Used as a warm up for a Pilates workout, this classical exercise does more than work the abdominals. The Hundred is a full body exercise that focuses on a rythmatic breath in coordination with movement. This exercise not only requires stability from the Powerhouse but precision while connecting the mind with the body. There are many variations of the Hundred for the novice exerciser to an advanced Pilates enthusiast. This is a breathing exercise and should be challenging. Remember always listen to your body, you should never force or strain through a Pilates exercise.
Repetitions:10 sets of 10 breaths
Lie on your back in the center of the mat
Bring legs into table top position (hip and knee joint at 90 degrees)
Extend arms long by your sides
Lift head neck, shoulders off the mat
Beginners keep legs in table top
Intermediate level - extend legs out to 45 degrees
To Advance - lower legs 2-3 inches from the floor
Pull the abdominals in toward the spine and up into the rib cage as you vigorously pump arms at hip level towards the mat while inhaling for 5 counts and exhaling for 5 counts.
Pull knees into the Powerhouse and lower the head, neck and shoulders.
Pump through the triceps to work the back of the arms. Shoulders pulled on the back and reach long through the fingers. Legs hug the midline and lengthen away in opposition. Imagine holding an apple under the chin.
Now you are all warmed up. I suggest to my clients to warm up with the Hundred before doing any type of exercise such as walking, running, biking, etc. Have a fabulous workout!