Fire Up Your Entire Core With the Pilates Teaser

In a well-rounded Pilates program like XB Pilates, most moves will work your entire body, especially your core. However, there are a couple of standout exercises that have become classics for good reason. One of these is the Pilates teaser, a major core burner you can do anytime, anywhere.

“The teaser challenges both balance and core stability,” says Jen Cordiner, director for Xtend Barre. “In Xtend Barre and XB Pilates, we use it in a sequence to refocus and reconnect to our core. When you want balance, flexibility, and core control, this lets you do all of those in one move.”

Pilates Teaser: Step-By-Step Instructions

  • Lie on your back with your core engaged and lower back pressed into the mat or floor. Bend your legs so your feet are flat on the ground, about hip-distance apart.
  • Lift your legs up with your knees bent so that your shins are parallel to the ground. Reach your arms overhead.
  • On an inhale, extend your arms out in front of your shoulders as you lift your torso up, creating a “V” shape with your thighs and upper body while reaching your arms to your toes.
  • Hold this position for a breath, then slowly roll back down as you exhale.

Benefits of the Pilates Teaser

It seems counterintuitive that the Pilates teaser would be touted for its ability to improve balance, considering that you’re sitting on the floor when you do it. But it’s all about the core.

Pilates core exercises like the teaser train the muscles in your whole “girdle,” including the pelvis, hips, lower back, and abdomen, so they work together more effectively. Getting all these muscles to activate in unison can lead to the following benefits:

As with any exercise, Pilates-based or not, good form is essential. Make sure you’re focusing on your core instead of your back with these form reminders:

  1. Breath is important, so exhale as you lower down and inhale as you come up from the Pilates teaser.
  2. Keep your spine neutral so you’re not rounding your back.
  3. Focus on keeping your shoulders pulled back slightly and down, which will help straighten your back.
  4. Keep your head in line with your spine, as if you have a plank of wood from your tailbone to the back of your head. Resist the urge to crane your neck forward to look at your toes.

Pilates Teaser Modifications

lisa hubbard Pilates Teaser

  • Alternate legs with each rep, lifting one leg at a time and leaving your other foot on the floor.
  • Grab the backs of your legs on the way up to assist your core in reaching the “V” position.

How to Make the Pilates Teaser Harder

  • Fully extend your legs out at a 45-degree angle.
  • Hold that “V” position for longer, focusing on good form and core engagement.

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