The Pilates One Hundred is traditionally done as the first exercise of any class or work out. Beyond tightening the abs, it also tones the core and arms and boosts energy and circulation
In my 7 plus years of doing Pilates this foundation exercise is one of the most challenging but most rewarding exercises of all. A great way to start your day and part of my morning ritual:
- Lay supine on your back, hands down by your sides, knees bent above the hips in a 90 degree position (table top).
On an inhale:
- Curl your chin to your throat and roll up to your shoulder blades, pulling your belly button in toward your spine and up into your sternum.
- Extending your legs at a 45 degree angle or keeping them in a table top position, lift your hands off the mat in line with your shoulders. Imagine your are holding a nickle in your back armpit crease and start pumping your arms up and down 6-8 inches as if you were slapping water.
- Breath in through your nose for 5 counts and exhale a hot breath (as if fogging up a mirror vs. blowing out birthday candles) out of your mouth for 5 counts. Repeat 10 times.
You have now completed The Hundred!
*Some people state that their neck hurts when doing The Hundred. Keep in mind that you do in fact have what I call “Neck Abs” or neck muscles. The more you do this, the stronger they will become. Another factor is in how you curl your head off the ground. Do not simply lift your chin up toward towards the ceiling. Instead, slide the back of your head up the mat with out lifting it off until your chin touches your throat completely. You might even feel a nice stretch in the back of your neck. Once your chin is touching, then you can start to curl up your neck and spine off the mat. Another option is to place one hand behind your head and press your head into your hand, and your hand into your head. The oppositional forces along with the support from your hand will take tension directly out of your neck.