Pilates For Beginners

Pilates for Beginners: A Hands-Free, Eye-Level, Step-by-Step Guide

Kellina Stewart
Collins (2001), 96 pages
Approximately $15

The beauty of this book is in its spiral-coiled design, making it easy to prop-up and read while you are performing the exercises at home. It contains instruction on 30 of the most familiar Pilates exercises that are designed to tone and reshape your entire body. The exercises flow nicely together in sequence and are detailed with easy-to-follow photographs and captions. Included are descriptions for visualization, proper form, and practical health tips. The exercise program involves no Pilates equipment and is supposed to be suitable for individuals of varying fitness levels.

The beginning of the book starts of by providing an overview of what Pilates is, how it works, the basic principles behind the exercise program, and how to complete the exercises safely and effectively. The rest of the book is divided up into the Basic Program which is especially for beginners, the Main Program, and an Optional Program with more advanced moves. Even though the book is labeled as a beginners guide, it does include intermediate exercises as well so this is something to keep in mind.

The design of the book is very functional. The book can either be placed at eye level and stand up easel-style, or put beside your mat for quick reference. Then you simply flip to the beginning of the Pilates workout and follow the step-by-step explanations of each exercise along with the colorful photographs. Each page is a different exercise, which makes the workout easy to accomplish since you only have to flip the pages between exercises.

The book contains guidelines that suggest when you should adjust your level of difficulty including descriptions of how to do so. Other useful information that the book provides includes general health advice, cautions against physical injuries, and modifications for each exercise so that they can be completed safely.

All in all, Pilates for Beginners is a great book for those who have never before experienced Pilates and are purchasing the book as a self-teaching tool. It's a great alternative for those who cannot afford expensive private lessons with a Pilates instructor or group classes. Pilates can be a difficult program to learn on your own, but this book comes highly recommended as one of the best self-teaching Pilates guides on the market.

The author of the book, Kellina Stewart, is a professional Pilates instructor who learned about the Pilates Method from Romana Kryzanowska who was trained directly from Joseph H. Pilates himself.

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