The Hundred

The Hundred is a quintessential Pilates exercise and the first one in the classical order written by Joseph Pilates in his book “Return to Life Through Contrology”. It is an excellent warm-up exercise that embodies the 6 Pilates principles. The vigorous pumping of the arms combined with the coordinated breathing heats up the body and draws one’s connection to their center. It is the perfect opener to set the mood for one’s workout.


Please review the modifications before attempting the exercise and use them as needed. If you have any questions, please contact me.


  1. Lie on your back with straight legs, arms along your side
  2. Lift your legs off the mat
    • Beginners – 90 degrees (perpendicular to the floor/ceiling)
    • Intermediate – 45 degrees
    • Advanced – 2″ off the floor
    • Vary depending on how your body feels
  3. Curl your head off the mat and look at your abdominals
  4. Lift your arms above your hip bones, keeping them straight and reaching long \
  5. INHALE SLOWLY and EVENLY, do not make percussive sounds
  6. Begin pumping the arms up and down in a range of 6-8″
  7. Inhale for 5 counts of arm pumps
  8. EXHALE SLOWLY and EVENLY, do not do Lamaze breathing!
  9. Exhale for 5 counts of arm pumps
  10. Ten cycles of the 5 count inhales and 5 count exhales totals 100 counts of breathing and arm pumping


  • Bent legs on floor
  • Table top legs
  • Diamond shaped legs
  • Head on mat


  • Magic Circle between knees
  • Magic Circle between ankles
  • Magic Circle in hands, beat legs for counts
  • Change breathing INHALE 4 counts, EXHALE 6 counts


This video is intended for educational purposes only. It is meant to help you remember what you have done with me during our sessions. Please be sure to ask me if you cannot remember “your version” of this exercise.

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