How to Do the Pilates Teaser

One of the most renowned and dynamic Pilates exercises is the Teaser. It demonstrates strength, flexibility, control, and balance. All of these are successfully executed with precision, control, and mind-body connection throughout the entirety of this exercise.

The full Teaser exercise starts with laying supine (on your back), with arms extended overhead and legs fully extended as well. As the spine starts to flex forward, the arms and legs simultaneously reach upward and together, folding the body into a V-shape. The spine continues to curl up until you are fully seated and balanced on your glutes with the upper spine lengthened and lower spine slightly C-curved. The exercise is finished by slowly rounding back down to the starting position.

Strength and activation of the abdominals, hip flexors, and anterior leg muscles are targeted with the Teaser. Controlling the motion challenges these muscles along with stabilizers of the spine, inner thighs, lower legs, and shoulders.

Flexibility is also challenged and imperative for the full execution of the Teaser. Glutes, hamstrings, and upper back are all drawn into a lengthened position when seated fully upright. If these muscles are in a more tightened state, the exercise cannot be accomplished properly – attempting to do so may activate incorrect muscles, causing counter-intuitive imbalances. Preparatory exercises like the Roll Up can aid in warming up the body and providing length for this more advanced move.

Balance and mobility are major influences and goals in creating the Teaser’s final form. Practicing Pilates principles by keeping proper shoulder, ribcage, and neck alignment are necessary, along with breath control and abdominal engagement to keep the pelvis supported. You’ll need to find a balance between fluidity of movement and use of momentum in order to keep the deeper stabilizers firing and prevent the bigger muscle groups from taking over. Slow, controlled movement with awareness is required to properly perform this move.

When done correctly, the Teaser is extremely beneficial for the entire body. It builds strength, creates length, and supplies full-body control and precision for our everyday lives. Daunted? Don’t worry! Check in with your favorite instructor for advice. There are variations for everyone to enjoy the complete mind-body benefits of this exercise.