How the 100’s has helped my cycling

As much as I love to teach I guess web management is not my thing. When I set up this site I thought I would migrate my old site right in – didn’t work. Now I have a site I am setting up from scratch. The advantage is I get to revisit a lot of the content I had on my old site and rework it.

One of the most underrated exercises in the Pilates Repertoire is the 100’s. So many instructors seem to ignore this exercise and it’s value. Yes! It’s difficult to perform well, but the benefits are substantial.

1. The 100’s requires focus on Rib Cage or Lateral Breathing. If you place your hand on your ribs and focus your breath into your hands you will realize that with each breath the rib cage will expand. Between the ribs are muscles called the Intercostals, these muscles expand and contract with each Inspiration and Expiration making them equally effective in respiration as the diaphragm. The rib cage is the same shape of the lungs which not only protects the lungs but also allows you to get a full breath.

2. The abdominals are constantly working during the hundred to hold you in position. The more you can maintain the contraction during the inhalation the more the intercostal muscles will work. The synergy between these muscle groups will allow the neck to relax and to keep the focus where it belongs – Abs and Rib Cage.

3. The full deep breaths allow you to take in more oxygen which aerates the blood, and relaxes the mind.

4. There is nothing wrong with abdominal or diaphragmatic breathing – allowing the belly to expand with each breath. This just is not the focus in Pilates. Many of my clients who are musicians and public speakers swear by diaphragmatic breathing, but once they learn the Rib Cage breathing (as in the 100’s), and they can couple that with the abdominal breathing – They Have a Much Stronger and More Effective Instrument.

My assignment to my cycling clients is to do the 100’s when they are exerting. Obviously I don’t mean to get off the bike and lay on the side of the road and do a set of 100’s. When they are working at high power (over 300 watts) they should do the 5 count full inhale into the ribcage and the 5 count full exhale pressing ALL the air out with their abdominals. When I do this myself I find myself not so labored in my breathing, my heart rate calms a bit and I can actually dig a little deeper for my climb.

This exercise can be translated to Jogging, Walking and essentially any other sport.

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