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Deconstructing the 'Teaser'



Joseph Pilates teased us with his teaser, it is one of the most challenging exercises in the mat repertoire.


The Full Teaser is an advanced exercise that takes flexibility, control, balance & strength. By using your arms and legs as long levers simultaneously, the 'Full Teaser' is the ultimate challenge. Fortunately, there are many modifications/variations and building blocks that make this exercise achievable for most levels and abilities.


The factors that determine which variation of teaser is right for us are:

- the strength of your abdominals,

- the strength of your hip flexors and how they move and differentiate from the pelvis,

- the strength of your quads to straighten the knees,

- your mobility & stability of your shoulder girdle, and finally

- the ability of your hamstrings to lengthen.


Similar to a full 'Roll Up', the 'Teaser' demands articulation of the spine, particularly in the thoracic area. Moving back of the sitz bones/ pelvis to maintain a balance point, we are able to leverage our arms and legs to create varying levels of challenge, and just like working towards the 'Roll Up', change comes with patience and practice.


Teaser progressions:

  1. Feet stay on mat with the knees and feet together.

  2. One leg lifts off to extension, repeat right and left 3x.

  3. Legs in table top position.

  4. Legs to lengthened position at 45 to 60 degrees.

  5. Most advanced version - legs lengthened on the mat. (The full 'Teaser')

The most advanced teaser is very challenging because we have to work eccentrically as we reverse back to the floor using the deep ABS (TVA & multifidus) and the psoas, as we lower the legs. These muscles have to control the descent of the spine to the mat.


Remember to work slowly with control. Progress only when you are comfortable with each progression.

Happy teasing!





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