Pilates Anatomy: Your illustrated guide to mat work for core stability and balance

By Rael Isacowitz and Karen Clippinger

Human Kinetics, 2011

204 pages

Ideal for a Pilates instructor or general practitioner, Pilates Anatomy is an informative and comprehensive guide to the technique. Examining movement from the inside out, the book shows which muscles are targeted and engaged during Pilates mat work and can help readers fine-tune their practice.

Authors Karen Clippinger, an anatomy for dance professor at California State University, Long Beach, and Rael Isacowitz, founder of Body Arts and Science International Pilates, use Joseph Pilates’ Return to Life Through Contrology as their primary reference for the exercises in the book. Their goal, they write, is to stay close to Pilates’ source material and to “transcend teaching styles, individual approaches to Pilates or any particular school of Pilates.” After addressing breathing techniques and proper alignment, and defining common phrases and terminology, Clippinger and Isacowitz record the mat work. Step-by-step instructions, technique cues, notes and modifications (when available) accompany each exercise illustration, along with which muscles are targeted. They also include an index for suggested Pilates programs at a beginner, intermediate or advanced level, and list the name of the exercise and recommended repetition.

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