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Book Reviews - Alicia Ungaro, "Pilates: Body in Motion"

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The best Pilates book to date...
Reviewer: Maritza Volmar (Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional Dominican Republic)June 8, 2003 -

Pilates is a method of exercising, shaping and toning the body that's very different from a common workout. Two years ago I started doing Pilates aided by a very good book called The Pilates Body by Brooke Siler. In the first few weeks I had already lost some weight, was noticing the outline of my muscles and had stopped feeling hungry all the time. I have since dropped two dress sizes and I still do the workout daily. After going through five other books I think that Pilates: Body in Motion is, without a doubt, the best Pilates workout book to date. Why? Well, first, the book is organized in a logical and easy-to-study format that helps to memorize and follow the different levels of the workout program without missing a single step, and allows browsing through them for quick consultations. Second, it presents the complete sequence for each exercise photographed, and step-by-step instructions for each movement with detailed, but simple, explanations of posture, breathing and motion. Third, it has complimentary information for each exercise: number of repetitions, warnings and alternatives for people who shouldn't perform particular exercises, modified versions to make sure the program is adaptable to almost anyone, dos and don'ts to insure proper execution, and transitional positions between following exercises to maintain the rhythm of the workout. Fourth, it includes a thorough explanation of the key principles of the Pilates method, whose application is fundamental to achieve the benefits offered by the workout. Fifth, it contains preparation exercises for each level (from beginner to advanced) that serve as a sort of test to indicate when to move on to the next level. I recommend this book to anyone serious about maintaining a healthy, toned, and well-shaped body. I would also recommend buying The Pilates Body by Brooke Siler for additional exercises and The Optimum Nutrition Bible by Patrick Holford for a natural and effective way to backup your workout on advice on how to eat.

A superlative Pilates manual...
Reviewer: dnk "dnkboston" (Boston, MA United States) - August 15, 2002

...Ungaro also includes Circle and Wall exercises. These smaller, shorter routines can be incorporated into your day when you don't have time for a full mat workout, or added on to complement it. One drawback: she does not include the any of the Standing Sculpting Series (used with light weights). If you need a reference for this, see Siler's book. Otherwise, this is the perfect Pilates manual.

Superb... coming from a Pilates Instructor...
Reviewer: Carmen E. Huertas (Bethlehem, PA) - November 16, 2005

Great pictures. It begins with a beginners program, then it takes you into intermediate as well as advance. It breaks down the exercise step by step (as though you were watching a video). This book explains exactly what the exercise targets and the reps that should be performed. As a Pilates instructor I refer to this book quiet often.

A textbook for Pilates that works...
Reviewer: Wondertrout (American River)- October 9, 2005

This is an examination of Pilates matt, wall, and floor exercises that is elegantly simple and easy to follow. For those wanting to know about the real deal, and not just the flirty "pilates-a-go-go" at your neighborhood gym. It is a gold mine of well explained progressions and checklists to follow, including visualizations for mind and breath. It couldn't be better unless it came with a certified intructor between each page. I recommend it highly.

Good for Beginners!...
Reviewer: Lily Star (Milan, Italy), September 8, 2005

I would like to recommend this great book to anyone who just like me starts to practice Pilates. It is so detailed that while doing the exercises you feel as if a personal trainer stands here beside you ready to consult you on every your question! I found it very difficult at first to choose on Amazon.com the right book for me, as there are lots of them on this subject. So I am grateful to those clients of this site who had took their time to express their opinions on what they bought! Very helpful.