The Little Pilates Book

Erika Dillman
Warner Books (2001), 176 pages
Approximately $10

The pocket-sized book is great for keeping up with your Pilates workouts on the road, as it is only about 6 inches square making it perfect for traveling. This handy little book fully explains the history and philosophy of the Pilates method, as well as the advantages of doing Pilates as opposed to other forms of exercise.

There is a useful little section of the book entitled “Pilatespeak,” which is a glossary containing all the Pilates terms you might hear during a class or home video workout. Its goal is to explain the concepts in laypersons terms so that anyone can understand and complete the exercises.

The book then demonstrates the techniques of 15 different Pilates exercises, ranging from beginner to intermediate levels. Each of the exercises has easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions with illustrations of each movement and position. There are also tips on completing each exercise effectively and safely, as well as modifications of the exercises for beginners. The “guiding principles” of the book show you how to perform each exercise correctly.

The book answers many of your basic “frequently asked questions” such as what to expect during a group mat class, what to wear to a class, how many minutes you should spend on each exercise, what kind of mat you should use, and how to select an appropriate Pilates instructor.

The author, Erika Dillman, is not a professional Pilates instructor but a writer and avid exerciser who fully enjoys the benefits of the Pilates method. She recommends that you use this book as a companion to working out with a professional Pilates instructor, not as a self-teaching tool itself. Unlike a book, an instructor can give you the feedback that you need as well as make sure you are using the correct form. Once you have been taught the basics by a professional instructor, then you can use this book as a guide and reminder of appropriate techniques.

Just because The Little Pilates Book is tiny, doesn't mean that its not packed full of information. You will learn all the basics of the Pilates method including:

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