I've Told U 100 Times!!!!!

Let's take a close-up look at the Pilates 100.

I think the 100 isn't given the credit it's due in this day of contemporary Pilates. If you have left it out of your routine, consider giving it another chance.

The benefits will give back more than 100%.

Read through the following before attempting the exercise.

We are not working out of Advanced work, but Essential.

PREPARE: With a mirror in view, find a nice quiet place. Get out your Pilates M&M's (mat and music).

With our 5 Principles of Alignment(5/19) in place, begin flat on the floor. Chill out a few minutes, taking in the good around you, detoxing the negative.

  • Inhale through your nose to prepare.

  • As you begin to exhale out through your mouth, bring your head and shoulders up, with your arms out to your sides, palms down. Inhale. You'll only lift up as far as you can maintain control. This isn't a roll-up!

  • Exhale and go back down to your starting position.

  • Now, bring ONE leg up at a time in a table-top position (TT=bent at the knee like your legs are resting on a table). Don't forget to engage your core! Inhale.

  • Exhale and once again lift your head and shoulders, remembering NOT to jam your chin into your neck/chest. Think of your fist resting under your chin. Or an apple. Inhale.

  • Exhale and return to the starting position.

  • Now that you have that in place, we are going to move to the full movement. Inhale.

  • Exhale as you begin to lift with arms extended up by your side, palms down.

  • On the inhale, begin to pump your hands like you are patting the top of water in a pool.

  • Pumping your arms (do NOT let them bend) and hands ALL TOGETHER 5 times as you inhale through your nose with 5 quick breaths.

  • Exhale through your mouth with 5 breaths as you pump your hands in sequence with the breath pattern.
This might take some practice as it requires rhythm/coordination. Your brain and body are definitely in a conversation. Hopefully, a good one.

In the beginning you may only want to do 5 reps. It's more important to get the move correctly than to do all 10 reps without precision and control.

The 100 means you have counted 100 breaths; ex and inhales. This would mean you completed 10 reps.

The table-top position is a great modification for those who do not have the core strength to stretch their legs out in front of them while keeping control: Controlling the tummy from popping, and keeping from going into the lower back. And believe me, it takes strength. Most of us do NOT have it. We have to work up to it!

The last photo to the right shows a more advanced 100: Legs are extended. An even more advanced move would be your legs extended out and lower, but I don't recommend this as part of the Essential work.

Also, if you have neck issues, keep your head on the floor and continue (see bottom left photo).

Once you get the movement, add flavor by pumping your arms more vigorously.

CAUTION: As in all exercising, only do so by the recommendation of a trusted health professional who knows your wellness history.

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