Pilates – Bent Knee Lift

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 19,517
    Certified Pilates instructor Dori Markakos demonstrates a great exercise for the back of the leg and the glutes called the Bent Knee Lift.

    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.

    Hi! I am Dory, 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 the bed knee lift. Its a great exercise for the back of the leg and the glutes. So, let's go ahead and get started. So, go ahead and push yourself up onto the mat, so you are right in the middle of the mat, your knees are comfortably, hip width apart, hands are just below your shoulders, take a big, deep breath in, and as you exhale, open up your chest, open up your shoulders and tuck your tailbone under. What I mean is, I dont want your tail sticking out, I want your abs pulled in, basically doing a pelvic tilt, nice and comfortable. Inhale and then as you exhale, open up your chest and then lower yourself one more level right onto your forearm.

    So, I dont want you gripping the floor and pushing yourself against it, I want your hands and fingers nice and long. Take a big, deep breath in, as you exhale, extend the right leg, flex the foot and bend at the knee. So, all you are going to do right here is force that right heel straight up to the ceiling and bring it right back it to the start.

    So, its a really small move. Its an inhale and exhale. Breathing nice and easy on this one is the most important part. It doesnt really matter if you in or exhale on which part of the move, this is a very small move, as long as your abs are pulled in. Good, give me two more and lower, last one, and bring it right back to center. So, now you are going to readjust yourself, adjust those knees, make sure those abs are pulled in, gain your balance right here right in center of your mat, finger tips are nice and long, left leg extends your balance from the right leg, flex the foot and bend at the knee. Inhale and exhale, force that heel up and come down. Push up and down. Now, towards right into the glutes.

    So, its a really small exercise, but its really effective. Heres five more, lift and lower, lift and lower, lift and lower, it could be three more, right into the glute, and the outer part of the thigh, last two, good, last one, push it up and slowly bring it back in, place both hands right flat on the mat. Take it back for a childs pose stretch to stretch, to stretch out, inhale and exhale, unroll your spine one vertebrate at a time, sitting up nice and tall. Let's go ahead and move on.