Pilates – Back Extensions

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 17,089
    Certified Pilates instructor Dori Markakos demonstrates how to do an exercise called the back extension.

    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 Markakos: Hi! I am Dori, your personal Pilates instructor. I am showing you some of the most basic and popular Pilates exercises. Right now, I am going to show you how to do the back extension. So, go ahead and find your self right in the middle of the mat, walk your hands and knees closer towards the back end of the mat, and walk your hands forward, resting your self completely flat on the mat, with those finger tips reaching forward. Let's go ahead and take a little stretch, walking those finger tips as far forward as you can, those toes are tucked under and look straight down at the mat to keep your spine in neutral. Take a big, deep breathe in, and as you exhale, walk those hands as far forward as you can, open up the chest and your shoulders, look straight out of the mat, and bring those hands back and stack them one on top of the other. And what you can do right now, you can either rest your chin on top of your hands or your forehead, which ever feels comfortable to you. I am going to rest my chin on top of my hands. So, now to do back extension is very simple, take a big, deep breathe in and rotate those hips under. So, I want you to think about doing the pelvic tilt, which is almost doing the reverse. Just tilt forcing those hip bones, right into the mat, in case that you are not engaging those glutes. Let's go ahead and get started, take a big, deep breathe in, chin stays connected on to those hands, as you exhale, lift the upper body up, completely up off the mat, the chin stays on top of the hands or the forehead, if thats the position you chose, and slowly lower your self, inhale, exhale and lift, feet stay on to the mat, and lower, inhale, exhale, lift just to where you feel comfortable and lower, good job, inhale, exhale, lift. Make sure you keep your spine in neutral, you are looking straight ahead, and lower four more, inhale, exhale, lift, and lower. Last three, inhale, exhale, lift, pause and hold it just as lifted, and lower, last two, inhale, exhale, lift, good job, last one inhale, exhale, lift, nice strong back, pause and hold it, slowly lower, extend those finger tips forward, shake it out, go ahead and sit up, take your back for a childs pose stretch, hold this stretch right here, big, deep breathe in and sit up. Let's go ahead and move on.