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Breakdown the 100

Updated: Oct 22, 2021

What is the Pilates 100?

  • The 100 is the exercise that warms us up and get us ready for our practice!

  • It shows up in the beginning of both the Mat and Reformer orders.

  • It should be done in every class. :)

  • It is part of the Basic 5 exercises, so it is meant to be practiced even in your first Pilates session.

  • It has a ton of variations to ensure every human can do it and every practitioner stays engaged throughout their years of practice.

Exercise: Pump your arms up and down while inhaling for a 5 count and exhaling for a 5 count.


It seems super simple when you read that, doesn't it?

  • The 100 has some hidden elements in it, which makes it intense and engaging - no matter what level you are working in. These hidden elements are the Pilates Fundamentals.

Pilates is built on seven Fundamentals: Breath, Shoulder Stability, Upper Ab Curl, Neutral Spine, Abdominal Engagement, Pelvic Stability, and Pelvic Mobility.

*You can find more information and pictures here: Pilates Fundamentals


Which Fundamentals are in the 100?


Let's do our Breakdown!

  • Breath - INHALE for 5, EXHALE for 5

  • Shoulder Stability - Pump your arms up and down (pumping comes from your back)

  • Upper Ab Curl - if you choose a variation with the upper ab curl

  • Abdominal Engagement - Pulling your deepest abdominal muscles in while you breathe and pump your arms (while you keep your legs in the air, if you choose that variation)

  • Pelvic Stability - Keeping your pelvis stable while doing all the things (no matter which variation you try)

Wow, that's pretty amazing!


I provided a bunch of 100 variations pictures below that could be used as a guide.


100 - Head Down; Legs in Tent position

100 - Upper Ab Curl; Legs in Tent position

100 - Head Down; Legs in Table Top position

100 - Upper Ab Curl; Legs in Table Top position

100 - Head Down; 1 Leg in Tent position; 1 Leg in Table Top position

100 - Head Down; Legs at 90 degrees'ish