Thursday, October 15, 2015

Fitness Goal - Pilates Teaser Part 1

The tall, tattooed lady in this video isn't me. I'm shorter; my tattoo isn't as cool; and I cannot yet perform the teaser with such queenly grace. "Yet" is the keyword here. I'm giving myself six weeks to master this exercise, which means my deadline is this coming Thanksgiving. And if I can't achieve this fitness goal by then, I'll punish myself with a Tofurky.

Why am I doing this? Well, I think we should always set ourselves some goals--whether big or small, physical or occupational, formidably challenging or somewhat easy--in order to live a passionate life. I have many, many goals. Some would take years to achieve. Some don't even sound realistic. This fitness goal, though, should be attainable within the six-week time frame. I have completed my 100-day Pilates challenge, and right now, I think I'm at the intermediate level. So if I get serious and practice every day, I should be able to pull off this intimidating exercise. I might not look as elegant as this person in the video, but I should be able to roll up, form a good-enough V with my body and hold the position for at least five to ten seconds, without dropping my legs or falling gracelessly backwards. That's my goal.

My Strategies? The teaser requires a lot of core strength, flexibility and precision. As two of my instructors pointed out, right now my abdominal strength is probably adequate, but my hamstrings are a little tight. And I tend to hunch my shoulders while moving the straps up and down, rather than pull my arms back, keep the shoulders open, which would help stabilize my upper body. So I've got a lot to improve on. In the next three weeks, I'll focus on stretching my hamstrings and back. Once I get that done, I'll work on the sequencing and timing. The teaser, especially the version performed on a reformer with straps in hands, is a tricky thing. To execute it, one must understand the precise sequence of muscle recruitment. In the next six weeks, I'll write about my "teaser journey" every now and then. Hopefully, at the end of this Pilates challenge, I won't have to eat Tofurky.

Pilates Teaser Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

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