Fitness Expert’s Tip of the Month – July

The Pilates Hundred

The “core” of your body actually consists of more than just the rectus abdominals – “the 6 pack area”. You also have your obliques that allow your body to twist, turn and side bend and your transverse abdominals which you can feel when you tighten the area from your belly button down to your pubic bone. These are all of your front body “core” stabilizers. Today we will work with the Pilates Hundred, a great overall core movement.

The Pilates Hundreds is a breathing exercise, meant to begin circulating blood flow to warm up the body in preparation for exercises to follow. It is also an amazing challenge to maintain proper body position, control your breathing and focus on the center portion of your body.

➢ Begin with laying on the floor face up with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Keep your knees and hips “hip” distance apart from one another and all 10 toes point forward.

➢ Bring your arms straight up to the sky-palms forward and fingers pointing up to 12:00 so that your pinky finger lines up with your wrist, elbow and shoulder.

➢ Keep the back of your head on the floor and draw your chin slightly down to your chest so there is enough space for your fist between your chin and chest. Let your eyes gaze at your knees or belly button.

➢ Inhale to prepare and as you exhale curl your head, neck and shoulders off the floor as you bring your arms down to your hips about 3” off the floor. Work to curl up high enough so that just the tips of your shoulder blades are on the floor and your belly becomes hollow or scooped.

➢ As you pump your arms up and down (as if you you’re slapping them against water) work to maintain stillness in your body and keep your eyes gazing downward. Your breath and arm movement should be quick and percussive. 5 short inhales through your nose and 5 quick exhales through your mouth. This sequence of 5 in and 5 out breaths done for a total of 10 cycle’s equals 100 breaths.

This proper body alignment is perfect for any form of abdominal work. ALWAYS make sure to curl from the floor so that your chin is slightly tilted down to eliminate strain from your neck and shoulders. Practicing this breathing pattern will assist with breath control for other forms of exercise as well.

For more information and additional exercises please contact Amy at: Amy@Go2BeyondMotion.com

Amy Lademann
Fitness Expert, Campus Calm

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