Pilates – Lift and Extend

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 14,789
    Certified Pilates instructor Dori Markakos demonstrates a great exercise for the legs called Lift and Extend.

    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 lift and extend. Its a great exercise for your legs, let's go ahead and get started. So, leaning your self towards the back part of your mat, and extending yourself all the way out to the side, I want you to have your body in one nice straight line. So, your hips are nicely stacked, your knees are on top of each other and your shoulder and your elbow are right on top of each other. If this puts too much pressure on top of your shoulder, you can go ahead and extend your arm out underneath you, and just place the top hand right in front of your bellybutton. Thats totally acceptable, but if you like, you can go ahead and follow me, and have yourself propped up on top of your elbow.

    So, again, take a big, deep breathe in, and as you exhale, open up your chest, drop your shoulders and engage those abs. You are going to lift the top leg up, point the toe and turn the leg in the hip socket, so you are going to be leading with your quad, as you are going to go straight up towards the ceiling and come straight down. So, take a big, deep breath in, inhale and exhale, point lift, flex and lower, nice and easy. point lift, flex and lower, point lift, flex and lower, right into the quad, point lift, flex and lower. You got four more, point lift, flex and lower, last three, keep those abs engaged and dont sink into the shoulder, last two, good job. Last one on this leg and then we are going to switch sides, and lower, good job. Inhale and exhale, sit up nice and tall, bring those legs to the front, let's get an alignment on the opposite side. So again, you are going to bring your hips towards the back part of the mat, extending your feet all the way away from you, sitting up nice and tall, so your knees are in alignment, your ankles, your hips, and you are not rocked forward or back, You are in one nice straight line, pulled up out of your shoulders, which means that I dont want you to sink in into it like this. I want you to be pulled up and the top hand is right in front of your bellybutton. If you choose so, you can actually take you in more of a modification and extend your arm all the way out, underneath you. Its totally up to you. So go ahead and lift the top leg, its the left leg, point the toe, turn your leg in the the hip socket, so what I want you to do is to lift from the part. Its the point lift, flex and lower, point lift, flex and lower, keep those abs engaged, point lift, flex and lower, five more, point lift, flex and lower, last four, good, last three, last two, good, right into that part, nice slim legs, flex and lower, good job. Pull those knees in, sit up nice and tall, let's go ahead and move on.