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Pilates Illustrated
by Portia Page

A Book and Video Review

My Introduction

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 routines.

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 reinforces the basic elements of Pilates training by using various types of exercise equipment such as the exercise ball, the ring and the elastic band.

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!

Video Review



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.


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