Thursday, 11 February 2010

Book Review - The Anatomy of Pilates

Author Paul Massey

ISBN 978-1-905367-13-9


Lotus Publishing

Ever wondered, or as an instructor ever wanted to demonstrate, which muscles and joints are involved in the various Pilates movements?
The author, a leading private physiotherapist and Pilates instructor, takes the reader through what’s happening under the skin using plain language and clear coloured illustrations. He also includes checkpoints, faults to look out for, and shows which muscle groups benefit from the different exercise positions. There are only four chapters but there seems to be no skimping on detail. The page edges are coloured for quick reference, too.

Chapter 1: Introduction to the Pilates Method. This covers the principles of the Pilates method, concepts and elements used in the Pilates method, and breathing.

Chapter 2: Posture and Movement Assessment. Here posture and posture types are covered as well as postural assessment, movement assessment, and body alignment during exercise.

Chapter 3: Application of the Pilates Method. This chapter looks at muscle balance and imbalance, motor learning, motor control skills (stabilisation and co-ordination), flexibility, strengthening, and the Pilates programme. It includes several tables, including one showing a selection of exercises based on the level of ability.

Chapter 4 Classical Pilates Exercises – this is by far the longest chapter and covers classical Pilates exercises – forty of them. Each exercise has two pages devoted to it – one of anatomical line drawings showing how it is performed, with a full explanation on the opposite page.

Particularly useful are the quick-reference sections at the back of the book:
Glossary of Terms
Anatomical Directions
Muscle Groups
Main Muscles Involved in Movement
Index of Pilates Exercises

All in all a comprehensive book. I would say this is a ‘must’ for tutor and serious student alike.

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