There are many reasons to try doing some Mat exercises on top of the Ladder Barrel. Doing the Hundred and Ab series on top of the Barrel will challenge your strength, endurance and allow you to feel the same exercises you do on the Mat in a different way. Also, sometimes you don't have space in your studio to do your Mat work. Or you want to stay on the Ladder Barrel longer. By using it as a Mat you get to make the most of your space and equipment. Here is a fun way to do your Mat exercises.
Breathe into your back and connect as much as you can to the Mat.
Make sure you have space on either side of the Ladder Barrel so that your arms can move freely and your legs can extend. You can sit on top of the Barrel and place your tail bone at the edge of the Barrel and lay your spine on the top of the Barrel. Unless you're really tall you should be able to get your tailbone to your low ribs balanced on the barrel. Feel your low ribs on the Barrel and notice how you may lean more to one side more than another.
Bring your knees into your chest and curl your head up. This will be where you start and end your exercises. For the Hundred, extend your legs out, start slightly higher than usual and pump your arms. Do the 100 as you would normally but you'll feel it differently up here. From there you can go into your Single Leg Circles, your straight leg parallel to the floor and still as you circle your other leg 5x in each direction. Then you can go into Single Leg Stretch, Double Leg Stretch, Single Straight Leg Stretch, Double Straight Leg Stretch, and Criss Cross. Again, you may change the depth of which you go due to the arch on the hump. But, otherwise, do these the same way you normally would.
Be sure to check out more of my Pilates Ladder Barrel exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Ladder Barrel training!