Wunda Chair for Backbending

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Kara builds this Wunda Chair workout around backbends and the wonderful opening they provide. With her cues and sequence of exercises, she gradually takes your body through movements that support and allow for the final exercise here: a real backbend using the wall for support. Exercises included: Footwork, Pull Up, Mermaid Kneeling, Flying Eagle, Swan + Swan with One Arm, Teaser, Arm Frog, Arm Frog Reverse, Semi-Circle, Star, Splits on the Floor, Backbend at the Wall (as preparation for someday doing the Super Advanced Backbend over the Wunda Chair). Visit Kara at Kara Wily Pilates in Los Angeles.

What Others Are Saying


  1. Suebelle
    Suebelle 8 years ago

    So can not wait to try this workout! I am always working on back bending! Thanks!

  2. Andrea Maida
    Andrea Maida 8 years ago

    I loved this workout Kara, really nice choice of exercises and why you need them to prepare the body for backbends- and the semi circle- thanks for reminding me of this exercise- it is a new one for me on the chair. I am excited for your high bridge on the chair as I have only seen a photo of this exercise. I am with you – sure don’t want to give up these movements either:) yay for the backbending!

    • Kara Wily
      Kara Wily 8 years ago

      Thank you Andrea. I am such a fan of yours too. Funny I have been concentrating on my whole foot to abdomen connection more lately–I am hoping this will help me to prepare for that High Bridge. (Pant, pant!)

  3. soul_eil
    soul_eil 8 years ago

    Well I did great until we got to the Star, however in my defense, I have a brand new chair that’s very different from my old one…so much practice in my future. Climbing down the wall for Backbend is genius! Have never done it that way, only from the ground up into ‘wheel pose’ in yoga. I did great, a little fearful but close to the ground. And you 40 yr old children, I’m just passed my 1/2 birthday and am staring 57 ( cough cough) in the face…it works, if we work it…I’m not going down easy. Thanks Kara, this was inspiring!

    • Kara Wily
      Kara Wily 8 years ago

      That rocks! Yeah, so side kick kneeling is another way to work on the Star strength. I am about to work out myself, so you have now inspired me too! I have to give the credit to Romana for the walking down the wall–but I love it too. Thank you so much!

  4. Kara Wily
    Kara Wily 8 years ago

    Thank you so much, Jack! How awesome to have the privilege of training you again here!

    • JackKeller
      JackKeller 8 years ago

      The privilege was mine. Your explanations were deep and meaningful. I could see exactly how your body was working and understood why and what you were working to accomplish. If practiced the way you teach it, it’s a very tough and rewarding workout. I’ll use it again and again. Cheers, JK

  5. JackKeller
    JackKeller 8 years ago

    Awesome Workout Kara 🙂

  6. Kara Wily
    Kara Wily 8 years ago

    Good to know. Thank you for trying out the workout and I hope to be back with Part 2!

  7. JackieBebenroth
    JackieBebenroth 8 years ago

    Loved the concept of this workout, but would’ve liked to see a few more exercises or reps (and a little less instruction) packed into 30 minutes!

  8. lghammerle

    Thank you Kara! You did a great job with demonstrating the pull ups and the articulation in semi-circle. Look forward to the seeing you achieve your backbend goal over the chair!

  9. arlene
    arlene 8 years ago

    Thanks for this, Kara. I have been really trying hard to work on my backbends. Great chair sequence, your demo was strong and crisp and so inspiring for me.

    • Kara Wily
      Kara Wily 8 years ago

      Thank you! Great. I do think that the movement is so important for our hips, backs and sides and shoulders–I know I don’t want to give up that mobility any time soon. Thank you so much!

  10. pilatesangel 8 years ago

    I am with you Kara….almost 40! Amazing how much stronger I feel than in my 20s thanks to Pilates! Thanks for sharing this combination of exercises to help open the back. I did get about half way down the wall without cheating (yay!) and got an amazing adjustment to my back as well. Felt great! My star on my left was so much weaker, and just like my bridges/backbends not as well supported….helped me realize how much weaker and where I need to work. Thank you!!

    • Kara Wily
      Kara Wily 8 years ago

      Yay! Yeah I was noticing on the Reformer the other day how much Star sort of splits the body in half and you can work your whole left side only and then right side only. So amazing. Glad you liked it! I am working on it too–I hope I can update it with the full high bridge on the Chair. I’ve been working to get it on two springs on Reformer too–hard!

      • pilatesangel 8 years ago

        Cannot wait to see/hear you can successfully do high bridge on the chair! I am going to use this workout as a go to in order to help with my kneeling side kicks. I have always struggled to feel lifted and supported in my hips on one side and I think Star on the chair will give me the tools to strengthen! After my second time doing this workout I felt abit more connected on my weak side…. Thanks again!

        • Kara Wily
          Kara Wily 8 years ago

          Nice! Thank you, again. I’m working on it.

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