Move of the Day: Hundred

  
|| HUNDRED || Hundred is my move of the day and is a classical Pilates exercise that helps to tone your abs! Adding a set of 2lb dumbbells makes this move even more challenging for the core, and it will help to create lean, sexy arms too!

Benefits:

• Strengthens and tones the abdominals.

• Warms up the entire body and increases blood flow.

• Tones the arms and upper body.

• Coordinates breath with movement.

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1 — Start by lying supine with arms by the sides holding the dumbbells, and knees into the chest. Engage the abdominals by pulling the belly button in and curl the head and shoulders off the mat.
2 — Extend the legs out to a high diagonal with the heels together and toes apart in a Pilates “V.” Lift the arms above the level of the hips and begin pumping up and down vigorously, as you inhale for 5 counts and exhale for 5 counts.

3 — Repeat x10 and that makes 100!

4 — Hug the knees into your chest and lower the head and shoulders onto the mat. Move the head from side to side to relax the neck.

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Tips: Keep the body still as you pump the arms by engaging the abdominals throughout the exercise. For more of a challenge, lower the legs closer to the floor, but only as far as you can keep the abdominal engagement without arching the back.

Modifications: If you are a beginner, practice this exercise without dumbbells and start with the legs in a tabletop position, knees bent above the hips and feet lifted as high as the knees. If that is too challenging, you can also perform the exercise with the knees bent and the feet flat on the floor. 
If you have any neck issues, do this exercise with the head down and use a small pillow or towel for extra support if needed.

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Photo by Sherry Dubash at KZP

Tights by Splits59

“Like” Pilates Angel on Facebook and follow me on Instagram @imyourangil to see more of my favorite moves!

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Move of the Day: Teaser

  
|| TEASER || Teaser is my move of the day and one of the most challenging classical Pilates exercises. Most of the movements that are performed early in the matwork are meant to prepare the body for teasers.

Benefits:
• Strengthens the abdominals and hip flexors

• Improves balance and coordination

• Stretches the hamstrings

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1 — Start lying supine with arms along sides of the body. Inhale to prepare, engaging the abdominal muscles by pulling the belly button in.

2 — Exhale to roll up, lifting the upper and lower body simultaneously. Legs should be at about a 45 degree angle and arms reaching upwards, parallel to the legs.

3 — Inhale to hold the balance, and exhale to roll back onto the mat, ideally with the head and feet touching at the same time.

4 — Repeat x4.
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Tips: Be sure to sit up tall in the teaser with the head and chest lifted, but keep a slight curve in the lower back. Keep the abdominals engaged, focus on the breath, and relax the shoulders as you balance. For more of a challenge, start with arms extended behind the head rather than along the sides, and have the legs lower in the balance.

Modifications: If you have tightness in the hip flexors, hamstrings, and lower back, keep the knees bent with the heels together, toes apart, and knees slightly apart in a diamond shape. If you are a beginner and teasers feel too challenging, try practicing the hundred, the roll up, and the lower lift exercise in the matwork series to build core strength.

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Photo by Masha Creative for Nóli Yoga with fellow Pilates instructor Katie Yip

“Like” Pilates Angel on Facebook and follow me on Instagram @imyourangil to see more of my favorite moves!