I find myself so wrapped up in my Reformer and Mat workouts, that the Wunda Chair in my studio literally gets dusty.

Oh dear.

The Mat exercises function as a barometer for “How's it going?” – are all our exercises on the Reformer and around the studio truly making our skills better and therefore our Mat exercises better?

Given this POV I propose the Wunda Chair exercises challenge our skill building in the same way. Now the playing field is tiny, mostly above ground level and fierce!

The exercises done on the Wunda Chair are sometimes familiar: Swan, Teaser, Horseback, Spine Stretch, Star. However our Mat surface here on the Chair is minimal.

No lying down and not much room to sit or kneel.

Our Wunda Chair exercises put a different spin on our fundamentals:

  • The Roll Up on the Mat and the Elephant on the Reformer become the Push Down.
  • The Knee Stretch Series on the Reformer morphs into the Mountain Climb.
  • The Wunda Chair closes up the parameters for our Spine Stretch.
  • The Frog shows up everywhere: Arm Frog, Frog Facing Away and Frog Facing Chair.
  • Swan Dive is similar minus the support for our prone body position.

With our beloved Pilates method we're always in familiar territory and yet NOT.

I plan to implement a Dust Off Your Wunda Chair Challenge for myself.

30 days.

13 Exercises:

  1. Footwork
  2. Pull Up
  3. Push Down
  4. Spine Stretch
  5. Teaser Stretch
  6. Swan/One-arm/Dive
  7. Teaser on the Chair (video tutorial at the bottom of  this post!)
  8. Mermaid Seated
  9. Flying Eagle
  10. SemiCircle
  11. Going Up Front
  12. Mountain Climb
  13. Star

Wanna play along?

Let me know in a comment below if there are exercises in my 13 that are unfamiliar to you.

I'll film a video of this full Wunda 13 Workout and also highlight unfamiliar exercises in a tutorial of their own.

Let me know what you'd like to see next!

A few of the exercises are daunting, and please know I feel the same way.

And if you've got a favorite to stick in there, feel free. There are sooooo many good ones.

13 exercises?!

Yes. My list began with 10 only to grow to 13 as I couldn't part with a few faves.

Teaser on the Chair

The Pilates System: Teaser on the Wunda Chair

Today's exercise will start us off with a bang. I find it particularly hair-raising, but with further exploration and connection I am gaining more control.

Sweet, sweet control.

In the video at the end of this post you'll find tips to refine your Teaser on the Chair:

  • Teaser on the Floor is a strengthener of our Round shape and of our Teasers all around the studio.
  • Teaser 1: legs remain in the air
  • Optional pumping the pedal: remember our priority of closing the pedal with control.
  • Teaser 2: legs lower and extend the hip.
  • Teaser 3: Everything down, everything up. Jay Grimes described this version to me as “just like rock-a-bye baby…” as I was sweating buckets of course.

Enjoy this short tutorial. 

Share your successes in a comment below.

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  1. Glad to hear I am not the only one for whom the Teaser on the Chair is “a little scary”!

    • You are not alone. Doing a Teaser on top of the Wunda Chair is like being on top of a cliff! Let your mantra be – I’m just doing the Teaser ON THE MAT 🙂 Thanks again for reading and let’s work on these challenging chair exercises together.
      Happy Teaser Tuesday!

  2. Alessandra says

    Woo hoo!! I shall dust down my chair and join you for some #wundalove❤️… however… alas! I’m not that familiar with the wunda chair rep ???? In fact not actually heard of exercises 9-13☺️☺️ Soo a video tutorial would be fabulous!! However lucky me ???? is doing your chairs and barrels workshop very soon, so am hoping that may well help!! Meanwhile I’ll do what I can… along with polishing up my overhead I’m going to be one busy lady????????????????
    #Getonthatwunda???? #seeyousoon xoxo
    PS California visit dates confirmed! 18th August til 2nd September! Get those martini glasses ready ladies ????????????????????????????

    • A 30 day WUNDA challenge sounds great, will my Wunda Footwork look like yours in the picture after a month!!!??? (one can aspire) I like that “The Mat exercises function as a barometer for “How’s it going?” – are all our exercises on the Reformer and around the studio truly making our skills better and therefore our Mat exercises better?” Um….maybe? 🙂 My biggest challenge is rotation, I get stuck on one Apparatus, which I suppose isn’t a bad thing, but I tell you nothing makes me feel more worked than the Mat (I know, Andrea, you are saying: “well maybe if you moved a little faster on the Reformer…”) Back to the 13th Floor Wunda-vators, I’m not familiar with Teaser Stretch, One Arm Swan/Dive, Flying Eagle and Star but I’m sure we can touch base on those :)…Let’s rock this chair.

      • Hi there –
        Knew you wold be game for a Wunda Chair challenge 🙂 Yes, I am happy we reviewed the unfamiliar exercises in your lesson this week. I am so interested to see what happens over 30 days of these challenging exercises! Happy to have you with me on this journey. What are your date possibilities for the time Alessandra is in the US? Let’s find a date that can work for all of us so you’ll be able to plan travel and I’ll have time to work on the cocktail menu LOL.
        Today was my Day 3 on the Wunda and I think I might feel a weensie bit stronger…!
        For the record I have been doing my Small Barrel exercises before the Wunda Chair exercises. Just like when I approach my Reformer workout. Yum Yum.
        Last night I even added an extra “feel good” exercise after the Star cause it’s so bad and it’s the last exercise. I love the Twist on the Chair, so it may pop into the list for me. If you’ve got a favorite to add while you’re at it go for it.

