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Pilates [Paperback]

Rael Isacowitz
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 11, 2006 0736056238 978-0736056236 1

Strengthen, lengthen, and sculpt your muscles with the full range of Pilates exercises. In Pilates, world-renowned Pilates expert Rael Isacowitz shows you the same repertoire that he has used to train 10 Olympians, including U.S. figure skater Sasha Cohen and diver Wendy Williams, as well as an elite group of professional instructors who work with celebrities and athletes around the world.

Starting with the foundation for all the exercises, Pilates presents an in-depth treatment of mat work, including photo illustrations and detailed breathing instruction to help you perform the movements correctly. A unique set of challenging exercise sequences allows the movements to flow in one continuous motion.

Following mat work, where most books stop entirely, Pilates just gets going. The same depth of instruction and photo illustrations are applied to the full range of Pilates apparatus:

- Reformer

- Cadillac

- Step and ladder barrels

- Magic circle

- Wunda chair

- Ped-a-pul

- Arm chair

The complete repertoire includes a customized grouping of exercises in blocks that progress from the fundamental level through the intermediate and advanced levels to challenge you at all stages of Pilates development.

With 210 exercises in all, Pilates is the most comprehensive guide available on the Pilates method. A contemporary approach to the work of Joseph Pilates, this is the one book you need in order to improve posture, muscle tone, core strength, and flexibility.

Editorial Reviews


"While other Pilates books cover limited apparatus, this is the first truly complete guide to Pilates technique, exercises and equipment. A thorough, well-written, and useable guide to proper Pilates practice."

Kirkus Reports - Health & Fitness

About the Author

Rael Isacowitz, MA, is the founder of Body Arts and Science International (BASI), an international organization devoted to Pilates education. Recognized as a contemporary approach to the works of Joseph Pilates, this teacher-training program is active in more than 12 countries around the globe. As a leading expert in the Pilates method, Isacowitz has close to 30 years of experience practicing and lecturing in universities, clinics, and studios worldwide. With a rich background as a dancer, athlete, yogi, and Pilates practitioner, Isacowitz brings to his teaching unparalleled expertise combined with a passion for his work.

In collaboration with Balanced Body, the largest Pilates equipment manufacturer in the world, Isacowitz designed the concept for a new line of Pilates apparatus and has been featured in numerous publications in several languages all over the world. He served on the board of the Pilates Method Alliance and has been a driving force in several initiatives advocating educational standards in the Pilates community. He continues to support this organization and others in various countries, striving to set industry guidelines and maintain the integrity of Pilates.

Isacowitz received his teaching credentials (DipPE) and bachelor of education degree in Israel at the prestigious Wingate Institute of Physical Education, where he was later invited to join the faculty. Isacowitz went on to complete his master of arts degree in dance at the University of Surrey, England.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Human Kinetics; 1 edition (August 11, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0736056238
  • ISBN-13: 978-0736056236
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 11 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rael Isacowitz is a world-renowned practitioner and teacher of Pilates. With over three decades of Pilates practice and achievement, he is a prominent lecturer and teacher at symposia, universities, colleges, and studios around the globe. He received his bachelor of education degree and teaching credentials from Israel's prestigious Wingate Institute, where he subsequently joined the teaching faculty. He later earned a master of arts degree in dance from the University of Surrey, England.

Rael's early Pilates teachers included Alan Herdman and thereafter several of the first-generation Pilates teachers (known as the Elders), including Kathy Grant, Ron Fletcher, Romana Kryzanowska, Eve Gentry, and Lolita San Miguel.

Rael has mastered all levels of the Pilates repertoire and is noted in the industry for his unique athleticism; synthesis of body, mind, and spirit; and passion for teaching. In 1989 he founded Body Arts and Science International (BASI) Pilates, which has developed into one of the foremost Pilates education organizations in the world. BASI Pilates is currently taught in more than 100 locations spanning 30 countries.

Rael's first edition of Pilates (Human Kinetics, 2006) and his Pilates Anatomy (coauthored with Karen Clippinger, Human Kinetics, 2011) have received worldwide acclaim and been translated into multiple languages. He has published a series of movement analysis workbooks on all the Pilates apparatus, produced DVDs, designed the revolutionary Avalon System line of contemporary equipment, and created the groundbreaking Pilates Interactive software. He is a regular contributor to several industry publications. Creativity, passion, and energy suffuse his work. Teaching Pilates is, for Rael, the ultimate gift.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a Must Have Pilates Resource March 23, 2007
If you practice Pilates your instructor can only guide you so much. To get the most out of your practice, you need to understand for yourself what the objectives of each exercise are, what form specifics to focus on, what visualization to use to achieve that perfect rep. "Pilates" by Rael Isacowitz will give you those tools.

Now, not only can you listen to your instructor, you can listen to that little voice in your own head to help you get the most from your efforts. Rael's Imagery cues for each exercise have been perfected over his many years of practice and teaching, and are incredibly helpful, whether you are a Pilates student or a teacher. Students who practice in a Pilates studio spend a lot of time on the apparatus and I love that equipment work is included in this book, unlike so many books which focus solely on the mat work. The number and variety of exercises in this book will ensure your workouts are never the same (just one of the things I love about Pilates!) and they are well organized, making it easy for you to design your own (or your client's) workout. Sample fundamental, intermediate, and advanced mat and apparatus workouts are given in the back of the book.

