The Wunda Chair
By Jamie Miller
One of my favorite exercises is Pumping One Leg Standing Front on the Wunda chair as demonstrated by apprentice Grace Jeon. This deceptively simple exercise – which is rated “Basic” – can challenge students of all experience levels and abilities. To do it properly, you must keep your lower limbs – hips, knees and ankles – aligned while maintaining your balance and of course working the powerhouse! In combination with Pumping One Leg Standing Side and Pumping One Leg Standing Crossover, you can get a terrific lower body workout.
Pumping One Leg Standing Front is performed facing the Wunda chair pedal, with typically one spring top and one bottom. Placing the ball of one foot on the lifted pedal with a “high heel “ position, you press the pedal down and control the pedal’s movement up, keeping the knee of the pumping leg bent. The arc movement of the pedal requires subtle shifts in balance to keep the weight forward and lifted.
It’s important to keep the hips square, with the tailbone lengthening as the powerhouse is drawn in and up to lower and lift the pedal. Visualize growing taller through the standing leg and up through the crown of the head as the pedal moves. Varying the speed of the pumping, the position of the arms, and whether the foot of the standing leg is flat or in releve, gives you a lot of ways to mix up this exercise and keep it fun.