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V-Up with Weights

V-Up | With Weights from Laura Dahl on Vimeo.

Joseph Pilates couldn’t have been in his right mind when he named his fundamental move, the Teaser. Anyone who’s ever attempted it knows that a Teaser does anything but tease you, it slaps you right in the core. So, for this exercise, I’m using the training term, V-Up.

As with everything, form is crucial, so here are a few tips to get you the best results.


  • Keep your lower back curved by pressing against the floor with your lower abdominals. You should not be able to fit a finger between your lumbar and the floor.
  • Keeping your arms straight and pointing directly to the ceiling the entire time, lift your head and shoulders off the ground and pause. Then, slowly peel off the mat, one vertebra at a time.
  • Keeping your legs straight and squeezing them tightly together, lift them to a ‘v’ position, syncing the movement with your torso.
  • Return to the mat with the same control, gently unfolding vertebra by vertebra. Momentum is not your friend here. Stability is.
  • Once you have mastered the form, add weights. You’ll immediately notice any instability in your core when amplified under pressure, so start light and work your way up. In this video, I’m using a 15 lb. weight.