Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Move of the Month: The Hundred

The Hundred

I have decided that it is time to bring back the Move of the Month.  (Maybe next time I will have a video post :)

This month I have chosen the pilates hundred.  Even people who don't practice pilates are familiar with this exercise.  It is wonderful to use as a warm-up for the abdominals and lungs. 

The hundred can be taught in stages until the participant is ready to to do the full exercise.  This description is of the advanced exercise (pictured above).

The Hundred
  1. Lay on your back with your feet flat on the floor.  Line up your knees with your hips and your heels with your glutes.
  2. Ensure that your back is neutral (there is a slight space between your lower back and the floor), your chest is open and your shoulders are away from your ears.  
  3. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.  Contract your abdominal muscles and use your pelvic floor (Kegel muscles).
  4. Inhale and as your exhale, lift your right knee over your hips with your shin parallel to the floor, toes pointed.  Repeat with the left leg.
  5. Inhale and exhale to extend your right leg to the ceiling.  Repeat on the left leg.  Turn the hips out slightly and squeeze the inner thighs together.  The heels should touch with the toes to the ceiling to form a "V" shape.
  6. Inhale and as you exhale, tuck your chin into your chest and slowly peel your spine off the mat with your arms at your side until your shoulders are off the floor.  Make sure you use your abdominals to lift, not your head or neck.  You should be looking at your thighs.
  7. Pump your arms as you quickly inhale for five counts and exhale for five counts (one cycle).
  8. You are aiming for 10 cycles, but do as many as you are comfortable
  9. To finish, exhale to bend your right knee and place the foot on the floor.  Repeat on the left.
  10. Keeping your chin tucked in to your chest, exhale to slowly lower your upper body back to the floor.
 What is your favourite pilates exercise?

Stay Healthy, 

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