John Wiley & Sons Pilates For Dummies Cover Get your Pilates on--no gym membership required! Pilates For Dummies teaches you the principles of .. Product #: 978-1-119-90738-1 Regular price: $20.47 $20.47 In Stock

Pilates For Dummies

Herman, Ellie

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2. Edition October 2022
400 Pages, Softcover
Wiley & Sons Ltd

ISBN: 978-1-119-90738-1
John Wiley & Sons

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Get your Pilates on--no gym membership required!

Pilates For Dummies teaches you the principles of the Pilates Method of stretching, exercising, and breathing, for amazing fitness results. The book guides you through basic, intermediate, and advanced mat exercises. It's packed with exercises to help you target problem areas, gain strength and flexibility, heal injuries, and feel better than ever. With step-by-step exercises and illustrations, this book shows you how to get the most out of your mat-based Pilates routines, in the comfort of your home or wherever you're exercising. You'll also find over 100 photographs and illustrations to ensure mastery of each movement. Lead a stronger, healthier life, with Pilates.
* Get step-by-step instructions on exercises targeted at toning problem areas like abs, arms, legs and more
* Find the right Pilates class for you and learn where to buy equipment, such as small balls, large balls, and Thera bands
* Combine Pilates with other forms of exercise
* Build your own home Pilates program to work out safely and with confidence

Anyone, of any age or fitness level, can start practicing Pilates. Pilates For Dummies will help you live a stronger, healthier life.