Whether a student or a teacher, you will find yourself referring again and again, to this wonderful resource.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
The author stuck with a simple template in writing his book that allowed him to convey his ideas clearly and gracefully. Each lesson in the book starts with an anatomical target under "Muscle Focus" and the "Objectives" of serving those muscles. The lessons end with "Imagery" that deals with the feeling and the mental execution of the desired motion.

The author refrained from venturing into areas outside his domain of specialized expertise such as nutrition or unrelated topics, which added to his credibility and emphasized the depth of indulging in the art of Pilates. The extensive number, simple content, and logical sequence of the photographs, which are properly labeled and placed in each lesson, all makes the book an easy read and useful tool for learning. Above all, the author himself demonstrates his role as a model for the reader.

The book has a brief history of Pilates, its benefits, and its principles. Those are grouped under ten principles that address awareness, balance, breathing, concentration, body centering, gaining control, efficiency of motion, flow of energy, precision, and harmony. The main emphasis of Pilates practice is described in terms of regional anatomy that is brought under the control of the mind such that it serves the purpose of skillful mobility.

The book falls into twelve chapters that deal with enhancing the mind and body, alignment and movement, and the different methods of accomplishing the objectives of motion control. The different methods entail: Mat work that falls into 70 pages, Universal Reformer that spans about 100 pages, Cadillac 40 pages, Wanda Chair 20 pages, Barrels 20 pages, Ped-a-Pul 7 pages, Arm Chair 7 pages, and Magic Circle 14 pages.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Bargin for new instructors September 25, 2006
I was certified through body arts and science and after paying over $3000 for my education I could not fork over the extra dough for the workbooks that were an additional $250. I laugh now cause this book IS the workbooks, muscle focus and orgins and all for $20! This is a fantastic book for the newly certified insturctor looking for a study guide or even the more experienced one that looks at another instructor from time to time and says "what was the breathing on that again." Stay sharp to keep the practice respected and our students healthy and strong.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
By R2D2
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Pilates by Rael Isacowitz is the best written Pilates Reference I have ever read. I have been practicing for about 12 years and teaching for 4 years. This is a must have book for teaching and the only book you will need, if you are just beginning your practice. He is concise with his material and I like his descriptions and cues for imagery. I am looking forward to his next book. You will not be disappointed.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Covering 210 exercises September 11, 2006
Human Kinetics is the premier publisher for "user friendly" sports and fitness instruction manuals and guides. Rael Isacowitz is one of the leading pilates experts in the world and the owner/founder of Body Arts and Science International. In "Pilates: Your Complete Guide To Mat Work And Apparatus Exercises", Isacowtiz presents a methodical, organized, photo illustrated, in-depth instruction manual for perform pilates movements correcting and provides a unique set of challenging exercise sequences which allow the movements to flow and blend into one continuous motion. Along with straight mat work, Isacowitz introduces the aspiring pilates student into a range of pilates apparatus that include: Reformer, Cadillac, Wunda Chair, Step and Ladder Barrels, Ped-a-Pul, Arm Chair, and Magic Circle. Covering 210 exercises, the positive results for the pilates student will include improved posture, enhanced muscle tone, increased core strength, and enduring flexibility. Rael Iscaowitz's "Pilates" is a strongly recommended exercise guide for personal and community library Health & Exercise training manual and reference collections.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book to have
Very informative, awesome study guide, cheap to purchase, easy to understand, fast delivery, and I would recommend to other people
Published 4 months ago by DeNisha Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the money !
I bought this book primarily for the reformer moves. For the price that I paid, I think that the book is great! It has a fair mxture of exercises for all body areas. Read more
Published 7 months ago by TLL111
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for every Pilates library
I have it on my kindle and use to refine my cueing or delve deeper into a move. Rael's book is comprehensive.and the photographs are clear. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Anabel Garver
4.0 out of 5 stars informative
I liked how the book was organized;however, the layout has not been perfected for tablet viewing. I did a quick read through and I am sure this will become a staple in my class... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Deborah N. Kogut
5.0 out of 5 stars exactly what I needed
Clear, logical language. Amazing and useful imagery. This book is great for aspiring and experienced instructors as well as Pilates clients.
Published 9 months ago by Sandra L. Cogill
5.0 out of 5 stars Pilates
Visually seeing how the exercises are set up and how they progress help a visual leaner like myself. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Roweena Tiller
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful and clear
This book is great because the pictures take you step by step and the descriptions are thorough. It is good for all levels. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Audrey K.
5.0 out of 5 stars Pilates is more than just mat and reformer
For many people Pilates is a mat class at the local gym, or something they did for rehab after an injury or surgery. Read more
Published 11 months ago by S. Fairweather
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book there is
This book will change your life and the way you practice/teach Pilates. It is my "go-to" Pilates guide for everything.
Published 12 months ago by Lauren Thornton-Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
This is a very thorough and concise book. I like the fact that it covers mat and machine Pilates exercises as well.
Published 12 months ago by brenda maxfield
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