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The Pilates Body: The Ultimate At-Home Guide to Strengthening, Lengthening and Toning Your Body- Without Machines Paperback – January 4, 2000

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; 1 edition (January 4, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076790396X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767903967
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (240 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,745 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Thin-but-fit supermodels like Amber Valletta and Shalom Harlow and actresses like Ally McBeal's Courtney Thorne-Smith and Liv Tyler swear by Pilates workouts to keep their figures toned and flexible. The Pilates Body is the latest in a string of books dedicated to this fitness program, which is now soaring in popularity nearly 100 years after it was first developed by Joseph Pilates in Germany in the early 1900s. While today's Pilates studios take advantage of patented and intimidating-looking equipment that costs thousands of dollars (and therefore charge accordingly for private sessions), each exercise in The Pilates Body can be performed with just an exercise mat. While all parts of the body are used in the exercises, the focus is on the abdominals, or "powerhouse," which support the back; this makes Pilates an ideal exercise for those with back problems--or those hoping to prevent them.

Author Brooke Siler, who trained with Romana Kryzanowska, the oldest living protégé of Joseph Pilates, organizes her book impeccably. After discussing proper alignment and ways to modify the exercises for those with neck, knee, or lower back pain, she jumps right into the 60-plus exercises, which are divided into beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. What differentiates Siler's book from the other Pilates titles is that she includes a disclaimer about the models: "The models in this book have been training in the Pilates method for years. Although their bodies may seem to represent an unrealistic ideal for many, they have worked hard to achieve their fitness goals. I hope in earnest that they do not intimidate but inspire." Also, each exercise is given a two-page spread of its own, and is accompanied by clear photographs and helpful graphics. For example, for the "inner-thigh lifts," there's an illustration suggesting that you imagine a stack of books on the lifting leg to help you increase resistance. Each exercise also includes what Siler calls "The Inside Scoop," or tips she's learned from training hundreds of clients. These include the main goal of the exercise; simple modifications for beginners; important keys to remember while doing the move; and no-nos to prevent injury. While it's important to concentrate and get the technique of each exercise down, Siler's book is perfect for anyone looking for a simple exercise program that promises results, requires a minimum of time, and can be done at home or while traveling. --Erica Jorgensen


"Brooke is extremely knowledgeable about using Pilates as a tool to increase muscle strength and improve life energy and vitality. I love Brooke!"
--Amber Valletta

"All trainers feel committed to their clients. However, few give the dedication of a coach. Brooke is a trainer who is a coach. She pushes me to realize my potential and believes in my ability more than I do."
--Trudi Tapscott, Model Editor, Vogue magazine

"In ten sessions you will feel the difference, in twenty you will see the difference, and in thirty you'll have a whole new body."
--Joseph H. Pilates

Customer Reviews

It's clearly written and very easy to follow.
Pilates can be one of the most fun ways to get your body in shape -- if you can't find classes near you, pair this book up with "The Method" series on Video.
Patty Campbell
This book was recommended to me by my Pilates instructor.
Lisa Farrall

