Pilates on a kitchen chair? - By Gilli Vafidis
Well yes – why not! Alongside widespread video conferencing over the last 20 months has come a
huge growth in online pilates classes. People everywhere are trying to fit a quick workout into the
time and space available
What can the humble kitchen chair offer? The single most important feature is an easy opportunity
to improve posture with good feedback on screen. Further, setting up the camera to visualise your
chair requires only minimal space adjustment, just clearing away obstructions an arm’s length to
I’ve been working with chair pilates for 3 years now. Initially it was to accommodate people who had
difficulty standing or getting up from the floor. But very quickly, I have discovered that many
Romana exercises adapt to a simple upright chair, and in some cases, form a solid foundation for
more advanced exercise when space and equipment allow.
With 4 points of interaction between the body and resistance to gravity, you have the perfect
opportunity to learn to rebalance in the middle: to equalise the resistance from each foot from the
floor, and adjust each ‘seat bone’ to be equally weighted in the chair seat. If you then line up nose,
tummy button and groin so that the upper body is symmetrically distributed across the midline, with
shoulders at the same height, spine lengthened, top of head lifted to the ceiling, it is the perfect
posture from which to begin the hundred.
Maintaining this symmetry throughout the 25 or so further exercises, is a challenge for even well
trained abdominal muscles.
A chair class can work the whole body top to toe including hands, feet, neck, chest, shoulders, spine,
pelvis, arms and legs in just 55 minutes.
It turns out that chair pilates can translate Romana Pilates into daily life, keeping the spine
supported not just in the studio but here, as I write this blog sitting in my chair…….