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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

either side.

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…….

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