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The Pilates 100

The Pilates 100 is generally the first exercise we do in the mat series.  It warms up the heart and lungs, expands your lung capacity, increases circulation, and works your powerhouse.

The idea is to breath smoothly in through your nose for a count of five and out through your nose for a count of five as you pump the arms at a vigorous pace by your side.  If breathing through your nose is an effort you can use your mouth to breath just make it deep and calm.  Lie on your back head down knees into your chest hands on your ankles and shoulders relaxed. take your arms by your side as you stretch your legs straight up and lift your head and shoulders off the mat. Start your deep breathing and the pumping of the arms.  You will breath 100 counts.  In other words ten sets of five counts in and five counts out.  When you start pumping your arms they move from your hips to about eight inches up  and then back down.  Your tempo should match the rhythm of "God bless America".  Make sure your arms are reaching as you move them to help relax the neck and shoulders.  If you have a strong lower back you can lower your legs to a 45 degree angle from the body.  Rotate your legs slightly open and squeeze your heels together so you can feel your buttocks and your inner thighs (an extra added bonus).  The lower you take your legs the more you will feel your abs burning  but be  mindful to keep your lower back down on the mat!!!

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