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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.