Dori MarkakosDori 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 one of my favorites, the Plank. Let's go ahead and get started. So, go ahead and seat yourself right in the middle of the mat and walk your knees just a little bit back towards the end and walk your hands forward. It's almost as if you are coming into a push-up position. Begin it slowly lower yourself down on to the mat. What I want you to do, is to have your elbows dropped just below your shoulders and your fingertips elongated all the way out in front of you and your toes tucked under. So, as you take a big, deep breathe in, I want you to look straight down at the mat to keep your spine in neutral alignment, pull those hips and abs tucked in, pull up and out of your shoulders and lift those hips straight up, walking right up on to your toes. Now, I want you to do drop back on your toes. So, what I dont want to see is your tail is ticked up or your hips sagging down. I want you to be pulled up, abs tucked under, nice, flat back, inhale and exhale. Hold the plank for a couple of seconds and you can drop to your knees and take a little breathe rest. Let's go ahead and try that again. So, again fingertips reached out so you are now chinning and pushing down on to the mat, hips pulled up, pull up and out of your shoulders, abs pulled in, nice pelvic tilt, toes tucked under, look straight down at the mat, inhale and exhale, lift straight up, drop back on your toes, keep your spine in a nice, straight alignment and keep the weight nice and evenly distributed, inhale and exhale, slowly lower. Let's take that just one more time. It's one of the most challenging Pilates exercises, but it is definitely one of the most beneficial. Let's try one more time. Inhale and exhale, pull up and out of your shoulders, abs pulled in, hips rotated under, fingertips nice and elongated, look straight down at mat, toes tucked under, inhale and exhale, look straight up, drop back on your toes, chest should be open, back is flat, abs pulled in, inhale and exhale. Slowly drop to the knees and sit up. I felt that will be a little challenging for you, go ahead and get yourself into the position, pull up for a second or two and then bring it back down just to where you feel comfortable and then try it again. Let's go ahead and move on.