Intermediate Pilates – Straight Leg Stretch Into Scissors

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 20,867
    Pilates expert Dori Markakos demonstrates how to do pilates and the straight leg stretch into scissors in an intermediate pilates workout.

    Dori Markakos

    Dori is an experienced fitness professional whose love of fitness began in grade school with her love of dance and ballet. She’s danced classical ballet since she was 5. As her interest in fitness grew, she began experimenting with all varieties of group fitness and weight lifting. Dori went the practical route to college and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business with a specialization in Marketing from the University of Virginia’s School of Commerce, but not before receiving her fitness instructor certification in her spare time. After college, Dori went to work for Environmental Design & Construction, LLC (EDC) where she is presently the Controller. In this position, Dori serves as the company’s chief business officer. But, Dori’s heart is in the field of fitness. Dori maintains her certifications and puts them to work as a personal trainer, spinning and Pilates (mat and reformer) instructor. As part of her career development, Dori also received specialty training in pre and post natal fitness, with a specialization in pre/post natal Pilates. Dori currently works with clients as Pilates instructor, while keeping up with her own workouts. She’s run multiple marathons and is an accomplished triathlete having run numerous triathlons as well having completed the Ironman Triathlon. Dori resides in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Peter and daughter Mia.

    Dori: Hi I'm Dori, and this is intermediate pilates. Right now, I'm going to show how to do a pilates straight leg stretch. Go ahead and sit yourself right in the middle of the pilates mat, balance right on your glute, grab on to your hamstrings and take a big deep breathe in, and as you exhale, I want you to round out your vertebra one at a time, keep your spine in neutral, I want you to look straight ahead, nice long lean muscles, extend those legs all the way towards the end of your mat, and bring those arms straight up over your head, take a nice big deep breath in, we just bring it to as far forward as you can and as you exhale, I want you to get a nice good pelvic tilt, rotating those hips under, pulling your navel into your spine and your spine into the floor, and then release your feet, if you have any tension in your feet.

    Go ahead and bring those arms along the side of you, you are going to bring the left leg in, and extend it straight up, and lift the upper body up, eyes are on your navel, if this feels a little challenging so, you can go ahead and keep your head rested onto the pilates mat, but go ahead and lift your head up, eyes around your navel, inhale and exhale once you have reached towards that, pull that leg towards you for a nice, easy stretch, you are going to inhale and exhale, you are going to switch legs, the right leg comes up, and the left leg lowers.

    I want you to hold this stretch just nice and easy, again your toes are totally pointed, they are not flexed, they are just engaged, inhale and exhale and you are going to switch, nice and easy, and one more time, now we are going to take it up to a double pace here, you are going to switch pull, pull, switch pull, pull, switch pull, pull, so with every pull, pull you should get a little more of a stretch on your hamstring, again keeping your spine nice and long abs contracted, nice and tight, one more per leg, good. Last one, bring both knees in towards the chest, go ahead and roll up, sitting up nice and tall, let's go ahead and move on to a pilates double leg stretch.