Pilates – Kicking Front and Back

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 15,016
    Certified Pilates instructor Dori Markakos demonstrates a great exercise for the legs called kicking front and back.

    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 a great exercise for the legs; it's kicking front and back. Let's go ahead and get started. What I want you to do is place your self towards the back part of the mat and extend your self up towards the top of the mat and your feet away from you. See, we are making a nice straight line. So, your elbow is just below your shoulder, which is aligned with your hip bone, your abs, your hips are brought forward just a little bit so, you are in one nice straight line and your ankles and your feet are stacked together. Take this top hand and place it right in front of your belly button so, you have a nice straight line and its something that kind of brace yourself against. So, if you look down at the top of your body, you should see one nice straight line, you shouldnt be rocked backward and you shouldnt be rocked back forward. So, place that hand right in front of your belly button, sit up nice and tall so that you are not sinking into the mat, inhale and exhale, engage those abs and lift the top leg. What I want you to do is to point that toe, you are going to point and bring that leg forward, flex the foot and bring it back just behind you by about eight to twelve inches. Point the toe as you bring it back forward, flex the foot as you bring it back, point the toe forward, flex the foot, bring it back, five more, inhale and exhale, last four, inhale forward, exhale back, inhale forward, exhale back, inhale forward, exhale back, and give me just one more, flex it and at one more bone this one, flex it, bring it back, point the toe and release the leg. Let's go ahead and switch sides. So, bring those knees in towards your chest, rotate the legs around, we are getting into the same position again. So, you are going to extend your feet away from the middle of your body, lower your self onto the mat, make sure you are in a nice straight line. We will get in to position again here. Shoulder and knee are in alignment, hips pulled back, meaning you are not rocked forward and you are not rocked back, nice straight line here, top hand is right in front of your belly button, take a big, deep breathe in and as you exhale, release your shoulders, engage those abs for a nice pelvic tilt and lift the top leg. So, again you are going to point the toe forward, flex the foot, bring it back about, may be about eight to twelve inches, point the toe forward, flex the foot, bring it back, point the toe forward, flex the foot, bring it back, point the toe forward, flex the foot, bring it back, very little upper body movement. Good job, give me four more. Point forward, flex, return, point forward, flex, return, two more, point forward, flex, return it back and forward, flex, bring it to the back, point the toe, realign your self, pull your self right up, good job. Let's go ahead and move on.