The Teaser is one of the most famously well-known (and well-suffered-through) moves in the Pilates repertoire. It was among one of the original postures that Joseph Pilates developed when he invented the modality in the 1920s. These days you’d be hard-pressed to find a mat or Reformer class that doesn’t include at least a single series involving the move. But despite the fact that the Teaser is 100 years old, plenty of Pilates pros have yet to master the move perfectly.
To help with that, we tapped Chloe Gregor of Brooklyn’s East River Pilates to demonstrate how to do a Pilates Teaser the right way. But in order to have flawless form, it’s first important to understand what you’re doing the wrong way with the ab-busting move. “The teaser is a really challenging move, and we love to modify it in any way that it feels right on people’s bodies,” she says. “But really, it’s an abs exercise and we want to focus on articulation through the spine.” This means that you should be thinking about stacking your vertebrae on top of each other, one at a time, instead of moving your entire spine as a single entity.
Some of the biggest mistakes she sees people making are creating unnecessary tension throughout their bodies—particularly in their shoulders—and traversing up and down in a straight, solid motion. Instead, you should be inching up one vertebra at a time, scooping through your belly, engaging your abs, and letting your core do the work to peel your upper body off of the floor. For a primo example (and more tips on how to perfect this particular Pilates move) press play on the video above.
This 10-minute Pilates glutes workout will get your body moving (and seriously help combat couch butt). So will this at-home Solidcore workout that will have you swearing you were doing the moves on a megaformer.