Get Pilates Strong: The Pilates Teaser

Get Pilates Strong: Teaser Step 1

Improve your Pilates Teaser
Alycea Ungaro's Real Pilates

Nothing screams Pilates like the Teaser. Leaf through any fitness mag and you'll see a bevy of "V" sit ups with rock hard abs and long lean limbs. For some though. the Pilates is the ultimate abdominal enemy. Follow this step by step for the pure classical version of the Teaser. If you get stuck along the way, you may want to read up on some key preparation moves you can do to successfully master this move. Whatever it takes, don't be discouraged. This is one for the big boys.


Lie flat on your Mat knees bend and arms reaching up overhead. Pull your Abdominals in and up to begin. Anchor your torso and extend your legs to 45 degrees. Inhale to prepare.

Timing - don't dilly-dally here. It's very difficult to hold this position with your Abdominals well controlled. Get in, set up and get moving.

Focus - Be certain to establish a long spine in this position. Avoid any arching which will allow your gut to protrude and lose core control.

Form - Work your legs in Pilates stance, drawing the backs of the legs together tightly with the feet in a narrow "V".

Get Pilates Strong: Teaser Step 2

Improve your Pilates Teaser
Alycea Ungaro's Real Pilates

Raise your arms overhead. Lift your chin towards your chest and with eyes on your midsection begin to smoothly curl up one vertebrae at a time. Your legs remain completely still. Fingertips reach long towards the toes. At the midway point between up and down you will feel your abs protesting. Keep exhaling and you will overcome any pause or delay.

Timing - Don't speed up or slow down here. The ideal tempo is a constant one. As you exhale steadily, float the arms up and forward, peel the head and spine off the mat and smoothly pull yourself foward and up.

Focus - Eyes on the midsection. This is the place you are most likely to lose your center and start sticking out your belly to heave your way up. Just say "no". You're better than that. Take your time, focus, exhale and you will get there.

Form - Spinal articulation is the name of the game here. Curl up one bone at a time. Don't miss any sections or skip any segments. Go piece by piece.

Get Pilates Strong: Teaser Step 3

Improve your Pilates Teaser
Alycea Ungaro's Real Pilates

From the peak of your "V", begin to slowly descend. Lock your eyes on your legs and don't let them move. Press one vertebrae at a time into the mat underneath you as you lower smoothly to the mat. Once down, reach the arms up and back to their start position to begin again.

Perform two more fluid Teasers all the way up and all the way down before bending the knees in for a quick break. That's one set. Perform 3 sets total for 9 complete Teasers.

Timing - Think of a full slow count of 5 as you work your way backwards. Avoid rushing down or falling. Instead control every level. Lower down as smoothly as you rose up.

Focus - Your descent is what brings it all together. Work your deepest abdominal contraction as your vertebrae open and lengthen even more.

Form - This portion of the move is executed with great resistance. The quality of the move is performed as though you would rather not lower down. The body fights for control even though gravity eventually wins.

Your Teaser practice is something that can stand alone. Practice a portion of your Teaser or the whole thing. And if you get stuck, well there are a whole slew of exercises that can help out.  I call them the preparation series and I have had great success with my students using these moves.

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