Mat Pilates: Mastering Teaser

I teach a more contemporary pilates-style class.  In pilates, its about controlling each part of the movement – not using momentum.  That is the key to getting stronger and leaner through your core.

Core = all muscles between your shoulders and hips.

It’s really important to build your base strength level first before attempting higher versions of any sport or activity.  Even athletes go back to the basic fundamentals every couple months to prevent over-training and injuries.

Phase 1:  Start by pressing your heels down into your mat to stabilize your hips. Your abdominals are pulled in towards your spine, chest open, and shoulders down away from your ears.  No shrugging your shoulders – ever!

Inhale to prepare, then exhale as you lift your chest and reach through your fingertips. You only lift a quarter of the way up in this phase.  Inhale again, then exhale as you slowly lower back down to the mat.


Phase 2:  Start at the top of the teaser, inhale to prep, then exhale as you lower halfway down.

Inhale, then exhale and lift back up.


When you feel successful with phase 1 and 2, then you can progress by putting them both together.  Lift your chest at the top of the move, then dive into your shirt as you exhale and roll down slowly to the mat.


If you need more of a challenge (you’ve mastered phase 1 and 2 together), add a longer lever by bringing your arms back by your ears.

Keep your arms adjacent to your ears as you slowly lower down to the floor – it’s hard!


Once successful with above exercise, add 1 knee extension.  Keep your leg as still as you can through the motion.

Lastly, it’s both legs up.  Only attempt this last one if you mastered 1-leg teaser with 10 controlled reps on each leg.


Here’s the video too, to see pilates teaser exercise in action:


17 thoughts on “Mat Pilates: Mastering Teaser

  1. great article, the photos and explaination are super, and the video really helped me understand the movements. next workout i will give this a go. thank you!

  2. This from a dudes perspective…This may look easy although goodness is it hard! After knee surgery I spend 90% of my time on a mat doing exactly what you elegantly showed us today. Great video as well!!!

  3. Hi! I can tell these are exercises that are good for my core. I may have a weak core, but I tried one and it wasn’t too painful to do. A little difficult but I expected that.

  4. Hey Joy, love this article! This particular move is so difficult, but I love your one-step-at-a-time advice. Raising the arms overhead is the killer for me right now, still working on getting full rotation back in my shoulder =/

    BTW, finally posted a race recap on the Nike She Runs LA 10k:
    Any luck finding a similar event near you?


  5. Pingback: Start a Pilates Program at Home « joyfitnessandstyle

  6. Pingback: Small Pilates Ball Workout: Part 2 | Joy, Fitness, & Style

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