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The Pilates Bookshelf: The Anatomy of Pilates

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By Nicole Rogers

It’s surprising that there are so few books out there that directly address the anatomy of Pilates, considering the Pilates world’s enthusiasm for studying anatomy, and considering there are plenty of books out there about the anatomy of yoga. But if you’ve been wishing for a Pilates-specific anatomy text, you’re finally in luck. 

Paul Massey’s The Anatomy of Pilates, released earlier this year by North Atlantic Books, covers the basic anatomy of the classical mat series. It is a great introduction to Pilates-specific anatomy, and it is definitely intended for Pilates professionals. The book is filled with excellent illustrations that clearly show the key muscles and how they function in each exercise. The first two chapters provide an introduction to Pilates, and a guide to posture and movement assessment. Then the book provides a description of each exercise: the movement, the breathing, the possible “pitfalls,” and of course the specific muscles that are used. 

The book is a straightforward text that deals mostly with musculature.