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

864 of 871 people found the following review helpful By atmj TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 9, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Phenomenal and most of all do-able. This Pilates book has the best explanations and illustrations of all the ones out there. I know, I was in the mall and I checked them out.
I bought this book over 6 months ago, as I felt I needed more than just a regular workout on an elliptical machine. I wrote a review on it shortly after I started and I wanted to update that as a number of people have emailed me for more information.
Some background. I'm 43, female and 25% overweight, not exactly your svelte exerciser, so I knew I needed a routine that wouldn't hurt but would would get results. I work in an office and nothing is worse than sitting at your desk all day aching from the previous day's exercises.
I started as recommended with Modified beginner exercises, the seven basic exercises and did this for about 3 weeks. No pain but some tightness I could feel in my abdomen. As I became confident, I moved onto the regular beginner exercises. Basically, I used my ability to do the "hundred" as a measure of when I was able to move on. I could see my progress from day to day. It was really neat. I did the exercises at least 5 days/week.
As time went on I added more exercises from the full program. One or two each week depending on if they were similar or really hard to do. Some were, some weren't. Still no pain. I am now doing almost all (over 95%) of all, but the advanced exercises at least 5 days/week along with my elliptical machine routine and some weight lifting for my arms. I don't have time, I make time. In my opinion, this is as important as paying my bills. In someways, this is just what I'm doing.
One question, I have been asked is am I seeing muscle definition. The answer is definitely yes. I am still overweight.
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557 of 562 people found the following review helpful By "eibhinn" on May 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
I've been interested in Pilates for a long time, but don't live anywhere near a trainer (and couldn't afford it anyway)
I read article after article until I finally purchased Sean P. Gallagher's book on Pilates.
I was so disappointed.
There was so much to concentrate on for each exercise, and so many to go through. And no matter what I did it meant purchasing expensive equipment within a few weeks (thousands of dollars worth...) I tried for a few days and then gave up in disgust.
Then I read a review for "The Pilates Body." What can I say, everything that has been said is true!
Siler recommends taking all the time you need to learn the movements, she provides modified exercises for beginners to build up to the actual exercises and she gives a much more indepth account of Pilates system than I've ever seen before.
The information on visualization and the mental aspect of a workout is not present in any other materials I have seen.
There is no strict program provided (a plus or bonus depending on how you look at it...) instead the reader is encouraged to progress at their own pace, not moving on until they have the previous movements down. Finally, instead of trying to sell the expensive equipment, Siler is the ONLY Pilates trainer I've EVER seen who says that the original system never had equipment, and that the matwork alone can give a complete workout.
I now have confidence in my ability to perform the exercises properly and effectively (though it'll take a long time, I think it will be worth it)
This has become one of my favorite books, it is so well written and effective, and most of all Warm and friendly.
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273 of 276 people found the following review helpful By Linda on January 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
Ms. Siler's book is probably the most inspirational exercise/spiritual motivator that I've come across in a while. Siler has developed a program that is easy to follow, feels great and (most important) is something I really enjoy fitting into my day. I've dabbled in Pilates before but since moving to a small town, I haven't found the program locally. I'm delighted to have access to it again through The Pilates Body--the exercises are easy to follow and the book is well laid out. Check out the "no-nos" that alert you to ways you may be doing the exercises incorrectly. Most exercise books don't include these types of tips. I highly recommend Siler's book.
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178 of 179 people found the following review helpful By A. Woodley on December 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
As a complete novice on Pilates and its background I started looking at all the books I could on the subject a few months ago. I had read about Pilates in the Daily Telegraph - the first time I had ever heard of the programme.
There are two points I have to make as a novice - 1 -I'd never heard of Pilates before - and so I wanted to read as much as I could and try things out before I bought and - 2 - there are some very very good books out there on the subject . So I am definitely not an expert opinion here but just an enthusiastic amateur. And I am enthusiastic about it.
First off - if you haven't tried Pilates before - like I hadn't - I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by just how easy and fun the exercises are. Every book I read emphasised the need to move up the level of difficulty slowly - which means I have made very noticeable improvements, but I really enjoy the exercises each day. Its a bit like yoga and certainly uses some parts of yoga in the exercises - only I find I domy Pilates exercises where I never really liked yoga that much.
Why do I like this book better than the others I used? Well I found the programme and the explanations which Siler used the best. Each Pilates book I read seemed to have slightly different combinations of exercises and different orders - but all the exercises are essentially the same so I don't know if there is really that much basic difference in them. In the end I just preferred the order and the presentation of Siler's book. She has all the philosophy of and explanations of Pilates in the first few pages. What I liked best though was the is a two page 'order' of exercises - where each exercise is a small picture to remind you of where you are up to.
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More About the Author

Brooke Siler founded re:AB Pilates in1997, the renowned studio for authentic Pilates training in New York City, where her clients have included Madonna, Lauren Hutton, Zooey Deschanel, Liv Tyler and more. Hailed as the "trainer to the stars," she trained under Joseph Pilates' protégée, Romana Kryzanowska, for over a decade. Brooke also heads the teacher training program at reAB Pilates - named the "Gold Standard" of training programs by Time Out Magazine - where the next generation of Pilates teachers earn their stripes. Brooke has been recognized by Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Harper's Bazaar, Women's Health, Fitness, Shape, PilatesStyle and multiple dozens more as one of the world's leading fitness experts. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children, and teaches internationally.

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