Pilates teaser exercise is part of the classical Pilates mat sequence. It has been notorious for challenging people for over 60 years. So don’t feel alone if you find this exercise difficult.
Nevertheless, the teaser is an exercise worth learning. It takes a lot of strength, flexibility, control, and balance — all things we like to develop in Pilates. Teaser, when done properly is one of those Pilates exercises that fall into the category of flat stomach exercises as well.
Building a Pilates Teaser
When Pilates exercises, like teaser, are difficult, it helps to look at them in terms of what directly related skills other Pilates exercises can teach you about the one you are working on.
In teaser, for example, we can easily find parts of the chest lift, the hundred, the roll-up and the double leg lower lift. We could find more but these will get you started.
Before you move into the full teaser, consider a few other qualities of the teaser.
* The teaser coordinates breath and body
* The teaser is a flowing exercise
* The teaser rolls up and rolls down in a balanced way — the right to left and upper body lower body.
* You can simplify teaser (and many exercises) immensely by thinking of moving from center and along the midline of the body.
* Pilates teaser looks similar to the yoga boat pose but it is not boat pose.
The Full Teaser Instructions
Begin lying down, arms along your sides. (In Return to Life Through Contrology Joseph Pilates teaches this exercise as beginning sitting. I find the scoop easier to find starting lying down but if you know the sitting version, that’s fine.)
1. Extend your legs to a 45-degree angle (you can also start with legs outstretched for a more advanced version)
3. Exhale: Lengthen your spine to nod your head slightly and begin scooping your abdominal muscles in and up so that your upper body begins to roll off the mat. Simultaneously your arms are coming up to parallel your legs. Fingertips reach past the toes but the shoulders stay down. This is a scooping move. The energy moves up the front and down the back with a feeling of support length along the backs of your legs.
4. Inhale as you come to the top and open your chest, lifting your head slightly to express the length of your spine.
5. Exhale to roll down. Start from the low abs and use control, rolling down sequentially along the spine. Keep the legs together. Think of rolling down your midline.
6. Repeat 3 times.