One of the most effective and beneficial ab exercises can be done in less than 2 minutes a day – the Pilates Hundred. Read on to discover the top three big benefits from the Hundred exercise in Pilates.
In a classical Pilates mat class, the Hundred is done at the beginning of the class, often as one of a few Pilates warm up exercises. The reason being, is the quick pattern of breathing helps to increase heart rate, warm the core and mentally prepare you for a full Pilates abdominal workout. The Pilates Hundred can be modified or challenged at all levels from the absolute beginner to advanced.
Practicing the Hundred exercise in Pilates has many benefits. Here are three big benefits and how you can start practicing the Pilates Hundred today.
Enhance your flexibility and mobility
The Hundred exercise helps you to stretch out your entire body, from your toes to your fingertips, helping you increase mobility in the joints and making it easier for you to do everyday activities. The Hundred is traditionally done with the legs extended to a 45 degree angle. This challenges the flexibility in the hips and legs and increases your range of motion. It can be modified with legs slightly bend, lifted higher or keeping legs at a tabletop position.
Increase your strength
Doing The Hundred exercise can help strengthen core muscles and support a healthy posture. It increases muscular endurance, allowing you to complete more reps with less fatigue. The Hundred, like in all Pilates, works the deeper abdominal muscles called the transverse abdominals. This deeper layer of muscles is shaped like a corset, wrapping around the core and engaging the back extensors. This powerful muscular activation helps to not only build strength, but reduce pain back and improve posture and balance.
Improve breath control
Through the Hundred exercise, you’ll focus on controlled breathing which helps to oxygenate your body and promote relaxation. This helps reduce stress levels and provide a sense of inner calmness and balance.
How to do the Hundred Exercise in Pilates
Step 1: Begin laying on your back, knees bent and feet on the floor. Arms by your side, palms facing down.
Step 2: Curl head, neck and shoulder up into a Pilates curl. Arms lift a few inches off the ground. Bring legs to a table top position.
Step 3: Exhale, straighten legs out to a 45 degree angle. Begin making small pumping motions with the arms. Inhale for five counts, exhale for five counts.
Step 4: Repeat inhale for five, exhale for five for a total of 10 reps.
Modification: Slightly bend knees or keep legs at table top.
Challenge: Lower legs closer to the ground.
The Hundred exercise in Pilates is a great way to strengthen and enhance your body – from increasing your flexibility and strength, to improving your breath control. Taking part in a regular Pilates class can give you access to the full range of benefits of this exercise for maximum results. Thanks to the professional classes at ProHealth Physical Therapy and Pilates, achieving the optimal physical state has never been more achievable! They offer convenient times, tailored routines and an enjoyable atmosphere, providing all of the features necessary for success. Come on and join us today – you’ll be impressed with how great you feel after your first session!