Q: I regularly practice Pilates, but I’m finding that I’m still lacking the core strength necessary to do certain exercises in the advanced mat classes, such as the Teaser.
Is this my obliques, or is it something else? What is the best way to gain the strength necessary for the Teaser?
A: The Teaser is a challenging exercise at the best of times. Depending on your body proportions and your abdominal and hip flexor length and strength, you may or may not be able to fully execute the full exercise. You will need to utilize your obliques and rectus abdominus to perform the exercise as well as your hip flexors to flex the hip and all of the quadriceps to extend the knees. Perhaps a modification of the Teaser with the knees bent or the feet on the floor would be an appropriate step for you to develop strength and mobility.
I would continue to work on the Roll Up, Half Roll Back and Obliques Roll Down to help strengthen the abdominals concentrically and eccentrically. You could also do the Roll Down or Teaser on the Cadillac to help facilitate the abdominal strength.