L + L at Home: The Hundreds

Before she heads off to Boston for an exercise science internship, Rachel shows us her favorite Pilates exercise to do at home, The Hundreds. This classical exercise is a staple in the Pilates Mat workout. Rachel loves The Hundreds because it develops the foundational core strength necessary for the more advanced exercises. Try them yourself to feel strong, long, and lean at home!


Setup

Lie on your back with a neutral spine (maintain natural curves of your back) and bring your legs to a table top position (knees bent and lined up directly over hips). Float the arms up to the ceiling, being careful to keep the arms plugged in to the shoulder joints.

Steps

  1. Inhale to prepare. Exhale to extend the legs on a diagonal as the head neck and shoulders curl up off the mat and the arms press down next to the hips, hovering an inch or two away from the ground.
  2. Begin pumping the arms in small rhythmic motions next to the hips. As your arms move, inhale for 5 pumps and exhale for the next 5 pumps. Keep your breath rhythmic and dynamic.
  3. Hold the head neck and shoulders up off the mat in the abdominal curl position and continue the series of 5 rhythmic inhales and 5 rhythmic exhales a total of 10 times. That makes 100!

Hint: Lift the legs to extend them straight up to the ceiling or keep them in a table top position if you feel any strain in the lower back. Lower the legs closer to the ground for a greater challenge.

 

 

 

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L + L at Home: Modified Front Row

Welcome to the first post in our series of Long + Lean At Home Favorites! To begin the series, all the Long + Lean instructors are sharing their absolute favorite exercises to do at home!

Founder Hayley’s favorite exercise to do at home is a Pilates Reformer exercise modified for the mat that is great for posture and feels amazing. Here’s why Hayley loves doing Modified Front Row at home:

“This exercise gives me everything I need right now (and always): it stretches my back and hamstrings, opens my chest and shoulders, gives me gentle work in my abs and spinal extensors, and feels invigorating.”

Want to try the Modified Front Row for yourself (you totally should)? Here’s how to do it:

Setup
Sit with your legs extended out in front of you. Make sure you are sitting on your sitz bones with a neutral spine (let your knees bend slightly if you cannot sit up straight with your legs extended). Flex the ankles so your toes point up to the ceiling.

Steps

  1. Round your spine one vertebra at a time, starting from your head, as the arms reach forward towards your feet. Feel the back ribs pull back while energy from the fingers and the heels shoots forward. Think of widening the shoulders on the back, but don’t let them sneak up to your ears. Feel the abdominals gently pull the belly button towards the back as your spine rounds.
  2. Stack the spine up one vertebra at a time, returning to neutral, while carrying the arms straight up overhead. Keep those shoulders relaxed down and the ribs relaxed, not popped forward.
  3. Circle your arms down to the starting position. Feel the pinky fingers reach away from you as though your arms could reach the walls. Repeat 3-5 times.