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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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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
"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
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've had this book before and have always found it to be well written with amazing body ques. Especially good for beginners.Published 14 days ago by Cynthia
I've taken 3 intensive Pilates courses through my university and this was the book recommended by my professor. I still use it, 6 years later. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Dora Powell
Instructions are a little ambiguous and seem to contradict the pictures at times. Still I feel like I've benefitted from following these movements and I'd still recommend the book.Published 5 months ago by Kerson
New to Pilates. I like the step by step instructions. Before this book I was struggling with lifting my torso without using my neck and momentum. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Cg
It is not what I thought. People should understand that Pilates was developed in the 1950's, when people had very little to do. Read morePublished 5 months ago by LaMont