The Pilates Hundred
The Pilates Hundred is one of the most popular exercises in Pilates.
The Hundred is a dynamic movement that warms up the lungs and core muscles. This exercise is appropriate for novices all the way to the advanced pupil. This exercise can be modified in multiple ways to cater any fitness level.
This name for the exercises comes from moving your arms up and down 100 times. This exercise is usually done early in the routine to warm up and the body and prepare the abdominals for the following exercises.
The Pilates Hundred Set Up
Inhale- Bring both knees over hips into a table top position, shins parallel to the ceiling.
Exhale- Head, neck and shoulders are lifted, abdominal muscles curl up until the base of the shoulder are the first contact on the mat. Arms are extended just a few inches off the ground with a slight bend in the elbows and finger tips are reaching towards the wall in front of you.
This is the table top position. Hold this position throughout the whole exercise.
Inhale- Begin to move your arms up and down for a 5 second count
Exhale- Continue moving your arms up and down for another 5 second count
Continue you this ten count cycle until your reach 100. Or a total of 10 cycles of breathing.
Once you feel you have mastered the Pilates Hundred in the table top position, you can advance the exercise by extending your legs towards out in front towards the ceiling.
The lower you bring your legs to the ground the harder the exercises becomes.
Hold this position while continuing to lift your arms and up down to 100 beats, a total of 10 cycles of breathing.
It is important to ensure that your low back does not lift from the ground. If you low back does lift off the mat, raise your legs to a higher position or return to table top until the abdominals are strong enough for the advanced Pilates Hundred exercise.
It is important to focus on lateral breathing during this exercise. Expanding the rib cage east and west to help facilitate blood circulation and oxygen throughout the body.
Head, neck and shoulders should be relaxed. Your abdominals are doing all the work.
If you start to feel a strain in your neck, lower your head, neck and shoulders to the floor and continue the exercise from that position.
Benefits of the Pilates Hundred
The Pilates Hundred is a great exercise for:
Increase circulation and oxygen to the body