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Pilates for Wimps: Total Fitness for the Partially Motivated
by Jennifer DeLuca
2003

pilates for wimps by jennifer deluca If you've never done Pilates, the title to this book may seem a bit curious. After all, Pilates is that exercise you do lying on a mat, right? So isn't it already pretty wimpy? Such assumptions are what separate the Pilates curious from Pilates converts. The exercises are simple, and it doesn't look like there's much to many of them; it's only when you actually try doing them with the requisite precise form that you realize just how tough they are to execute. That's why Pilates can make such impressive changes in the way your body looks. The real secret to Pilates has nothing to do with performing tons of reps (actually, you only do each exercise a few times per session), or acquiring brute strength (which usually involves acquiring unattractively bulky muscles). The secret to getting that long, lean Pilates body with the toned muscles and great posture lies in simply learning how to do the exercises properly. Do them right and do them regularly and you're on your way. If you really want to know what Pilates is all about, you need to find a teacher to instruct you in person. That said, this book comes a close second when it comes to teaching Pilates the way it was meant to be taught.

Author Jennifer DeLuca does an excellent job of introducing the reader to Pilates principles even before she gets down to the actual exercises. She gives you just enough anatomy so that you know what body parts you must engage in the exercises, and explains proper alignment in a way that's anything but dry (one section is entitled "Stack the Bowl, the Vest and the Party Hat"). She introduces the exercises in the order they are meant to be learned (and this is really one of the keys to proper Pilates instruction — far too many teachers are a bit sloppy in this area, and that can hinder your progress down the line). For models she uses real people, not professional dancers or longtime Pilates teachers (well, actually, thereis one dancer but he's only been studying Pilates for a year and a half). Many of these people are students from DeLuca's own Brooklyn studio and include a photo editor, a banking attorney and a restaurant manager. These are people with bodies and faces not unlike your own, and they are clearly enjoying performing the exercises for the camera. After progressing you through the matwork, DeLuca shows you how to do the arm series (another aspect of Pilates that doesn't get enough attention). There is also a great Wall Finish series, plus a whole section of quick Pilates routines for everyday situations — too much computer work; neck, shoulder and back-focused exercises; mood revitalizers and more.

This book is great for beginners, but it's also excellent for those who have been practicing Pilates for a while and want to return to the basics, or who are looking for some good, specific routines. And the book grows with you. Once you have progressed through the series, DeLuca shows you an advanced routine that she herself models. This short (143 pages), nicely photographed book will serve you well for a very, very long time.

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