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Foolish Assumptions 2

Icons Used in This Book 2

Beyond the Book 3

Where to Go from Here 3

Part 1: Pilates Basics 5

Chapter 1: A Pilates Primer 7

The Basics of Pilates 8

Pilates uses a series of exercises 10

Understanding the powerhouse and the core 11

The Eight Great Principles of Pilates 14

Control 14

Breath 15

Flowing movement 16

Precision 16

Centering 17

Stability 17

Range of motion 19

Opposition 19

What You Need to Get Started 20

Chapter 2: Get Ready, Get Set 21

Combining Pilates with Other Forms of Exercise 21

Keeping Your Eyes on the Prize: How You Benefit from Pilates 22

Finding your center 22

Mastering the mental component 23

Helping your spine, the axis of life 23

Improving your sex life 24

Looking good: Pilates and the body beautiful 26

Seeing Is Believing: Some Pilates Images 30

Chapter 3: Getting on a Mat and Talking Pilates Terms 33

Deciding Whether Mat Exercises Are Right for You 34

Learning the Pilates Alphabet 35

Neutral Spine 37

Abdominal Scoop 38

Bridge 38

C Curve 39

Hip-Up 41

Levitation 42

Balance Point 42

Stacking the Spine 44

Pilates Abdominal Position 45

Pilates First Position 45

Part 2: Mat Exercises 49

Chapter 4: Pre-Pilates: The Fundamentals 51

A Word of Caution 52

The Series in This Chapter 53

Breathing in Neutral Spine 53

Getting set 54

The exercise 54

Do's and don'ts 54

Shoulder Shrugs 54

Getting set 54

The exercise 55

Do's and don'ts 55

Shoulder Slaps 55

Getting set 56

The exercise 56

Do's and don'ts 56

Arm Reaches/Arm Circles 57

Getting set 57

The exercise 57

Do's and don'ts 57

Coccyx Curls 59

Getting set 59

The exercise 59

Do's and don'ts 60

Tiny Steps 61

Getting set 61

The exercise 61

Do's and don'ts 62

Upper Abdominal Curls 62

Getting set 63

The exercise 63

Do's and don'ts 63

Hip-Up 64

Getting set 64

The exercise 65

Do's and don'ts 65

Modification 65

C Curve Roll Down Prep 66

Getting set 67

The exercise 67

Do's and don'ts 68

Balance Point/Teaser Prep 68

Getting set 69

The exercise 69

Do's and don'ts 71

Modifications 71

Rolling Like a Ball, Modified 71

Getting set 72

The exercise 72

Do's and don'ts 72

Modification 73

Chapter 5: Now That You've Got the Basics Down: The Beginning Mat Series 75

The Series in This Chapter 76

Coccyx Curls 76

Upper Abdominal Curls 77

Hundred, Beginning Level 78

Getting set 78

The exercise 78

Do's and don'ts 79

Balance Point/Teaser Prep 80

Hip-Up 80

Rolling Like a Ball 81

Getting set 82

The exercise 82

Do's and don'ts 82

Modification 82

Single Leg Stretch 83

Getting set 83

The exercise 84

Do's and don'ts 84

Rising Swan 85

Getting set 85

The exercise 85

Do's and don'ts 86

Roll Down 87

Getting set 87

The exercise 88

Do's and don'ts 88

Modification 88

Bridge 89

Getting set 89

The exercise 90

Variation 90

Do's and don'ts 90

Spine Stretch Forward 92

Getting set 92

The exercise 92

Do's and don'ts 93

Modifications 94

Side Kicks 94

Getting set 94

The exercise 94

Do's and don'ts 95

Modification 95

Chapter 6: Feeling Stronger Every Day: Intermediate Mat Exercises 97

The Series in This Chapter 98

Hundred, Intermediate Level 99

Getting set 99

The exercise 99

Do's and don'ts 100

Modification 100

Roll Up 101

Getting set 102

The exercise 102

Do's and don'ts 102

Rolling Like a Ball 103

Single Leg Stretch 104

Double Leg Stretch 105

Getting set 105

The exercise 105

Do's and don'ts 106

Modification 107

Crisscross 107

Getting set 107

The exercise 107

Do's and don'ts 108

Scissors 108

Getting set 109

The exercise 109

Do's and don'ts 109

Open Leg Rocker 110

Getting set 111

The exercise 111

Do's and don'ts 112

Single Leg Kick 112

Getting set 112

The exercise 112

Do's and don'ts 114

Double Leg Kick 114

Getting set 114

The exercise 114

Do's and don'ts 115

Side Kicks 116

Teaser, Modified 116

Getting set 117

The exercise 117

Do's and don'ts 118

Modification 119

The Seal 119

Getting set 119

The exercise 120

Do's and don'ts 121

Modification 122

Chapter 7: More Than a Washboard: The Advanced Mat Series 123

The Series in This Chapter 124

Hundred, Advanced Version 125

Getting set 125

The exercise 125

Do's and don'ts 126

Modifications 127

Roll Up 127

Rollover 128

Getting set 128

The exercise 128

Do's and don'ts 129

Modifications 129

Rolling Like a Ball 130

Single Leg Stretch 131

Double Leg Stretch 132

Crisscross 133

Scissors 133

Spine Stretch Forward 134

Open Leg Rocker 135

Rising Swan 136

The Saw 137

Getting set 137

The exercise 138

Do's and don'ts 138

Single Leg Kick 139

Double Leg Kick and Rest 140

Neck Pull 141

Getting set 141

The exercise 141

Do's and don'ts 143

Modification 143

Shoulder Bridge 143

Getting set 143

The exercise 144

Do's and don'ts 144

Spine Twist 145

Getting set 145

The exercise 146

Do's and don'ts 147

The Jackknife 147

Getting set 147

The exercise 148

Do's and don'ts 148

Modifications 149

Side Kicks 150

Teaser, Advanced Version 150

Getting set 150

The exercise 151

Do's and don'ts 151

Modifications 151

Hip Flexor Stretch 154

Hip Circles 154

Getting set 155

The exercise 155

Do's and don'ts 155

Swimming 156

Getting set 156

The exercise 156

Do's and don'ts 157

Modification 158

Control Front 158

Getting set 158

The exercise 158

Do's and don'ts 159

Modification 161

Kneeling Side Kicks 161

Getting set 161

The exercise 161

Do's and don'ts 162

Modification 162

Side Bend/Advanced Mermaid 162

Getting set 163

The exercise 163

Do's and don'ts 163

Modification 164

The Seal 164

Pilates Push-Up 165

Getting set 165

The exercise 166

Do's and don'ts 166

