Get Strong With the Pilates-based Hundred Exercise

The Pilates workout developed over 100 years ago by former gymnast, Joseph Pilates (1880-1967) can be challenging. The idea behind it was basically to get people to exercise more while also helping them get out of pain. In the 1920’s he created an exercise routine consisting of 34 unique movements. One of the more challenging of which is the hundred. Each movements used in Pilates is designed to engage multiple body parts simultaneously, often strengthening one muscle group while stretching another. His program is based on core strength development and he believed a person was only as healthy as their spine.

His teachings, originally called “The Art of Contrology” focused on uniting the mind and body to create a direct connection to the muscles. Each precise movement requires mental concentration and physical control.

One of the many Joesph Pilates well-known movement quotes is:

Value of Adding the Hundred to Your Workout

There are many options available when it comes to performing core or more specifically abdominal exercises. The hundred exercise will overload your core with one set of a hundred repetitions, if performed correctly. The key is first engaging the abdominals. This helps to position the pelvis in a neutral position. Most individuals have either an anterior or posterior pelvic tilt. The muscles that make up the core are known in the world of Pilates as the “powerhouse.” According to Joseph Pilates, the powerhouse is the center of the body, and when strengthened, it offers a solid foundation for any movement.

When executing the hundred exercise, remember the following six points:

  • Maintain a neutral pelvis by engaging your core. Pull the navel in towards your spine.
  • Keep your chin tucked (and relaxed), looking at your navel during the entire exercise.
  • Keep the arms straight and the elbows locked out.
  • The arm movement (up/down) is no more than 6-8 inches.
  • Keep the toes pointed.
  • Focus on the breath (inhale for 5 counts and exhale for 5 counts, 10 times during the 100 repetitions).

The traditional hundred exercise, involves keeping the legs straight, about two inches off the floor. This is difficult for most people when first attempting. Instead, try performing the exercise with the hips and knees kept at 90-degree angles. If this is too basic for you, keep the legs together and straight. Instead of raising them a few inches off the floor, extend them outward from the bent knee position (as seen in the top photo). Notice how the body is kept in an arc or “scooped” position during the exercise. In a Pilates class, the hundred acts as a dynamic warm-up for the abdominals and lungs.

There is a reason why Joseph Pilates made the hundred the first exercise in his 34 movement routine. It is because it heats up and prepares the body for the remaining exercises. This exercise can be very challenging when done correctly; it involves the entire body.

Jefit’s Versions of “The Hundred”

The Jefit app offers the hundred exercise. Here are four variation of the traditional Pilates hundred exercise that you can try now on the Jefit app.

Use Jefit to Record the Hundred and More

Try Jefit app, named best app for 2020 and 2021 by PC MagazineMen’s HealthThe Manual and the Greatist. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner and training log. In addition, the app has ability to track data, offer audio cues, and has a feature to share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong with Jefit as you live your fitness lifestyle.

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