Ever wonder why most of the pictures of Joseph Pilates we see today are of him in his Janzen’s (speedo like) outfit, outside in all temperatures? It is because he was a very circulated person! He expressed the importance of “perfect circulation equals perfect health”. He lived by this motto and created his exercise system around that belief.

In Joseph Pilates exercise method, he created an exercise that he called the 100’s. It was used as a warm-up exercise, for increasing circulation in the body. In the exercise, the body is lying supine, with the head lifted and the legs held out long from the body. The arms are pumping vigorously up and down, 6-8 inches at the bodies side, as the body takes a long inhalation for 5 pumps, then a long exhalation for 5 pumps of the arms. The body does this for 10 times, thus the name the 100’s.

If the exercise is done properly, you will see the color on the cheeks turn nice and pink. You can literally see the color.........

on the face change as the circulation is pumped through the body up into the chest and face. Because it is such an internally heating exercise, the exercise should only be done at the beginning of the session and only once in the session.

This exercise is so a powerful that my mentor, Romana Kyrzanowska warned that you should never do this exercise when becoming ill, during cancer, with AIDS, or any other virus. As it can stir up the virus or cancer, causing it to spread. Also, if someone was having an allergic reaction on the skin, you would stay away from the 100’s until the reaction had subsided.

It is also a very powerful exercise that helps to clear the body of toxin’s and begins the sweating process during your Pilates workout. Sometimes I hear my clients say that their friends do Pilates, but never sweat. I usually ask, “did they start their session with the 100’s?” We always find out that the teacher had incorporated the 100’s in the later part of the session and used the 100’s like an abb exercise, thus preventing that beautiful all over sweat that one should get from Pilates.

It is such a shame that the 100’s is not being used as it was meant to be. The 100’s creates the “Internal Shower” of the body, that Joseph Pilates meant his exercise system to do. If you take Pilates, make sure you are going to a teacher or studio that does the 100’s at the beginning of the session and only once in the session. Be wary of the many studio’s in Los Angeles and other cities, that use the term “pilates” flippantly, not incorporating this idea of circulation, breath or control in any of their movements. I have even heard of certification programs that are teaching Pilates instructors to use the 100’s as an abb exercise. Or, that the 100’s should be done more than once in a session, not a healthy habit.

Protect yourself and do Pilates the way it was intended. Look for a studio or certification program that incorporates the true teaching of Joseph Pilates. Your body and health will thank you. Stay circulated!