The Hundreds

The Hundreds

The Hundreds strengthen the abdominal group of muscles (the transversus abdominis and latissimus dorsi. It’s preferrable to warm up to the Hundreds with other pilates poses and basic stretches.

Step by step

1. Lie on your back with the knees to your chest, hands relaxed on the ankles

2. Breathe out as you contract forward, lifting your head and shoulders off the mat. Extend the hands forward and stretch through the fingertips, palms down, about 15 cm from the floor

3. Raise your legs vertically into the air, flexing your feet and externally rotating your legs from the thighs. Touch the back of the knees together to stretch the hamstrings and connect the inner thighs (this will take the pressure off the front of the thighs). Contract the buttocks slightly

4. Keeping the eyes on the knees, engage the lower abdominals, then breathe in for 5 seconds and breathe out for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 breaths in and out without resting (the 10 seconds in and out by 10 repetitions equals 100, hence the name The Hundreds). Take no more than a 10 second rest between each set of 100

Watch out
* Keep the rib cage drawn to the hips at all times, shoulder blades off the mat and relaxed forward, eyes on the knees
* If the shoulders drop back on the breath in, contract forward further and scoop the abdominals
* If the back arches or strains, turn the legs in and bend the knees slightly, when the knees are bent keep the heels in a vertical line with the buttocks to keep the back flat
* If you feel neck strain, place a cushion under the head, raise the head on each breath out and rest on the breath in, remembering to keep the abdominals active even in the rest position. As the neck becomes stronger raise the head up for 2 breaths and so on

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Bassam Younes
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Bassam Younes is a certified holistic counselor, transformational coach, and speaker. He has been teaching meditation for seven years.

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