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on 25 November 2002
As a physiotherapist, one reason I checked this book out was to see what all the fuss was about. Now I know. This book just plain looks like a lot of fun. If you like Pilates and want a change of pace, or don't know a single thing about Pilates and want a neat way to exercise, I recommend this book. It takes a lot of good general exercises and incorporates them into working with a giant ball. The ball really doesn't take up much space and will probably give you more of a workout than you think! And don't worry, pictures well illustrate each particular exercise. Needless to say, I'm all for everyone exercising and this is one novel way to get it in each and every day. Other recommendations: If you have back pain, check out "The Multifidus Back Pain Solution" that teaches you a home exercise you can do to strengthen your multifidus muscle shown to be abnormal in many people with back pain. Now you have no excuse to start exercising and feeling great! Cheers.
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on 22 November 2001
This is an easy to follow, step by step book with clear instructions and illustrations.
Pilates is fun using the exercise ball, and because it's fun, it makes it much easier to motivate myself to do the exercises.
Colleen Craig gives you watch points for each new exercise- so that you can make sure that you are doing everything correctly and getting the maximum benefit. There is interesting and motivating text interspersed with the exercises and at the end of the book, there are 3 different exercise routines (for people who are recuperating from an injury, basic exercises and intermediate exercises). These routines have illustrations to remind you of which exercise she is referring to, and page references so that if you need to go back to make sure you are doing things correctly, you can find the exercise easily.
This book gives a new perspective and will be useful to newcomers to Pilates as well as experienced Pilates/Exercise ball users- it is enjoyable and challenging.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to improve their core stability, gain strength and work on flexibility and posture.
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on 21 December 2004
I bought this book as I wanted a few simple exercises to do on the gym ball at the gym to work those abs, what I found was a very 'technically' correct pilates handbook with exercises that had taken a lot of the classic pilates positions such as 'The Hundred' and other positions that are targeted not just for the abs and adjusted them for use with a gym ball. It will be fantastic for those who are already familiar with doing pilates and the principles (such as correct breathing), but unsuitable for total beginners as you will already need good coordination and strong core stability to get into the positions on the gym ball, in addition to this it is rather hard getting into the positions and reading from the book at the same time and this defeats the 'fluidity' of pilates.
The beginning chapters are quite hefty and detail the history of pilates, and the principles in vast detail, the majority of the book details tons of positions using the gym ball - beware here aswell as it uses several different sized gym ball's and sometimes a couple of the same sized ones and I had bought it thinking that the only one used would be 'the big one'.
The last chapter details workouts that you can do with 15 mins and 30 mins workout's for beginners, intermediates and advanced levels for you to choose from.
Once again if you're a beginner I think it's better to purchase a DVD so you can see the instructor get into the various positions rather than teach yourself through a book. But it would be great for pilates enthusiasts as a variation to floorwork.
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on 19 April 2005
I already knew the basics of the technique having been to standard Pilates classes before I got the book, which was before it came out with the DVD. As my book was often borrowed by friends I spashed out on the DVD version and am very glad I did.
The DVD is excellent, and the presentation is straightforeward and calm. I have tried other ball based exercise DVDs and found that after a few viewings the presentation drives me mad, however this one is just great.
And of course the exercises are very beneficial. I had back problems on and off since a cycling accident 15 years ago, Pilates has really helped improve my condition and my posture. As an asthamtic, the breathing control has greatly reduced my symptoms. This is one form of exercise I can't recommend too highly.
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on 31 July 2005
I believe this book was one of the first "pilates and ball" type books that came out. I remember awaiting its arrival with anticipation! I have to say when I first got it I glanced through it and thought "ok" and put it to one side. To me it looked a bit wordy and there were no colour pictures. However, coming back to it after a while, once you start to read you realise that Colleen craig is the definitive name when it comes to combining Pilates with the exercise Ball and that this book IS very good. I actually prefer her read-a-bit then here are some exercises approach now as it keeps you learning and focussed as you progress. It covers a good range of exercises, and it was actually her second book Abs on the Ball that inspired me to return to this one. Now I view all of her books with respect as I believe they do contain good solid information and Colleen certainly knows what she is talking about. It is not a hip, burn off all your flab in 2 minutes latest craze book that promises ridiculous things but all your burn a hole in is your pocket! but a sensible and very effective book on how to build amazing core strength and get lasting results. The pictures don't immediately grab you as wow, but on careful second study this book proves its worth over and over.
I now see this book as the original pilates/ball fusion and therefore the benchmark to judge all others against.
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on 21 April 2003
This is an excellent keep fit book, combining the ball and Pilates. But don't expect an easy time....some of these excercises require strength and balance. Persevere and you'll get a body you can really be proud of.
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on 6 April 2005
I also can't get through any of the routines in 15 minutes...One of my criticisms is that there isn't a quick routine in the book, you need a good chunk of time to do any of them
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on 10 December 2014
A great start to using pilates on the ball for fitness, strength and flexibility. Be warned though this is not a starting point if you have not done a lot of floor pilates. Also he uses terminology which isn't explained until the "essential" piece at the end and which I have not heard used in the Pilates sense before so do look at it all before starting. Some of the exercises are challlenging but it is good
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on 3 March 2013
I have had a ball since 1975, and others along the way that I have given up. I love it. It is great to have a book that helps me be more structured in my use of the ball for exercise. Well written.
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on 25 June 2016
Easy to read and follow with pictures and concise instructions for different levels, it would have been nicer to have had coloured pictures rather than black and white
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