Pilates Exercise of the Month: Teaser 1

Purpose: Humorously referred to as “the mother of all sit-ups”, the Teaser tests your powerhouse control to the fullest. At the peak of the exercise, momentarily hold the position, “teasing” the balance.

  1. Lie on your back with legs extended at a 45 degree angle. Heels are together and toes turned out slightly. Stretch your arms overhead by your ears. Don’t allow your back to arch or your ribs to pop out.
  2. Maintain the scoop; inhale; raise your arms, head and shoulders in sequence, peeling the upper body up off the mat vertebra by vertebra. The chin is toward the chest. The fingers reach for the toes.
  3. Hold the “V” position, balancing on your tailbone. Exhale; begin rolling your spine back down to the mat.
  4. When your head has touched the mat, stretch arms overhead to the starting position and repeat 3-5 times; inhaling as you float up; exhaling as you peel down.

Visualization: As you roll down, imagine each vertebra touching the mat the way your fingers travel on the keys of a piano.

Checklist:

  • Breathe during the exercise or you will not be using your muscles efficiently.
  • Don’t lower legs past the point of control. If you feel back discomfort, raise legs up to the ceiling.
  • Take your time, relax your mind and find your rhythm as you go.

Note: If you suffer from a stiff spine, perform the exercise with your feet against a wall.

Modified Leg Position: If you have difficulty sitting up all the way, slightly bend the knees, keeping the toes higher than the knees, as you lift and lower the body.

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