Total Pilates

Malcolm Muirhead, Yvonne Worth, and Matthew Rochford
Thunder Bay Press (2003), 192 pages
Approximately $20

The Total Pilates book from the Total Series outlines the complete Pilates system of exercise and claims to be “the only Pilates book you'll ever need.”

Pilates is based on the philosophy that the body and mind must function as one in order to gain overall health and fitness. The beginning of the book starts with a section entitled “Principles of Pilates.” This part is designed as a thorough introduction to the techniques and fundamentals behind the exercise before actually beginning the workout. It touches on topics such as the benefits of Pilates, the history, physiology of the techniques, technique principles, the Pilates body, and correct posture and breathing techniques.

The “Movements” section of the book contains all of the basic Pilates exercises. Using more than 300 color photographs and captions for each illustration, the exercises are fully explained and easy-to-follow. The book is as beautiful and pleasing to the eye as it is functional. The instructions emphasize the importance of the body frame, proper breathing technique, and correct body alignment and form. Following this section is the “Progressive Pilates Program” which is an exercise routine with more advanced Pilates moves. Each of the exercises is also clearly labeled with any particular cautions and modifications that one might need to make the moves easier or more difficult.

There are more than 60 different Pilates exercises outlined in the Total Pilates book, each being tailored for specific needs. There are exercises for the beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels, as well as quick routines for “Everyday Pilates,” and gentle, therapeutic techniques for “Healing Pilates.”

Total Pilates includes some situation-specific Pilates routines such as for building a stronger immune system, coping with jet lag, and specialized routines each for children and the elderly. And as if this wasn't enough, the book also includes body-specific exercise for the back, abdominals, inner thighs, headaches, morning and bedtime routines, and many more. A spiral bound edition of the book is available, making it easy to prop up and refer to while you are down on the mat.

Learn how to use Pilates to improve your posture and flexibility, develop body awareness, improve coordination and alignment, speed recovery from injuries, and improve you strength and fitness all in one book - Total Pilates really is the only Pilates book that you'll ever need!

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