The Hundred will help you build strong core muscles and stamina whilst improving your coordination. The exercise is named after the 100 beats of your arms made while holding your legs extended and your head and shoulders off the mat.
Join me in practicing the Hundred by following along with the video below.
Lie on your back. Raise your legs and bend them at the knee in the tabletop position with your shins and ankles parallel to the ceiling. If this position is too strong simply leave one or both feet flat on the floor. Your lower back must not be flat on the floor, keep your pelvis in its neutral alignment, to find this place your hand from your belly button to pubic bone, your hand should be straight and you should be able to get your hand under your lower back but not lift it off the floor.
Inhale to prepare.
Exhale, Bring your head up with your chin tucked and, using your abdominal muscles, curl your upper spine up off the floor to the base of your shoulder blades. Keep the shoulders sliding down your back. Stay here and inhale.
At the same time, deepen the pull of the abs, pulling your belly button towards your spine, and extend your arms and legs. Your legs should only be as low as you can go without shaking and without the lower spine pulling up off the mat, if you need to modify to one extended leg or leave both in table top, as above. Extend your arms straight and low, just a few inches off the floor, with the fingertips reaching towards your toes.
Hold this position. Take five quick breaths in and five quick breaths out, whilst moving your arms in a controlled up and down manner, a bit like you are making ripples on a pool of water. Keep your shoulders and neck relaxed, your abdominal muscles should be doing all the work.
Repeat for 10 full breaths per rep. Each rep is five quick in-breaths and then five quick out breaths. The arms pump up and down in time with your breathing. Keep your core engaged pulling your ribs towards your hips and belly button towards your spine. Try and breathe wide and full breathes.
Once finished your 10 breathes bring your head neck and shoulders and legs back to the floor for a full body stretch.