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The Ultimate Body Shaping Bible: Get in the Best Shape of Your Life with Targeted Workouts That Tone and Tighten Everything Paperback – April 1, 2009
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Verdict: Few “body Bibles” can compete with this guide’s clarity and organization. Each exercise is accompanied by a summary of the payoffs, required equipment, and recommended frequency/duration. While the flippant explanations of the payoffs (e.g., “Defines your flappage!”) can be ambiguous, the color photos of fitness trainer Karter (KaronKarterPilates.com) and the clear descriptions easily compensate. An infinitely useful guide for readers at all fitness levels.
Background: Karter draws from weight training, strength work, Pilates, and yoga to present a regimen targeted to every body area. Eleven chapters are divided among three sections that focus on the core, the upper body, and the lower body. Readers follow one of four fitness-level tracks: beginner, intermediate, advanced, or super-advanced. Tips are interspersed throughout, as are mini anatomy lessons, prescribed cardio routines, and diet guidelines. -- Library Journal, Xpress Review
About the Author
Karon Karter (Dallas, TX) is an exercise guru featured on The Natural Wellness Channel\u2019s Pilates for Real Bodies. She is the author of The Six-Week Bikini Countdown, The Core Strength Workout, and Pilates Lite.
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That said, if I was to use ONE exercise book, this would definitely be it. The instruction is broken down to the essentials: positioning, tips for perfect form, reps and sets, and it accompanies large, very clear pictures.
Furthermore, the book is broken down by body part and then further down by goal, and then each workout is presented in three versions: beginner, intermediate and advanced. This makes it really easy to find the workout you want to do at any given time and start exercising within a couple of minutes, which if you have experience with exercise books, isn't always an easy feat.
Each chapter is introduced by clear information about the muscles that compose the body part the chapter focuses on, with illustrations; it also contains excellent tips to get the most out of your workout: for instance the chapter on Abs shows you (with clear instruction as well as photos) how to position your self so that your spine/pelvis is in a neutral position. This is a very important tip, both to make the exercise more effective and to maintain a healthy back, and you won't find it in all exercise books. There are similar tips in each chapter, depending on the body part the chapter focuses on.
At the beginning of each chapter you will also find several cardio workouts that were created with that specific body part in mind, and they can all be done on a treadmill, elliptical or outside, anywhere you can go walking/hiking.
One more thing I really liked: the book really does contain the best moves for each body part - not just the best strength training moves, the best yoga moves, or the best Pilates moves. The author took moves from a variety of disciplines and incorporated them into the workout. Bravo, Ms. Karter, for presenting people with such well-rounded workouts, in such a user-friendly format!
I get up in the morning, roll out of bed and do the tummy exercise on the floor and let me tell you I do have a wickedly flat tummy now. That alone makes this book worth it, because even though I do a couple miles every day, my tummy needed work. Must be the ice cream.
I'd all the exercises in this book, except the ones with the big ball. Those I don't do. I didn't want to get one of them, didn't want one cluttering up my bedroom. I alternate the exercises with my running and I am in great shape and I look it, too. If you want the best shape you can possible have, use this book and run a couple miles every other day and you'll get it. You really will.
Although I prefer exercise DVDs where I can see what the instructor is doing, I found "The Ultimate Body Shaping Bible" to be very useful. It has detailed instructions and very useful pictures. Each section has an introduction that explains about the body area you are targeting, including the various muscles. Each chapter has a chart showing the various workouts in that chapter; the payoff for doing the exercise; total time the workout should take; how many times a week you should do the exercise; the number of sets and reps; and equipment needed (if any) for the workout. Each exercise has plenty of pictures, detailed instructions, and fabulous form tips. For the most part Karter targets the appropriate exercise for each level although I do question her having beginners using 10 - 15 pound dumbbells. There is a wide variety of exercises including exercises like biceps curl; chest press; cobra; dip your toes; front plank, oblique twist; plie squat with calf raise; shoulder press; reverse curl; triceps kickback; and so much more. The twenty minutes allotted are perfect for targeted toning and combined with cardio workouts are very effective.
"The Ultimate Body Shaping Bible" is a very useful guide to toning and shaping your body.