Worcester Pilates – Pilates Exercise of the Week: The Teaser

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Pilates Teaser

Introduction to the Pilates Teaser:

The Pilates exercise known as the Teaser is the shining star of the Pilates series of exercises. The Teaser is one of the definitive Pilates exercises and utilizes all of the Pilates principles: Breathing, Centering, Control, Concentration, Precision and Flow.

It requires a strong and deep connection to the powerhouse (core) to move into and stabilize the position. Utilizing a few of the previous mat exercises such as Roll up and Open Leg Rocker as far as how the body moves from the centerline, and alignment helps to successfully perform Teaser. The goal of the Teaser is to use your core, hip flexors, and spinal flexors to come up into the position as you balance on or just behind the sit bones.

The Teaser is one of the few exercises that we see everywhere in the method: on the mat, Reformer, Tower/Cadillac and the Wunda Chair

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Pilates Teaser on the Wunda Chair

Objectives and Benefits of the Pilates Teaser:

  • Strengthen abdominal and back extensors
  • Develop balance
  • Engages and strengthens the hip flexors
  • Stretches hamstrings
  • Lengthens spine
  • Works the obliques more than traditional crunches
  • Improves spinal articulation and strength


Muscles Used in the Pilates Teaser:

  • Abdominal muscles including Transverse Abdominus, external and internal obliques
  • Back extensors
  • Hip flexors including the illoposas
  • Hip adductors


How to Execute the Pilates Teaser:

  • Lie in a supine position with your legs extended to a 45 degree angle
  • Bring the arms overhead, being mindful to not let the low back arch away from the floor/mat
  • Anchor your back into the mat and engage the abdominals by scooping them up and in
  • Inhale and roll up bone by bone, reaching towards your toes and keeping your arms parallel to your legs
  • Use the abdominals to roll up and do not use momentum or come up by throwing yourself up
  • Balance as you reach towards the toes
  • Roll back down bone by bone with control, keeping the legs still as you roll down.


Tips on the Pilates Teaser:

People often struggle with the Teaser not because of core strength, but because of poor hip strength/flexibility or tightness in the back and hamstrings. As you work up towards the Teaser, the goal is to start with and keep the legs in one position (typically out at a 45 degree angles as seen in the picture above) as you articulate up and down through the spine. Having tightness in the hamstrings or hips makes it hard to maintain the position of the leg. You can work up towards this by keeping the legs in a position you can hold, or start with a slightly bent knee.

There are many variations of Teaser that you can try. Start with One Leg Teaser (also known as Teaser Prep) as a modification until you feel strong and flexible enough to move into Teaser 1 (or Full Teaser).

I’d love to see your Pilates so post a picture and tag me on social media:

  • Twitter – @worcpilates
  • Instagram – @worcesterpilates
  • Facebook – Worcester Pilates

Worcester Pilates is boutique Pilates Studio in Worcester, MA offering Pilates training and classes.

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