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.
Dory Markakos: Hi! I am Dory, 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 the single leg stretch, leading into the straight leg stretch and into the scissors. I know it sounds like a lot, but its really not that confusing. Let's go ahead and get started.
Go ahead and sit right in the middle of your mat, sitting nice and comfortable, I want you to look straight ahead with your spine in neutral and go ahead and hold on to your hamstrings as you unroll your spine, one vertebra at a time, keeping those heels flat on the mat. Take a big deep breathe in, as you exhale, open up your chest, and align yourself on the mat, just till where you feel comfortable and go ahead and extend your right leg, and shake it out till no tension in your foot, in that leg, and pull the left knee in. Take a big deep breathe in, and what I want you to do is to do your pilates torso tilt, impinging that spine onto the mat, place the left-hand just above the left ankle, and the right-hand just below the knee and pull that knee in towards your chest.
So, go ahead and look straight ahead, keeping your spine in neutral, abs engaged, and if you like a deeper stretch; go ahead, and lift your upper body, and lift the right leg, and hold it, inhale and exhale, keep those abs engaged, exaggerated breathing in and then exhale and switch. Left leg is extended, right-hand is just above the ankle, left-hand is just below the knee, we never pull on a joint, so I want you to hold this and you can pull the knee in just a little bit for a deeper stretch. Inhale and exhale, switch, and hold it. Inhale, exhale, switch and hold it and one more time, inhale, exhale, switch and hold it and one more time.
Now, if youd like to move on, go ahead and extend the right leg straight up towards the ceiling and you can extend the left leg for modification or you can lower your upper body. I want you to just hold this stretch, leg is elongated nice and straight, flex the split, point the toe and then just release the foot, and you are going to switch feet, so you are going to lift the left leg, and extend the right leg. Pause and hold to get a nice hamstring stretch, keep those abs engaged and if you like a deeper stretch; you are going to go ahead, and lift the upper body, you are going to switch and hold it, legs are elongated, toes are pointed just slightly, chest is open, abs are engaged and switch and hold it, glancing comfortably at the knee, and now we are going to move right into the scissors, so to do the scissors, you are going to switch, hold-hold, switch, hold-hold, switch, hold-hold all the while keeping your abs engaged, shoulders relaxed, and next is spine alignment.
One more time, inhale and exhale. Last set, bring both knees comfortably in towards the chest, release your spine, extend your leg, and let's go ahead and move on.