In “Ways to Boost your Metabolism” by Heather Bauer, she included weight-bearing exercises as one of the methods to increase metabolism.
“One pound of muscle burns 35 to 50 calories, while one pound of fat burns a measly 5 to 10 calories. Building more muscle can increase your body’s basal metabolic rate (BMR) by up to 40%. There’s no need to hit the weights hard, either, simply using light weights at high repetition has been proven to tone muscle and burn fat.”
Here is another way to do weight bearing exercises – with the Pilates Chair. The Pilates Chair, also known as Wunda Chair is one of the equipment in a Pilates studio. It is one of Joseph Pilates’ resistance machines.
I find the Pilates Chair an effective way to build strength using one’s own body weight. The spring settings on the equipment allow the teacher to adjust to cater to different levels of difficulty or challenge.
Take Step Up on the Pilates Chair for example. It works the legs and hip muscles to lift your own body weight. The selected spring settings will provide some lift but not enough if the client is not using her leg and hip muscles to come up. It combines control and balance especially at the top, when the back foot is off the pedal. Hence it challenges core stability.
Another example is the Mountain Climber (see below). It works both the leg and hip muscles. It requires core stability to keep the position while the back foot is pressing the footbar up and down.
If a client is still working on leg balance and stability, Single Leg Standing Press (see below) is equally challenging. This movement teaches alignment while working on strength and stability.
Apart from legs, you can also work your arm and shoulder strength with the Pilates Chair.
What is challenging in the Seated Arm Press (see below) is the ability to sit up straight while pressing the bar down and up. Because of the springs, the arm and shoulder muscles have to work both directions, strengthening the muscles both concentrically and eccentrically.
With Prone Double Arm Press (see below), the back muscles are working as well to prevent the spine and legs from collapsing towards the floor.
Amongst my favorites are the Swan and Swan Dive (see below) on the Pilates Chair. It strengthens the back while giving clients feedback if they are not balanced right and left. Some of us might be stronger on the right side and this will show up on this movement.
The Pilates Chair is a very versatile equipment. Not only it provide weight bearing exercises that can help strengthen and boost your metabolism, you are also working on alignment, balance and core stability.
Written by LayYong