Pilates – Positioning

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 44,161
    Certified Pilates instructor Dori Markakos demonstrates how to do a basic Pilates warm-up by engaging your core!

    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, and let's go ahead and get started with our basic Pilates workout. We are going to go ahead and start by warm-up, and I am going to teach you how to get into a good, basic Pilates positioning, by engaging your core. So, go ahead and sit at the edge of your mat, hands tucked right beneath your hamstring, sitting up nice, and tall. Take a big deep breathe in and as you exhale, I want you to round out your spine, one vertebra at a time. Slowly releasing your back, big, deep breathe in, and as you exhale, I want you to extend your feet away from your body. Reach your fingertips all the way towards your toes, and opening up your chest so that your shoulders are flat on the mat, your chest is open, and your feet are released. So, you want you to point and flex your toes a couple of times and rotate your ankles, and just kind of shake your legs out, so you dont have any tension in your feet. Thats the last thing you want to do is to get a cramp in your foot. So take a big, deep breath in, and this time as you look so I want you to look straight up at the ceiling. The most important thing in Pilates is to keep your spine in neutral, meaning your neck relaxed. So, your neck isnt popped like this, and your chin isnt tucked towards your chest, but it is just resting comfortably on the floor. So, with the next big, deep breathe in, I want you to inhale and exhale release those fingertips towards your feet and open up your shoulders. And now lastly, for the most important part is to engage your core. Your core is your mid section, right between your rib cage and the top of your pelvic bones. So, if you place both hands on your hip bones, what I want you to do is do the opposite pop your hips up off the mat, and if you can fit your hand underneath the small of your back, thats not what you want to do. Once you can take a big deep breath in, and exhale and rotate those hips under. So, you are pushing your navel into your spine, and your spine right into the mat. So, now, if you can see, I cant put my hand underneath the small of my back, so now you are in a perfect Pilates position. So, take a big, deep breath in, and exhale, drive those fingertips towards your toes, open up your chest and your shoulders, keep those hips rotated under and those abs engaged, eyes looking straight up at the sky or the ceiling, and exhale but hold that contraction with the abs pulled in. More big, deep breathe in, and exhale, open up your chest, open up your shoulders, shake your knees out, and this is the position I want you to start in with each and every exercise. Your abs engaged, chest and shoulders open, feet and legs relaxed, and eyes looking straight up at the ceiling. Now, we are going to go ahead and move on with rolling like a ball.