Injuries and Pregnancy, Course Spotlight, Exercise Spotlight

Why I Fell in Love with the Wunda Chair During My Pregnancy

Written by: Jessica Spencer

“The Wunda Chair is truly a godsend to a nauseous pregnant person”

Let me begin with the disclaimer that I am not one of those pregnant people who “glowed” in their pregnancy. The truth is that I found pregnancy really hard – both mentally and physically. Coming off years of IVF, multiple miscarriages and an ectopic pregnancy, I had hoped that I’d get lucky with a relatively easy pregnancy. I couldn’t have been more wrong!

My first trimester of pregnancy featured a combination of severe abdominal pain (my OBGYN thought this may be due to multiple ovarian cysts as well as a troublesome corpus luteum cyst) and hyperemesis gravidarum (HG). Unless you’ve been through HG yourself or know someone who has, you may not be too familiar with the condition. Prior to my own pregnancy, the extent of my HG knowledge was reading about Kate Middleton’s own diagnosis and subsequent hospitalisation in a trashy magazine. I was one of the many who wondered how morning sickness could be so bad to require hospitalisation – turns out it really is that bad!

HG is essentially a severe form of morning (all day!) sickness. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, dehydration, and dizziness and it is common to be hospitalised for HG to receive fluids which not only help with dehydration but can also assist with the nausea. I made regular trips to the hospital in those first few months and can attest that the IV fluids did help to manage my symptoms. Although HG usually stops at some point between 13-20 weeks of pregnancy, it can continue throughout the entire pregnancy. Mine eased up around 28 or 29 weeks, toward the start of my third trimester.

While exercise had been the last thing on my mind for the first two trimesters of my pregnancy, as my nausea and vomiting slowly improved, I was finally able to start thinking about exercising again – an exciting prospect after months of not being able to move my body. I jumped on my home reformer with optimism and glee… and immediately regretted it. Although my nausea was getting better every single day, the movement of my beloved reformer made me feel terrible, instantly making me want to vomit. Enter the Wunda Chair. And all the benefits of the Reformer, without the moving carriage. The Wunda Chair is truly a godsend to a nauseous pregnant person!

Why I Love the Wunda Chair for Pregnant Clients

  • There’s no carriage so it doesn’t move! Perfect for any nauseous or dizzy clients!
  • You can perform exercises in a range of pregnancy safe positions when you’re no longer able to lie on your stomach or back – there are great exercises in four point kneeling, sitting, side lying and standing positions
  • Arm and back exercises are fantastic during pregnancy as it’s important to develop the strength to carry your baby around and nurse. There are some great exercises on the chair which can help to develop this strength
  • Work on stabilising the pelvis with some great Gluteal exercises
  • The Wunda Chair exercises are a lot more cardio based – they’re a great blend of resistance training and cardio and you’re benefiting from working multiple body parts at once
  • You can program a whole class of just Wunda Chair exercises or you can run fusion classes, combining other great pregnancy apparatus like the Cadillac (Trapeze Table), swiss balls, resistance bands, Pilates circles, sliders or small balls

My 3 Favourite Wunda Chair Exercises for the Third Trimester


Why I love it: Footwork on the reformer is one of my favourite all time exercises to perform. But it wasn’t an option in my third trimester of pregnancy – not only because it was no longer safe to lie supine, but also because of the carriage movement which made my nausea worse. Footwork on the Wunda Chair is the perfect replacement and I ended up loving it even more than the reformer variation because the sitting position made me really focus on stabilising my body.

Recommended spring range: 2 low – 2 high

Sitting on the chair with the hips right at the front edge. Hands beside the hips gently holding underneath the seat. Feet hip distance apart on the footbar. Neutral spine with the back straight, shoulders down and back.

EXHALE: press through the feet and use the thighs to press the footbar down keeping a neutral spine

INHALE: control the return of the footbar back up

To challenge and really feel the burn, perform short range pulses in the upper, middle or lower ranges.

Standing Leg Press

Why I love it: This seems like a simple exercise, but it provides such a great Glute and thigh burn! You really feel the Glutes and Quadriceps on the working leg as well as the Glutes on the standing leg to stabilise your body.

Recommended spring range: 1 low – 2 low

Standing facing the chair, feet hip distance apart, feet and knees facing straight forward, an arch under the feet. Place the ball of one foot onto the footbar out in front, neutral spine.

EXHALE: press through the foot and use the buttock and thigh to press the footbar down, keeping a neutral spine

INHALE: control the return of the footbar back up

Tip: place the Wunda Chair next to a wall and hold onto the wall for balance if you feel a bit unsteady.

Chest Press

Why I love it: This exercise works the Pecs, Triceps and Lats as well as focusing on Scapula stability.

Recommended spring range: 1 low – 2 mid

Kneeling on the hands and knees sideways next to the chair. Place the inside hand on top of the footbar with the footbar on the ground. The outside hand is straight under the shoulder, hand in a fist on the mat. Both arms are straight and hands are slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Knees directly under the hips. Spine is in neutral, shoulders down and back, chin tucked in and T-Zone tight.

INHALE: bend the elbow up toward the ceiling as the footbar rises

EXHALE: press through the hand to slowly press the footbar back down