Pilates is popular for a ‘full body’ workout. Not only is it able to work the muscles in the body effectively for toning but there are various exercises that focus on the entire body within one repetition.
The Pilates Teaser is one of these exercises. When you observe anybody doing a Teaser, you might be fooled by its ability to look really easy. However, this exercise packs a punch as it focuses on the entire body in one repetition while maintaining a ‘zen face’.
The Pilates Teaser Prep
The Teaser Prep that you will be learning today is a preparation for the full Pilates Teaser. This will start awakening and strengthening your abdominals, back muscles, and thighs to perform the Teaser with as much ease as possible. You will be working intensely in your abdominals as you curve your spine off of the mat and once you start lifting your lumbar spine off of the mat, you will feel some great work happening in the leg that is extended off of the floor.
Let us not forget that on the back we will work really hard to try to maintain a good amount of extension. This again is one of those exercises where you want to achieve flow and thought throughout the movement. Link your mind to your body and feel what your body is doing every inch of the way. With that in mind, enjoy the deep flexion of the spine as your abdominals resist gravity when you roll back down onto your mat.
Teaser is yet another trademark Pilates exercise and can be seen on many Pilates Studio logos. It focuses on abdominal endurance, quadriceps (thigh), and hip strength as well as spinal mobility. When you do this exercise, get the feeling of extending the legs and spine to their full capacity when you are balancing on your pelvis at the peak of the movement. Maintain good alignment in the neck and avoid lifting your chin up to the ceiling. Be aware of how your spine feels on the mat when you roll up.
Do you feel every single vertebra leaving the mat or is there a section of your spine that feels fairly tight? The movement of the arms should be completely effortless as they float over to your legs and back up above your head. Avoid resting the extended leg on-top of the other leg, as this will make the Teaser Prep easier and take away from the essence of the Pilates Teaser. Repeat the Teaser at least 4 times with each leg (a total of 8 repetitions). You will feel that the exercise gets substantially more intense but it is that intensity that will help you achieve results.
If the Teaser Prep feels too intense as it is, then you can modify it by bending the extended knee as you roll up. Alternatively, start with two bent knees with the feet either on the floor or with one foot lifted off of the floor. This will decrease the intensity slightly. But remember that you are doing these exercises to get stronger, so push yourself a little to do the full version of the Teaser Prep. The results will be far more satisfying if you work that little harder.
How to do the Pilates Teaser Prep
Take a mind-body journey with Pilates. I would like to invite you to discover movements differently. Take this time to be still, feel, and embrace what your body has to offer you. This week we will be looking at how you can train your body in Pilates with the Pilates Teaser Prep.
The focus of this exercise is to work your abdominals and spine effectively with your leg extended away from your body. Think fully extended knees, legs pressing up against each other, and a smooth flow in your spine. Think of creating really long movements with your limbs whilst transitioning from a deep curve in your spine to an extension in your spine. The movement should be calm, the exercise should look effortless and the intensity should be transferred throughout the body. As we embark on this Pilates journey, we will introduce you to both Pilates Mat and Pilates Equipment repertoire. Enjoy!