Exercise #2189


5 min - Exercise


Muscle Focus: Abdominals.

Objective: Strengthening the abdominals while challenging stability on a moving carriage.

Reformer Setup: Start with one to two medium tension springs. Tension can be made heavier or lighter depending on the resistance desired. A lighter spring will challenge the abdominals more. Place the longbox onto the carriage with the short end of the box against the shoulder rests. The footbar is down.

Start Position: Lie supine on the box, with the shoulders blades just off the back edge of the box, knees bent with legs in tabletop (90 degree) position, head and shoulders off the box in extension, and handles in both hands. Arms will reach overhead towards the well of the carriage. Straighten both legs to a 45 degree angle.

Movement: Keeping the legs glued together and in this position, inhale as you circle your arms to your side, draw the chin to the chest, draw the abdominals to the spine, and roll through your spine in flexion, reaching your arms forward until they are shoulder height, bringing your body into a "V" like position. Eyes are gazing just above the toes. Keeping the legs where they are, exhale as you simultaneously lower your arms and roll down through your spine one vertebrae at a time, with deliberate control, returning to start position with the arms overhead. Repeat two more times.
What You'll Need: Reformer w/Box

About This Video

(Pace N/A)
Jul 10, 2015
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Let's take a look at the teaser. There's lots of different versions of the teaser out there and today I'm gonna show you the way I like to teach it. Um, it's first important to pay attention to making sure that your placement on the box is going to be appropriate for when you roll back. So you're probably gonna need to start pretty far forward on the box so that the shoulder blades are just barely off. And then you can take your legs up to tabletop position and kind of prepare there. I'm on one red spring, by the way, Meredith's going to perform this exercise. So as her teacher, I'm going to hand her straps and we're going to take those arms overhead here, stretch the legs to straight so that they're at a position that's somewhere around 45 degrees perhaps with the body. The arms circle around engaging the abdominals we articulate up through the back here. It's crucial that the back extensors kick in, taking the arms in alignment with the shoulders, attempting to keep the feet perfectly, still exhale to roll down, articulating through the back, the arms.

Then circle around and go straight overhead. Beautiful. Notice she's enjoying some thoracic extension. We're going to use the exhale, I'm sorry, the inhale to come up and the reason we're using the inhale to come up here is so that we can really explore spinal articulation on the way down. Using the exhale to really focus on that wonderful spinal articulation, recruiting the abdominals, noticing that the legs are straight and we're working in parallel alignment here. Again, it's an inhale to round end roll up, finding that high position. The arms are nice and in alignment here with the shoulders and an exhale to peel down, keeping those feet perfectly still. Now many people will find that doing the teaser with the straps is just too much. So an option here.

Go ahead and bring your knees into your chest for just a moment and take a short rest. My friend. An option would be to go ahead and drop the straps. I'm a fan of putting them on the s on the peg, so I'm going to go ahead and do that. Now take your arms into the same starting position and simply practice being up on the box here. The legs will come out to that same 45 and I recommend not aiming too high with the legs, taking them a little lower and then go ahead and circle your arms around here. Lifting high up. Perfect Meredith, open through the chest here. We really need those back extensors to be involved.

Can you straighten out just a little more for me, my friend? Beautiful. And here we'll use the exhale to peel down, keeping the feet there. So this is much like the exercise would be done on the mat. Take the arms wide. That's a big difference. You can go into a little thoracic extension and then we use an inhale if possible to come all the way up. Now certainly if a person needed two breaths, use two breaths.

You could exhale to go down and as you send your arms behind you into a little bit of thoracic extension, you would take an inhale and then use another exhale to round and roll up. Beautiful. And here go ahead and take a pause, Meredith, you can come in and rest for a moment. So now if that is still not enough of a preparation to feel like you can master the teaser with the spring tension, I have a recommendation for you. We are going to take the straps in this position. So push out with your feet on the foot bar, reached back and retrieve the straps here.

So we're going to create a position that's much like rolling like a ball. So I want you to round your low back, draw your knees in a bit and find balance here. Good. So the elbows are pretty straight but not locked straight. And practice here, inflection, simply bringing the arms up and forward to the same height you would in your teaser. So this is a really nice opportunity. And then take the arms back down. You can use an exhale here if you want. Or an inhale, if that makes sense. The breath here is less important than is the fact that you are engaged in your abdominals and you're able to balance. So once you get used to this position, you may find that you can try to roll down at least partway with bent knees and then see if you can come back up. Beautiful.

And then roll down again. Use whatever breath makes sense to you. The idea here is that you're articulating through the back and then when you come up, can you come all the way back up, Meredith for me and find those upper back extensors and now we'll, we'll, oh yes. Beautiful. And now we'll complete the exercise one final time. So roll all the way down. Allow the legs to straighten, take the arms around. That's an inhale to come up to the full expression of the teaser here with the arms up the shoulders, a little higher if you can. Beautiful Meredith. And then use the exhale to roll down, keeping the legs perfectly.

Still open the arms wide. Enjoy that thoracic extension. And this was teaser on the reformer.

Related Content


1 person likes this.
There is such a big difference in strap length and body placement compared to tutorial #2205 "what about the Box". I can see why the straps would have to be shorter in this demo to work with the shoulder blade just off position. Would the straps need to be lengthened during the workout with this short strap length?
1 person likes this.
Actually a question. Why is it important to have the legs not much higher than 45%? and can you share some cues to get the back extensors engaged? I love that you shared the prep exercises. Thank you great info
Hi Kathy, I set the straps so that they fit comfortably over the shoulder rests, then adjust spring tension as needed rather than adjusting strap length. Does this help?
Hi Shann, If you can roll up with legs higher than 45...go for it! A person should strive to lift the legs as high as possible and still maintain a straight back. For me it is important that you choose a place for the legs that you can maintain and you can roll up with control. Most people will have more success with legs a bit lower than expected. The legs act as a weight and make it more managable to roll up. Hope this helps!
Jamie H
1 person likes this.
Thank you for such a helpful tutorial.
Really great! They way you explain the movement, the breathing and the parts of the reformer being used.

Thank you!
Love the detailed way you explain the movement and breathing, watching the movement from the side and front angle to view the positioning of the body and legs, and calling out the parts of the reformer being used, very helpful.

Thank you!
Love the breath cueing. Beautiful teaser.

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