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Chaise 23 Pilates Chair Workout

A Total-Body Workout You Can Do in Your Chair

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It's no secret that NYC is a hot spot for innovative workouts. One of the summer's most buzzed-about studios is Chaise 23, which uses the Reinvention Chair (yep, that means you get to sit down during this workout) and above-the-head bungee cords to deliver a unique, Pilates-based workout with an added level of resistance training. It's a two-for-one class that time-crunched New Yorkers are loving.

What's the Reinvention Chair? It's Lauren Piskin's (Chaise 23 founder and owner) sleek, modern reinterpretation of the traditional Pilates Wunda Chair equipment. Since most (meaning everyone) don't have a spare Wunda Chair in their storage closet, Lauren shared a few signature total-body moves that you can do in a regular, run-of-the-mill, household chair:

The Side Stretch Mermaid

  1. Start sitting on a chair and move to the front edge of the seat. Place left foot firmly on the ground in front of the chair and extend the right leg straight out to the side.
  2. Sit up straight, reach the right arm above the head, palm facing toward the body, fingers extended toward the sky (first photo). Slowly bend your upper body toward the extended left leg while holding onto the chair with your left arm (second photo).
  3. Continue to breathe and lengthen spine and strength your waist. You can then rotate your shoulders so that they are square to the floor as you extend and lengthen your spine over the chair. Rotate back to center of chair and reverse to other direction (third photo). Repeat on other side.

Muscles Used: stretches oblique muscles, as well as your biceps and triceps.

Get the rest of the moves after the break!

The Teaser

  1. Sit at the front edge of your chair. Hold on to the sides of the seat, inhale, and curl your tailbone under (first photo).
  2. Lift your right and then left legs off the floor into a tabletop position, squeezing your knees and inner thighs together (second photo). Breathe and hold the position for four counts.
  3. Start to lower each leg, one at a time, to floor (third photo). Repeat three times. For a more advanced version, try the sequence with your arms extended out to knee height (fourth photo).

Muscles Used: works your abs, inner and outer thighs, and pelvic muscles.

Tricep Dips

  1. Place hands on chair seat, finger tips facing forward. Keep your feet on floor with knees bent in line with feet, but be sure to sit forward enough so that your butt is not touching the chair (first photo).
  2. Squeeze your knees together and keep your chest open (like it's trying to touch the ceiling) as you bend your elbows, lowering your butt to the floor (second photo) then fully extending arms to the starting position to complete a tricep dip. For advanced version, extend one leg straight as you do tricep dips (third photo).

Muscles Used: works triceps, upper back, gluteus maximus, inner thighs and abs.

Read more about Chaise 23's Reinvention Chair Method workouts.

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