Video Blog: The Teaser “My legs are too long!”

Video Blog: The Teaser "My legs are too long!"

The familiar complaints – dare I call them excuses? – about any given Pilates exercise:

“My arms are too short!”

“My legs are too long!”

Or my favorite:

“There must be something wrong with the Reformer!”

The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

Quick Teaser Facts

  • The Teaser requires the back to be in a Round shape. Your shape must be solid. This is crucial to the wrangling of said long legs.
  • You must actively be doing a lot of work to create and sustain your Teaser during the entire exercise. Not just balance, but hard sweaty work is required for Teaser success. Willpower, friends!
  • Think like an animal and master the 2-way stretch.

The Internal Tug-of-War

Really just another name for the 2-way stretch, I like to think about the unrelenting oppositional forces you must employ to execute the Teaser with proper control. The work of the strong scoop/lift of the center is in a constant battle with the long reach outward and upward of all the limbs.

Working in this manner will give your Teaser control, strength and balance. Awesome.

One Fine Teaser

Join my client Greg and I for this week's video blog. We aim to demystify the how-the-hell-can-I-do-the-Teaser-and-straighten-my-super-long-legs conundrum.

Never complain about your long legs again when you see what this guy can do.

A Few Nerdy Factoids

  • Greg is 6'8″ and he's working on an 86″ Gratz Reformer in 2nd gear.
  • When Greg first began Pilates lessons years ago, one of his goals was to be able to do the Teaser with his legs straight. Check!
  • I speak about “3 little stretches” similar to the ones you can do in the Roll Up and the Spine Stretch on the Mat: 3 little stretches = the constant battle of the 2-way stretch!

I appreciate you and hope you have a great workout today! Thank you for watching 🙂

The Pilates exercises are perfect for every body. 

Share your own Teaser successes in a comment below.

Read my full Pilates confession about the Teaser in a related post on Pilatesology.

5 Transformative Power Poses in your Pilates Workout

It's no secret that Pilates makes us feel good. But it might be doing more than you think. Amy Cuddy offers us “A free no-tech life hack: change your posture for 2 minutes.”

Yes, our mothers were correct.

Standing up straight is good for you. Cuddy proposes that your posture, indeed great for your body, “could significantly change the way your life unfolds.”

The Pilates Workout: your very own ‘no-tech life hack'

By all reports Joe Pilates was an arrogant man. Consequently, the 2-minute power poses advocated by Cuddy proliferate in your Pilates workout. In each and every workout we have a chance to embrace our inner arrogance and strike a pose, a POWER pose that is. And our power poses MOVE! Change your posture, your mind, your LIFE in 1 hour 3x/week.

Back in the day I was a client of Excel Pilates in Washington, DC. They have a fabulous, powerful tagline:

Empower Your Body. Empower Your Mind.

1. The Teaser

Don't act like you're surprised by this one. Why does it feel so great to do the Teaser? Such a mixture of accomplishment and nausea? It's an infusion of power built right into your workout. Exhilarating and little scary all at the same time. SHOW OFF a little as you circle your arms when you do the Teaser on the Long Box.

Look what I can do!

It's even helpful. And it is certainly okay to have a good time while you workout…:)

2. Stomach Massage with Hands Back

How about the lift of the Stomach Massage Series with the hands back? Those hands back there are what Jay Grimes calls ‘attitude' and it's just the sheer will and lift of your chest and your back that holds you up. And your arrogance…don't forget that.

5 Transformative Power Poses in your Pilates Workout3. Swan on the Barrel

Sail right up into

the universal posture of victory

a lifted chest and both arms thrust triumphantly upward.

4. The Side Bend

In the animal kingdom, Cuddy explains, body language is all about power and dominance: “about expanding, stretching out, taking up space, opening up…humans do the same thing.” Joe watched the animals as well and saw the powerful, expanding, take-up-space positions. Just doing the work becomes an exercise in empowerment if you let it.

Kara Wily (of 5 Top Blogs Answer 1 Burning Question fame) always has top-notch material at the ready. I remember a cue in one of her online classes that kept resonating in my mind, my body and my teaching days later.

“Be GREEDY with space.”

5 Transformative Power Poses in your Pilates Workout

When I was training in dance, I loved to travel.  If I could take off in grande jete in the middle of the floor and land in the corner of the room, that was a good jump.  When dancing in a group piece, however, you also have to be aware and sensitive to the other dancers to keep the group in a bird-formation traveling together.  So I developed the idea that I could be greedy with my space as long as I kept it in my space. I think it has everything to do with what we teach in Pilates.  

Most people do not know the extent to which their bodies can fill in the space around them until they are encouraged to go further.

I like to build stability to build more potential for movement. The more aware I am of my center, the more willing I am to reach out from that center and ‘be greedy with space'.”  -Kara Wily

With this one you can almost see the cats stretching while Joe watched. It helps to feel like you are just waking up from your nap as you stretch your side all the way up to the sky. Take up some space and give yourself a nice treat. Much thanks to Robert Wernick for inspiring all of us to embrace our inner-animal.

5. The Star

Need I say more?

Perhaps we've all seen this footage (0:42 seconds in) of Romana Kryzanowska performing the Star. I love to channel my inner-Romana when working on the Star in my own workout. Her virtuosity is at once effortless and delicious. Will we see a better Star?

I don't think so.

“On my first lesson he gave me the exercise called the Star….and you know, many people never learn the Star at all. So I guess I was pretty much a star then! (laughs)

What Pilates exercise makes you feel powerful? Invigorated? Alive! Leave a comment below so we can all try it 🙂