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The Women's Health Big Book of Exercises: Four Weeks to a Leaner, Sexier, Healthier YOU! Paperback – December 22, 2009
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About the Author
Adam Campbell is the fitness director for Women's Health and a National Magazine Award-winning writer. He holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and is a NSCA-certified strength and conditioning coach. Campbell has appeared on Good Morning America, The Early Show, and VH-1.
Top customer reviews
I am in a rut and need a workout "plan". This has so many exercises that I've never even done! It's given me a renewed excitement as I begin the planned bikini workout.
There are exercises using body weight, bands, balls, free weights, gym equipment. Literally anyone can utilize it. Aside from the multitude of planned workouts it's literally so full of invaluable info. I love everything about it.
Would highly recommend
I got the book yesterday and spent a good hour or more flipping through the book, and it's amazing!
The first part of the book breaks working out down really simply so even people who have never worked out before can understand their bodies while using weights (or body weight). It gives you facts on why lifting weights is so great for you (I knew most of them already, but it's very motivating still and it was a nice refresher after my trainer). It also gives you a section on common questions such as "how many reps?" and "how much weight should I use?" and then gives very detailed, easy-to-understand answers. Then it lists "the essentials" for equipment if you want to start building a home gym or deciding what to use at your gym.
The next section tells you how to use both the nutrition and excersise part of the book to get the most benefits. I loved the diet section because it gives you a couple examples of what your day's meal plan might look like and then gives a chart of the types of foods you can eat and what is considered under that category (for example, high quality proteins: beef, cheese, etc. Low starch veggies: broccoli, artichoke, etc. and natural fats: avacados, butter, etc.)
It tells you how to do the workouts in enough detail to really easily understand. Do work out A on Mon, and Fri and workout B on Wed and then switch it up next week, so easy! It even gives the part of your body to work out, how many sets, reps and how long to rest!
Throughout the book, it's organized by muscle group and what exercises to focus on those groups. It shows an anatomy book type graphic of the muscle group and gives you the names of the muscles and what they do for your body (loved this!). For each muscle group, there's one or two "main moves" that you can master before doing variations. Then it lists many variations of the excerise. For push-ups, for example, the push up is the main move and then there are variations such as Incline push up, decline push up, modified push up, weighted push up, etc. Many pages have a side panel with fitness tips and also "muscle mistakes" to tell you things that you're probably doing wrong and how to fix it.
There's an illustration for almost every exercise (I only saw a couple that didn't have them) and each image has arrows pointing to parts of your body and saying how to have them during the workout ("your palms should face forward", "the dumbbells should nearly touch", "your body should form a straight line from your knees to your shoulders") which is helpful when trying a new exercise so you know if you're having good form.
In the back of each section there's a specific work out plan to target that area ("get the perfect _______") which is awesome. Also, in the last pages of the book, there's warm-up exercises, "Best Workout" plans and a chapter for "Nutrition Secrets."
I read reviews before I purchased the book and many people were upset that you needed so much equipment to use this book. In my opinion, yes this book has a lot of its variations that require equipment BUT how do you expect to work out at home and not have ANY equipment, not even dumbbells? Tons of the exercises can be done if you just have dumb bells and a swiss ball. You can replace a workout bench with a chair or coffee table, bar bells with dumbbells, etc. You can get creative (but safe!) at home and still do most of the work-outs even if you don't have a gym membership or a complete home gym. There's even a section on The Best Body-Weight Workouts :).
Overall, I am SO satisfied with my purchase and I can't wait to really start getting into this book and doing all the exercises!