The Pilates System: Strategies for a Tight Low Back Part 3

The Pilates System: Strategies for a Tight Low Back Part 3

For Suzy

Check out these Teasers from back in the day at Jacob's Pillow under the watchful eye of contrologist extraordinaire, JP.

I clearly remember looking at this photo years ago and wondering why everyone is rolled so far back toward the mat…

I can lift up and sit up really high in this exercise.

And it's not really that hard to do.


The Tremor of Truth

Recently I received a question from a subscriber:

It's really difficult for me to do the Teaser on the mat. I pop onto my sitz bones, I can do the teaser on the Cadillac and the Reformer, but I really struggle on the mat! I find it incredibly hard to get the sufficient lumbar flexion needed! Any tips?

This is a great question.

I agree, to find length in the low back in the Teaser on the Mat can be a challenge.

Truly the epitome of the 2-way stretch, the Teaser has finally coerced me to find more length in my low back.

And ultimately this length will give the Teaser its shape: the Teaser is a round exercise.

Just say NO to balancing on your butt

When I moved to California early in my Pilates career, I was repeatedly praised for how high I could sit up in the Teaser. So I kept right on doing it.

For years…

Now I like to call this too-high-up position ‘balancing on your butt.'

And I could stay up there for days.

My stomach is doing nothing.

One day just a few years ago Jay Grimes helped me find out what all the fuss is about.

“You're coming up too high, roll back down a bit”


Dutifully I rolled back a little bit toward the mat.

Shake-ety, shake-ety, shake… oh yes, I see.

Well now that's a lot of work.

Who knew?

I love it when that happens. You can tell immediately, it just feels like the truth.

Or as Romana Kryzanowska would say “Now something is happening!”

Enjoy this short video tutorial on how to find length in the low back in our most favorite exercise, the Teaser.

If you've got questions, leave me a comment.

I love to chat about our beloved Pilates Method 🙂

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  1. Andrea! THANK YOU SO MUCH for thinking of me, I’m incredibly touched!

    I’m going to be putting this Into practice!

    Again! Thanks a million times! What a lovely thoughtful person/teacher you are! X

    • Suzy you are so welcome! It was a great question and one that I struggled with in my own Teaser for SO long – I thought everyone could benefit from a post about it. Glad you didn’t mind me calling out your question, but I love to wrangle with Pilates problems 🙂 I am so glad you found it helpful to your workout – yay! Have a great week!

  2. Hi Andrea,

    When I do the teaser on the mat, I sometimes lean forward with my back as straight as what i’m doing with my legs and its really less effort, my core’s not strong enough 😀 I definitely felt you there Andrea, my core just goes shaking.

    Striving here to be better – Justine

    • Hey Justine – yes sometimes we have to get UNcomfortable LOL. Keep up the good work! Thanks so much for reading and playing along 🙂

  3. Good and early morning from Qatar!
    Lovely Andrea,
    What a great example of the body, mind and spirit connection: the Teaser! Using the stomach and keep on using the stomach in the way in and the way out; finding the two-way to stretch and yes look amazing on you!


    • Luz!!
      Thank you so much for your kind words and yes it is all 2-way stretch ALL THE TIME LOL. Our butt is for so much more than balancing on it ha ha. Hope you are Marvin and doing well and much love from San Diego!

  4. Alessandra says

    Thanks for another excellent post???? I must admit I still struggle with teaser on the mat, indeed, some days I can’t quite make it up there!! But it’s certainly a great place to really feel the LIFT that we get using the two way stretch really strongly! I too, used to come up too high, until Samantha commented that I looked ‘way too comfortable up there!’ And instructed me to roll down a bit…yikes!! ???????? There’s a way to find your scoop!!
    I keep practicing teaser on the tower as I find the reach up into the bar really helps….one day hoping that my mat teaser will feel as fabulous!!
    #keeppracticing! #gettingmytwowaystretchon #rockon Andrea as always! xox

    • Hi there!
      So glad that Samantha encouraged you to roll down a bit for the Teaser. Often we get into that uncomfortable place where all our muscles then try to save us from tumbling backwards – they are enlivened! Here’s to the Shakety shake shake 🙂 Thank you so much for reading, watching and sharing your thoughts and struggles here where we can chat. You rock on too! #pilatesteaserprobs #tremoroftruth xoxx

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