Modifications 168

Chapter 8: Maybe Someday Super Advanced Exercises 169

Exercises in This Chapter 170

The Twist 170

Getting set 170

The exercise 170

Do's and don'ts 171

Modification 171

Control Balance 172

Getting set 173

The exercise 173

Do's and don'ts 174

Modification 174

Corkscrew 175

Getting set 175

The exercise 175

Do's and don'ts 177

Super Advanced Teaser 177

Getting set 178

The exercise 178

Do's and don'ts 178

Modification 178

Swan Dive 180

Getting set 180

The exercise 180

Do's and don'ts 181

The Star 181

Getting set 182

The exercise 182

Do's and don'ts 183

Modification 183

Boomerang 184

Getting set 184

The exercise 184

Do's and don'ts 186

Chapter 9: Extra Help for the Butt and Thighs 187

Engaging Your Butt 188

Exercises in This Chapter 189

Getting Started on the Side Kick Series 189

Side Kicks (Beginning) 190

Bicycle (Beginning) 191

Getting set 191

The exercise 191

Do's and don'ts 191

Up/Down in Parallel (Beginning) 193

Getting set 193

The exercise 193

Do's and don'ts 193

Butt Cruncher (Beginning) 194

Getting set 194

The exercise 194

Do's and don'ts 195

Inner Thigh Pulses (Beginning) 196

Getting set 196

The exercise 196

Do's and don'ts 196

Up/Down in Turnout (Beginning) 197

Getting set 197

The exercise 197

Do's and don'ts 198

Up/Down with Passé (Intermediate) 199

Getting set 199

The exercise 199

Do's and don'ts 199

Figure 8 (Intermediate) 201

Getting set 201

The exercise 201

Do's and don'ts 202

Grande Ronde de Jambe (Advanced) 203

Getting set 203

The exercise 203

Do's and don'ts 204

Chapter 10: Meow! Stretching the Spine 205

Spine Stretches in This Chapter 206

Basic Cat (Beginning) 207

Getting set 207

The exercise 207

Do's and don'ts 207

Hunting Cat (Beginning) 208

Getting set 208

The exercise 209

Do's and don'ts 209

Mermaid (Intermediate) 210

Getting set 210

The exercise 211

Do's and don'ts 211

Sexy Spine Stretch (Beginning) 212

Getting set 213

The exercise 213

Do's and don'ts 213

Part 3: Beyond The Mat: Exercises Using Equipment and Accessories 215

Chapter 11: Plastic Foam Never Felt So Good: The Roller 217

Exercises in This Chapter 218

Shoulder Slaps 218

Getting set 218

The exercise 219

Do's and don'ts 220

Arm Reaches/Arm Circles 220

Getting set 220

The exercise 220

Do's and don'ts 221

Chicken Wings 222

Getting set 222

The exercise 223

Do's and don'ts 223

Angels in the Snow 224

Getting set 224

The exercise 224

Do's and don'ts 225

Tiny Steps on Roller 225

Getting set 226

The exercise 226

Do's and don'ts 227

The Swan on Roller 227

Getting set 227

The exercise 227

Do's and don'ts 228

Chapter 12: Abracadabra! The Magic Circle or a Small Ball 229

Exercises in This Chapter 230

Deep Abdominal Cue (Fundamental) 230

Getting set 231

The exercise 231

Do's and don'ts 231

Upper Abdominal Curls (Fundamental) 232

Getting set 232

The exercise 232

Do's and don'ts 232

Bridge (Beginning) 233

Getting set 233

The exercise 234

Do's and don'ts 234

Rollover (Advanced) 235

Getting set 235

The exercise 235

Do's and don'ts 235

Modifications 236

Open Leg Rocker (Intermediate) 237

Getting set 237

The exercise 238

Do's and don'ts 239

Around the World (Advanced) 239

Getting set 239

The exercise 239

Do's and don'ts 240

Eccentric Abdominal Curl Series (Beginning) 242

Getting set 242

The exercise 242

Do's and don'ts 242

Modifications 242

Swan with Small Ball (Beginning) 244

Getting set 244

The exercise 244

Do's and don'ts 244

Swan Push Ups or Playful Dog or Perfect Push-up (Beginning) 245

Getting set 245

The exercise 246

Do's and don'ts 246

Chapter 13: Band-Aid: Using Bands to Enhance Your Pilates Routine 247

Exercises in This Chapter 248

Standing Bicep Curls 249

Getting set 249

The exercise 249

Do's and don'ts 249

Squat with Tricep Press 251

Getting set 251

The exercise 251

Do's and don'ts 251

Mini Lunge with Bicep Curls 252

Getting set 252

The exercise 253

Do's and don'ts 254

Power Lunge with Tricep Press 254

Getting set 254

The exercise 254

Do's and don'ts 255

Advanced variation 255

Second Position Pectoral Stretch 256

Getting set 257

The exercise 257

Do's and don'ts 257

Second Position Rotator Cuff 259

Getting set 259

The exercise 259

Do's and don'ts 259

Second Position Rhomboids 261

Getting set 261

The exercise 261

Do's and don'ts 261

Chapter 14: Size Does Matter: Exercises on the Big Ball 263

Exercises in This Chapter 264

Roll Downs (Beginning) 265

Getting set 265

The exercise 265

Upper Abdominal Curls (Intermediate) 266

Getting set 267

The exercise 267

Do's and don'ts 268

Modifications 268

Open Back Stretch (Intermediate) 269

Getting set 269

The exercise 269

Do's and don'ts 271

Bridge on the Ball (Beginning) 271

Getting set 271

The exercise 271

Modification 272

Do's and don'ts 273

Plank on the Ball (Intermediate) 274

Getting set 274

The exercise 274

Modification 275

Do's and don'ts 276

Knees to Chest (Intermediate) 276

Getting set 276

Modification 278

Do's and don'ts 279

The Up Stretch (Advanced) 279

Getting set 279

The exercise 280

Do's and don'ts 281

Lana Turner Stretch (Beginning) 281

Getting set 281

The stretch 281

Chapter 15: Hitting the Wall for a Pilates Cool-Down 283

Exercises in This Chapter 284

Arm Circles on the Wall 284

Getting set 284

The exercise 284

Do's and don'ts 286

Modification 286

Squats Against the Wall 287

Getting set 287

The exercise 287

Do's and don'ts 288

Modifications 289

Rolling Down the Wall 289

Getting set 290

The exercise 290

Do's and don'ts 290

Chapter 16: Springs Are Busting Out All Over: An Overview of Pilates Equipment 293

