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 and I am showing you some of the most basic and popular Pilates exercises, and right now, I am going to show you a great exercise to work your blades, called the blades. So, go ahead and sit your self right in the middle of the mat, extend your legs away from your body just slightly, heels still anchored on the mat, hold on to your hamstrings as you unroll your self onto the mat, restacking your vertebrate one at a time. Open up your chest and your shoulders, bringing feet a just a little bit up of their length; flat on the mat. Take the right ankle and place it over the left knee and the left hand is going to come right behind your neck. So, I want you to rest nice and comfortable, the right finger tips are extended all the way towards your toes, big, deep breathe in and exhale, open up your chest, pelvic tilt, thats rotating those hips under, pulling your navel into your spine, your spine into the mat, I know I say that a lot, thats the most important and fundamental part of Pilates. You take a big, deep breathe in, inhale and exhale. I want you to think about bringing the left armpit over towards the right knee. So, sit up nice and tall, you are going to twist, come back to centre, so this is your starting position. Twist, come back to centre and twist, come back to centre. So inhale and exhale, you got one more, inhale, exhale on the twist, inhale, exhale on the twist, inhale, exhale on the twist, just a two more, inhale, exhale on the twist, inhale, exhale on the twist, come back to centre and slowly lower. Let's go ahead and switch sides. The right foot comes flat on the floor, left ankle comes over the right knee, left hand, those finger tips are reaching straight towards those toes, and the right hand is resting comfortably behind your head. Same thing, big, deep breathe in, as you exhale, rotate those hips under to really engage those abs, lift straight up, remember you dont want to pull your chin in towards your chest, or hyper extend your neck, you want to, your head resting comfortably in your hand, big, deep breathe in, exhale on the twist, come back to centre, exhale on the twist, come back to centre, exhale and inhale. Remember you dont want to think about yanking that elbow over, you really want to think about bringing the armpit over towards the knee, good, one more inhale and exhale, inhale and exhale, last two, breathing is really important here, really small, small moves, last one, and twist, pause and hold it, come back to centre, slowly lower your upper body, extend your legs, bring both arms straight up over your head, shake it out and let's move on.