Pilates – The Plank

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 16,530
    Certified Pilates instructor Dori Markakos demonstrates the Plank, a great exercise for the inner thighs.

    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.

    Dory Markakos: 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 a great exercise for the inner thighs, lets go ahead and get started. So, seat yourself in the middle of the mat, extend your body all the way along the length of the mat so your feet are on top of each other, your knees are stacked, your hips are stacked, brought slightly forward, your abs are engaged, so you are still doing a pelvic tilt, what that means is I want your hips tucked under, not topped back. So, navel pulled in, hands right in front of your belly button, and lastly, I want you to get pulled up out of your shoulder, so what that means is I dont want you sinking into your shoulder, I want you to be pulled up nice and tall. Open up your chest and shoulders, finger tips are extended, take a big deep breath in, as you exhale, lift that top right leg, and cross it on top of the left.

    Now, we are actually going to be working the leg, thats stretched out, which is our left leg. Take a big deep breath in, and as you exhale, lift the right leg up and hold it for a second, now I dont want you to point the toe or flex it, I want you to just sort of release it and leave the foot engaged. So, you are going to lift, pause and hold it, and lower, lift and lower, work right into that inner thigh, lift and lower, lift and lower, four more, lift and lower, lift and lower, lift and lower, last one, pause and hold it, and lower.

    Now, take the top leg and place it up right on top. Now, if youd like to move first thing just a little bit more challenging, what I want you to do is lift both legs at the same time. So again, same body position, abs pulled in, inhale and exhale, keep the knees connected and the ankles, you are going to lift and lower, lift those legs and lower, lift and lower, last one, pause, pause, pause, and lower, good job.

    Lets go ahead and switch sides. Pull those knees in towards the chest, rotate those legs around, sitting up nice and tall again, elongate yourself along the length of the mat, still ankles are stacked, knees are stacked, hips are brought forward, hand is right in front of your midsection, again, you are pulled up out of your shoulder, the right leg is right on top. Again, keep those abs nice and tight, hips rotated under to a pelvic tilt, so you are going to inhale and exhale, with the bottom leg, and lower, toe is just engaged, not pointed or flexed, just kind of there, inhale and exhale, last four, three, and two, last one, lift, pause and hold it, slowly lower, good job. Take the top leg and place it right on top, chest open, abs engaged, inhale and exhale, lift both legs at the same time, just to four, lift and lower, lift and lower, last two, lift and lower, last one, lift and lower, great job. And thats just a few of the basic Pilates exercises.