hundred it’s a
essential exercise on the mat Pilates. You’ll be asked to do this at the start of almost any class and it’s done while keeping your legs extended and your head and shoulders above the mat. Joseph Pilates introduced the hundred as
the first exercise from the matwork series in his book “Return to Life Through Contrology” and it is quite a classic.
It’s about a
dynamic warm-up for abs and lungs. It requires you to coordinate your breathing with the movement and be strong and harmonious at the same time. The hundred involves the abdominal muscles, including the sides, and
develops scapular and trunk stabilization. This is an easy exercise to modify if you have back or neck problems or if you need to lower or increase the level of demand.
How to do a hundred Pilates right
The first thing you have to do is
lie on your back and raise your legs. Then, bend them at the knees into tabletop position with shins and ankles parallel to the floor. Lift your head with your chin down and, using your abdominal muscles, lift your upper spine off the floor to the base of your shoulder blades.
Keep your shoulders sliding down and hooked into your back. Stay here and inhale.
Now extend your arms and legs.
Bring your legs toward the wall or ceiling in front of you. You can adjust the height to your liking. Your legs should only be as low as you can go without shaking and without lifting your lower spine off the mat.
Extend arms straight and lowonly a few inches from the floor, with the tips of his fingers pointing toward the far wall.
Hold your position. Beam
five short breaths in and out. As you do this, move your arms up and down in a controlled manner, gently but dynamically. Make sure to keep your shoulders and neck relaxed. It is the abdominal muscles that should do all the work. And if,
you will be toning your body and particularly the core.
a cycle of 10 full breaths. Each cycle consists of five short inhalations and then five short exhalations. The arms move up and down in unison with your breath. Keep the
abs tight, back flat on the floor and head as an extension of the spinelooking down.
Breathing well is important. To finish, keep your spine curved as you
bring your knees to your chest. Grasp your knees and rotate your upper spine and head toward the floor. Take one last deep breath to conclude the exercise. You must
feel elastic and without tension.
Common mistakes and variations
With your head raised off the mat, you may find yourself with your chin pointed toward the ceiling. This increases the stress on the neck. Instead, it should be tucked in toward your chest, but leaving enough room for you to be
imaginarily cradling an egg between her chin and her chest. Don’t let your legs drop too low and cause you to arch your back. If this happens, you’ll be using your back muscles instead of your abs, and that’s not what you want.
People with upper back and neck problems can do this exercise with the
legs extended or in table position, but with the head down on the mat. It is an exercise that you can (and should) adapt to your needs.
In the beginner mod, you can keep
head and feet on the mat with knees bent. Once you get the hang of that position, you can begin to alternately raise one leg to tabletop position while keeping the other foot on the mat.
Switch legs midway through the exercise.
Another option is
keep legs in tabletop position. This will be less challenging than doing it with your legs extended. In this position, your back is on the floor, your legs are raised, and your knees are bent so that your thighs are perpendicular to the floor. Your lower legs form a flat, level “table,” while your thighs are the legs of the table. You can also do the exercise with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, lifting only your upper body.