- The Hundreds exercise is a classic Pilates move similar to the crunch
- Common mistakes include dropping the leg below the knee and forgetting to breathe during the exercise
- Hundreds can improve your core strength and are suitable for any fitness level
Pilates is a popular form of exercise that’s suitable for a variety of fitness levels, and like any fitness exercise, you’ll want to start with a solid warmup.
A beginner Pilates exercise is called The Hundred.
Here’s what it is, and how to do it properly.
What is Pilates?
“This is your warmup!” “It’s exactly 100 pumps of your arms performed with inhales and exhales,” says Andrea Rogers, creator of Xtend Barre and XB Pilates. she adds
The Hundred is like a crunch if you hold the contraction at the top and add arm pulse.
This is a great warm-up because it quickly builds heat, raises the heart rate and activates the core.
The Hundred Exercises: Step-by-Step Instructions
- Begin by lying supine (on your back) on the mat. The legs should be in a tabletop position, meaning here your thighs are vertical, your knees are bent and your shins are horizontal.
- Lift your abs and shoulders, curl your spine and lift your head off the mat. Keep your lower back in contact with the floor – don’t arch your back.
- Inhale, pump the arms as they lift off the mat, making sure the fingers, hands and arms are straight. Take one, two, three, four, five breaths with the first five arm pumps and then one, two, three, four, five breaths with another five arm pumps. After you complete ten, you can immediately move on to the next round.
- Repeat ten times to reach that magic number: 100.
- On the tenth set, inhale, raise your curl and reach your arms toward your hips. keep Then exhale and release again to lower yourself to your starting position. In other words, don’t flop down.
If you’re new to Pilates and still can’t perform this exercise with proper form, start with fifty, then gradually work yourself up to hundred.
To make the exercise more challenging, extend your legs straight out and off the mat – this can be to the ceiling or at an angle depending on your core strength (the angle is tight).
“Some common mistakes include keeping the feet under the knees and not in a table-top position,” says Sonya Simpson, Certified Trap Pilates® Instructor and Owner of Alterego Pilates & Fitness Studio.
Andrea adds that another common mistake is when “your arms should be inches above your hips and thighs.”
“And don’t forget to breathe!” says Helen Phelan, a trainer and health coach. “Breathwork is an inherent part of exercise.”
What are the benefits of Pilates Hundred Exercises?
“It aligns your body from the crown of your head to the tips of your toes.
It addresses breath work, midline zip ups and proper pelvic alignment.
With the right cues, the 100 prepares you for a full-body mat workout,” says Andrea.
It “helps develop core strength, endurance, integration and circulation throughout the torso,” adds Simpson.
Core strength is a central component of Pilates, which emphasizes proper alignment, muscle balance, and stability (all of which call for a strong core), making this warmup the foundation for an especially good Pilates practice.
Because it can be easily modified, it’s also a warmup that can be adapted to any physical condition, body type or need.
Now that your body is sufficiently warmed up, you’re ready for a challenging and effective Pilates workout!