        • 🙂 Sweet! The Wunda Challenge really wrung me out good! I was super sore in places I didn’t know I had muscles; who knew just trying to move the pedal could work a muscle so much?! I wonder if I can do even 2% of the Star after 30 days? I will add the Side Pull Up and Standing Single Leg PD to my challenge regime! I’m pretty flexible with dates in August as long as I sorta know them by say mid-June? Keep on rockin’!!!

          • Alessandra says

            Yay!! So excited that we’ll soon be meeting in person Cor ???????????????????????? I’ll be staying with friends in Redondo Beach but can easily slip down to Solana Beach for sun ☀️ sea ???? surf ???? (well watching ????) pilates ???? pals and cocktails ????!! Thanks to lovely Andrea for enabling a pilates geek fest to happen ???????????????? ????????????????????????????❤️????????

          • Hi there –
            Yes, when I see you next week at Equinox let’s hone in on a date for our Pilates geekfest/cocktail party. Corrie I will check with you when I see you tomorrow to see what would work best. And by June 1 we will have a plan 🙂 So excited to see you all soon! xox ps. let’s talk Wunda.

    • Oh yes, the dates…will check and try to make it happen!! Martini glass being shined as I type.

      • Alessandra says

        Yay!! Let’s rock that chair! Love that!! My biggest challenge is getting my hips over my head (gracefully ???? No heave-ho’ing????) like in the rollover, jack-knife and corkscrew…hence my overhead project!! And I’m with you pilates geek pal???? Nothing made me feel worked out like the mat UNTIL I started practicing the correct order of the reformer à la Andrea ????????????!! Now I’m puffing and sweating by the rowing series!! Eek!!
        Looking forward to hopefully sharing our pilates stories over a glass or two in the summer if the universe conspires to a pilates geek party!???????? ????????????????????????

        • I have to say that after just 13 Chair exercises which takes me about 10-15 minutes, I am huffing and puffing. Will be interesting to see if that changes over the 30 days too… #pilatesparty #wundachairparty

          • Alessandra says

            Me too doing barrel exercises before the chair. They seem to compliment each other ???????????? I’m still working on the chair repertoire (as you can see from my video☺️) but am just trying The exercises I know… I have a Stott chair so still figuring out the springs????.. but hey, the intention is there!! I find the chair exercises really help to open my low back, which is great for me… #wundalove❤️ #gettingthere????
            #rockon pilates people ????????

      • Woo hoo!!

    • Excellent – let’s figure out when you’ll be in SD in my studio and we can plan a Pilates soiree. Working out and cocktails! Perhaps we could have a couple hours to have a workout (where each person picks an apparatus in the studio and does their own workout while I walk around to help) followed by a discussion topic to have a mini-workshop after the workout. And of course followed by a cocktail party! What do you think? Corrie would love to attend and I have a few teacher clients here that would be into it – and enjoy meeting you – as well. Thoughts?
      I LOVED your Teaser on the Chair video – and woo hoo! about your Overhead as well 🙂
      Yippee – see you soon!!

      • Alessandra says

        Gosh! Andrea this sounds amazing! How kind of you to offer! ???? I have no plans as yet whilst I’m in the LA area so I can fit in with you as far as a date goes… would love to meet some fellow pilates geeks! ????…maybe we could discuss further when you’re In London for your workshops? I’m soo #excited ???? Yippee!!

  3. This is great! I will try my hand at these 13 exercises. What is the “flying eagle” on the chair? I’m familiar with the exercise on the tower/cadillac, but not on the chair. Could you provide a short tutorial on that exercise as well? As always, I thoroughly enjoy your blog and your posts! They are super helpful!

    • Hi Rachel,

      Thanks so much for reading and taking the Wunda Chair challenge! The Flying Eagle on the Wunda Chair is very similar to the Cadillac/Tower exercise Swan done with the Push Thru bar with straight arms. On the Chair you lie on the floor on your stomach in front of the chair with your hands up on the pedal – 1 middle spring. Basically you lift up like the shape of Swan and the pedal comes down, and then you come down as you lift the pedal back up to close the spring.
      The Flying Eagle would be a good exercise for a tutorial, so stay tuned for that 🙂
      Thanks so much for your kind words on the blog – truly appreciated!

  4. I can’t wait to join you for the challenge. However I am unfamiliar with the mountain climb, star and semi circle on the chair. It would be great to see these in action. Also you asked which ones we love. I do love a good flying eagle on the chair and can’t wait to get started. Many thanks for all your tutorials I love them each week.

    • Hi Catherine,

      Thanks for sharing here with your exercise tutorial requests. Yes I will add these to my list: Mountain Climb, Star and SemiCircle. I too love the Flying Eagle – yay! Thank you so much for watching and reading and for sharing your thoughts and questions here. Keep up the good work! xox

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