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Body Control (Using Techniques Developed by Joseph H. Pilates) Paperback – April, 1998

4.3 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

If you've ever wondered how ballet dancers get that graceful, calm-looking, perfectly postured stance, one of the reasons is a series of exercises named for the late trainer Joseph H. Pilates. Long a staple of dance studios, his techniques are becoming a staple in gyms as well. Body Control provides an excellent introduction to the Pilates method and easy-to-follow instructions for doing them at home, without the need for special machinery that instructors often use. The book describes 40 different exercises and explains how to relax and breathe correctly while doing them. Even more important, it explains what you may be doing wrong (since some of the exercises could worsen a painful condition if done incorrectly). The very clear illustrations, which mix photographs with line drawings, will allow most people to get the hang of it right away. Because it works muscles you may not ordinarily use that much, these exercises take more effort than you might think. And while they don't promise huge muscles, adherents say the method helps them stand up straighter and move more easily, without pain. Nothing can turn an ordinary person into a ballet star, but these exercises could make you almost as graceful as one.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 127 pages
  • Publisher: BainBridgeBooks (PA); 1 edition (April 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891696009
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891696008
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.3 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,894,870 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A year and a half ago I started getting extremely painful muscle spasms in my low right back, although I was very into physical fitness in what I thought was a well rounded way - as in different aerobic workouts and flexibility work, on an almost daily basis and weights work 3xweekly. Chiropractic helped, but swimming did nothing - this workout did. The explanation of the navel to spine makes you understand how it's totally different to pulling in the tummy the way we all do - stiffening up our whole torso. The hip rolls alone are miraculous for low back pain! I also used the now out of print The Pilates Way, and have now bought The Way Forward (all by the same author) (I also have 3 of their videos but prefer the detailed print instructions). All excellent - if done properly - very gentle but very effective and quite tough.
To the Australian reviewer who found this too @different@ to what he calls the full Pilates method - well, as Brooke Siler confirms in her excellent book The Pilates Body, Pilates' students travelled off all over the world and all developed their own variants, some more therapeutic then others. This is the case with Lynn Thomson's book. It is made to help people with back, neck and postural problems. Lots of isolations where you work on mobilising hips, shoulders, even the feet!, while stabilising the whole body and thereby strengthening it also. I would recommend using this and her other books for quite a while - in my case, a year - before perhaps moving on to B Siler's book, thus ensuring a good stable base for the latter's somewhat tougher and more dynamic method which usually has the whole body in motion although always on the mat.
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Format: Paperback
Body Control: Using Techniques Developed By Joseph H. Pilates has the potential of creating a highly desireable effect on the lives of readers. The exercises, based on my own experience have promoted better breathing ability for me and a more flexible, swan-like feeling in my body. As a person suffering from a disabling ailment-spinal stenosis, I honestly feel that the exercises depicted in this manual-like book have helped to improve and mitigate my condition. The illustrations shown in these pages are simple to evaluate and the descriptions are adequately demonstrated to promote an ease of operations in following the advice of the authors. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone interested in fitness and self-improvement. I would caution anyone suffering a particular ailment or condition or any torso or inner pain to consult a physician before attempting to follow the Pilates method
Jay Adler
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By A Customer on March 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
At last, an exercise book which makes sense, is do-able and easy to follow and which works! I noticed results after a couple of weeks and seem to have got rid of persistent back pain. Highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback
Knowing that Pilates exercises had the potential to help stabilize my bad back and trick hip, I bought Body Control after finding Brooke Siler's book initially too difficult to follow. Body Control is easy to understand and get started immediately without further instruction, and an entertaining, engagingly funny read.
The foot exercises are great. I wish I could post "before" and "after" photos of my feet so you see for yourself the magical changes that can take place. I used to have painful, flat, bunion-mangled feet. With flattened arches, my knees had rotated inward, setting me up for injury and chronic leg pain. With the exercises in this book, I literally built arches into my foot. As my gait changed, the bunions grew smaller, my toes unfurled and my knees unlocked. The pain left me, and in its stead, I now have the skills to walk like a goddess.
Thank you, Lynne Robinson, for writing this book! May it help you, dear reader of this review, as well!
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Format: Paperback
This book provides a great at-home or on-the-road complement to Pilates classes. The instructions and photographs are very clear and easy to follow. It is recommended by Pilates-certified instructors even though it is "Pilates-based" and not Pilates-copyrighted/trademarked.
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Format: Paperback
Exercises are far too complex to be demonstrated by the scarce use of pictures and vague explanations. Unless you have an experience with the workings of Pilates, don't buy this book if you are first-timer. Nothing beats the real thing - I'm going straight back to my gym work outs after this.
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By A Customer on June 19, 1998
Format: Paperback
I bought this book on recommendation from my physio in London-I assume that there is no difference between the UK and US editions. I've been suffering from severe lower back pain and, after 8 weeks of working with the book,have found that the change has been fantastic. The exercises are clear and well laid out and having "watchpoints" to make sure you work safely is a good idea. Pilates is obviously very complex and, two months in, I am still learning, but I found the book to be a great introduction. My only criticism is that some of the photos are not very well reproduced, but this is more than overcome by the clear way in which everything is talked about and presented.
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