Pilate my Body
February 9, 2006 11:59 AM   Subscribe

Please recommend a good Pilates book with a focus on mat exercises.

I've done Pilates before so I have a pretty good idea of many of the moves, but I can't fit the classes into my schedule so I'd like to do them at home. Among the thousands of Pilates books out there, are there any ones that are recognized as masters in the field? Extra points for clear illustrations and/or explanations of the moves, and gradiated exercises so I can adjust the difficulty levels as I go. I don't have any of the fancy equipment (nor does my gym), so a focus on matwork would be great.

I'd prefer a book to a tape or DVD as I don't have the facilities for the latter and the book is more conducive to working out while traveling.

Does anyone have any experience with the PHI Pilates instructional manual? Is it any good?
posted by schroedinger to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Might sound hokey, but I have a friend who did well with Windsor Pilates.
I also know a Pilates instructor who says it isn't too bad at all (of course she advocates coming in to see her instead...)
posted by oflinkey at 12:10 PM on February 9, 2006

My Pilates trainer, who learned from Romana (one of Joseph Pilates' proteges), recommends the same one that callmejay recommends above. I use The Pilates Body Kit, also by Brooke Siler, on days I don't meet with my trainer.

Brooke's books are very clear and to-the-point, and they use great visualizations to help you have proper form (e.g., with The Rollup, she suggests using your arms as a "frame" around your head - that helps to keep your back and shoulders in proper form). Brooke also learned from Romana, so you know she's got to be good.
posted by MeetMegan at 12:40 PM on February 9, 2006

I use the one callmejay recommends. Very clear, very nice. I've used it so much the pages are falling out.
posted by fuzzbean at 12:55 PM on February 9, 2006

You should check out CompletePilates.net They have alot of reviews of books and DVD's. Its a good all around site for Pilates info.
posted by tirebouchon at 1:02 PM on February 9, 2006

I had a physical therapist really recommend the above linked The Pilates Body to me. Email me if you want to borrow it to check it out, I don't really use it much these days.
posted by OmieWise at 1:26 PM on February 9, 2006

A Pilates teacher recommended the Body Control Pilates Manual when I posed this question to her.

I'd say make a list of these suggestions, and pop down to your local bookstore and have a read through - see which ones are at your level etc.
posted by djgh at 1:29 PM on February 9, 2006

I also really like The Pilates Body, as recommended by everyone above.
posted by like_neon at 1:55 PM on February 9, 2006

I found this book helpful, also, though you didn't ask for video recommendations, this DVD: I've found the intermediate mat session's been very useful.
posted by zadcat at 1:58 PM on February 9, 2006

I like the pace of portable pilates (it's a cd plus book) it's a intermediate beginner book, and fairly short, but it has good checklists of what you need to check. great for traveling.
posted by ejaned8 at 2:50 PM on February 9, 2006

I really like Pilates for Dummies (yes, really.) I started with The Pilates Body and it was OK but I found Pilates for Dummies had more background info and explained some of the fundamental concepts in more detail. Since you have Pilates experience you may not need the introductory material, but Pilates beginners who have no chance to attend classes may like the for Dummies approach.
posted by rhiannon at 9:11 PM on February 9, 2006

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