We are fortunate to have the photos and basic instructions for this Pilates chair workout for the lower body contributed by Pilates instructor Kevin Bowen. Kevin is the co-founder, past President and former Executive Director of the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA), as well as the former Director of Education for Peak Pilates a division of Mad Dogg Athletics. Kevin is a PMA Certified Pilates teacher PMA CPT. He teaches, conducts continuing education workshops and Pilates instructor training throughout the US and abroad.
In this workout, Kevin is demonstrating on the MVe Pilates chair, a modern adaptation of the traditional Pilates chair. You should be able to do most of this workout on any chair you have, including the Malibu Pilates chair. Since spring tension varies on different Pilates chairs, you will have to judge your settings yourself. In general, these exercises are done on a medium - high setting.
A few points for your workout: Though this is a lower body workout, you are working from your core and your whole body is involved. Your abdominal muscles will be engaged -- lengthening your spine and lifting your trunk out of your hips so that they can move more freely. Remember to use the pedal to maximum effect by staying engaged with the spring as you release. Notice how in many exercises Kevin presses his hands into the side of the chair to help widen his shoulders and chest, as well as engage his arms with his core.*
From Kevin: "For my personal workouts I tend to do a cross training regimen which includes combining and working out with free weights and machines in the gym -- incorporating, of course, the movement principles of Pilates -- along with my Pilates routine. 3 days per week I like to utilize the Wunda Chair at the end of my gym routine to address my lower body and balance. Here is my workout."
*As with our other Pilates studio equipment exercise instructions, this lower body workout with the Pilates chair is meant to support a Pilates practice that is informed by instruction from a qualified Pilates instructor. The instructions,along with a few guide tips, are brief -- meant to remind you of the choreography and form.
Keep in mind that the Pilates chair is a spring-loaded piece of equipment. This lower body workout progresses into more advanced exercises. If at anytime you feel unsteady, it will be wise to skip or modify the exercise.