Why Equipment? 294

For help with basic movements 294

For help doing the exotic stuff 295

For strengthening the limbs 295

For long, lean muscles 295

For emphasizing control 295

A Rundown of the Equipment 297

A medieval torture device with comfy upholstery: The Universal Reformer 297

It can double as a piece of furniture: The Wunda Chair 298

Drivers wanted: The Cadillac 299

A Cadillac that doesn't need a two-car garage: The Pilates Springboard 303

Part 4: Special Situations 307

Chapter 17: Pilates for the Pregnant and Recently Pregnant 309

What Happens to a Pregnant Body? 310

Prenatal Guidelines 311

Choose the right exercises 311

Don't overstretch 311

Be moderate 312

Prenatal Exercises 312

Pilates exercises to do 313

Pilates-Kegel exercises 315

4 on the Floor (a.k.a. Quadruped) 316

Squats against the Wall with an Exercise Ball 319

Deep Squats with an Exercise Ball 321

Postnatal Guidelines 323

Diastasis Recti: More common than you think! 324

Transversus Wrap 325

Chapter 18: Special Routines for Special Situations 327

Benefiting from Pilates If You're Older 327

Reducing Pain in Your Neck and Shoulders 329

Easing Your Back Pain with Pilates 330

Understanding the common causes of lower back pain 330

Avoiding loaded flexion 331

Flexing your hip to save your spine 332

Being your own guide 333

Osteoporosis and Herniated Discs 334

Exercises to focus on if you have osteoporosis or a herniated disc 334

Exercises to avoid if you have osteoporosis or a herniated disc 335

Part 5: The Part of Tens 337

Chapter 19: The Ten Most Important Exercises 339

Coccyx Curls 339

Upper Abdominal Curls 340

Tiny Steps 340

Quadruped 341

Bridge 341

Roll Down and Roll Up 341

Rising Swan 342

Side Kicks 342

Swimming 342

Cat Stretches 343

Chapter 20: Ten Changes You Can Expect to See from Pilates 345

A Firmer Butt 345

Longer and Leaner Musculature 346

Better Posture 346

Forward head posture 347

Uptight posture 347

Poochy belly posture 349

A Flatter Tummy 350

Less Back Pain 350

More Flexibility 351

Better Sex 351

More Awareness 351

Better Balance 352

Greater Strength 352

Chapter 21: Ten Simple Ways to Incorporate Pilates into Your Everyday Life 353

Do the Basic Cat Stretch Every Morning 353

Visualize Better Posture 354

Keep Your Belly Scoop Whenever You Can 354

Keep Your Shoulders Relaxed and Pulling Down Your Back 354

Remember to Breathe Deeply 355

Get a Lumbar Support Pillow for Work and Your Car 355

Sit Up Tall when Working 355

Sit on a Big Ball at Work 356

Get a Cervical Pillow for Your Bed 356

Walk the Right Way 357

Chapter 22: Ten Questions to Ask When Choosing a Studio or Instructor 359

Is Your Instructor Certified? 359

How Many Hours Was the Certification Course? 360

How Long Has Your Instructor Been Teaching? 360

Is Your Instructor Trained in Rehabilitation? 361

Does Your Instructor Give a Challenging Workout? 361

Does the Studio Offer Group Classes on the Mat and/or the Equipment? 362

Is the Studio Fully Equipped? 362

Does the Studio Offer a Discount for a Class Series? 362

How Much Is Too Much for a Pilates Session? 363

Who Manages the Studio? 363

Chapter 23: Ten Ways to Complement Your Pilates Workout 365

Dancing 365

Doing Yoga 366

Eating Light 366

Getting a Massage 367

Meditating 367

Swimming 367

Myofascial Release (the MELT method) 368

Taking Hot Baths 368

Using Aerobic Machines 368

Walking 369

Index 371
Ellie Herman, holds a Master of Science degree in Acupuncture and is a master Pilates Method trainer. She has taught Pilates for 35 years, and authored ten books on the subject. Herman invented the Pilates Springboard, manufactured by Balanced Body and sold worldwide for the past 20 years.