I wanted to add more variety to my weight training exercise workouts so
I decided to teach myself Pilates. I picked up a book on Pilates from a
number of books on this topic called Pilates Illustrated by
Portia Page. It
looked like a great starting and reference point in my quest to teach
myself the basics of Pilates primarily because of the illustrations and
step-by-step instructions. After reading and re-reading the first
couple of chapters, I was impressed with this book and I decided it was
my starting point for Pilates.
Before I continue, let me tell you a little more about the author
Portia Page. She got started in Pilates after learning about it in at a
national aerobics championship that she was competing in. She gave it a
try and since then she has become a gold-certified Pilates trainer
through Pilates Method Alliance and more impressively, she has taught
and continues to teach Pilates around the world!
This is an extremely well-written book by Portia Page with about 200
pages of exercise illustrations that is especially suited for beginners
and people at the intermediate level. There are some exercises that are
more advanced too. What I really like is that the author includes over
100 well-illustrated individual exercises and 17 Pilates workout
What’s great about Pilates is that it can be done with or
without extra equipment and anywhere both indoors and outdoors!
About The Book
Portia Page begins by introducing you to Pilates, tells you what it is
all about and how it can benefit both your body and mind. The book goes
on to discuss the various benefits and principles of Pilates, the
importance of proper breathing and proper body alignment. I would have
liked to see it go in a little more detail in the section on
“When and What to Eat.” I found that this section
was a little lacking.
Chapters 2 to 10 discusses in great detail each individual exercise
including how to instruction and illustrations looking at each stage of
the exercise: the beginning, progression and ending. In each exercise,
she indicates the level it’s ideal for, what part or parts of
the body the exercise will focus on and the benefits of each exercise.
The individual exercises start as fairly easy and progress into more
difficult ones in later chapters.
From Chapter 8 onwards in Pilates
Illustrated, Portia Page
the basic elements of Pilates training by using various types of
exercise equipment such as the exercise ball, the ring and the elastic
In the final chapter she puts all the exercises together into a number
of Pilates routines including: Restore Flexibility, Stress Release,
Core Concentration, Complete Strength and others. These routines can be
done from beginner to advanced levels.
I have also included my video book review below to provide you with a
visual perspective of the book and to show you everything I have
discussed in my book review. I find that a video lets you quickly view
the layout and contents of a book much better, especially one with many
illustrations in full color!
Overall, if you are looking to begin Pilates or teach yourself Pilates,
this is an excellent book that is well-written, easy to understand and
well-illustrated. Whether you want to practice Pilates on its own or
incorporate it into your existing exercise routine or sports activity,
I highly recommend this book.