“This book and Micki Harvard are helping carry on the essence of Joseph’s [Pilates] dream – and that makes me happier than words can express.” – Carrie Russo, certified Pilates instructor
In a world increasingly obsessed with high-intensity workouts and cutting-edge fitness trends, there exists a method that has quietly endured for over a century, steadily gaining popularity and acclaim.
Pilates, often regarded as the elegant cousin of yoga or the mysterious sibling of aerobics, has captured the imaginations and the core muscles of countless fitness enthusiasts around the globe. But what is Pilates, and how does it fit into our contemporary understanding of health and wellness for different body types? These are the questions that have been raised by Micki Havard in her work called ‘Pilates for Everyone: 50 Exercises for Every Type of Body’.
Micki Havard is a Pilates instructor with more than 20 years of experience. She started practicing Pilates in preparation for her wedding and fell in love with the principles, movements, and results of Pilates.
After a dedicated year of practice, Micki obtained certification as a Mat I and Mat II Pilates instructor through Power Pilates. She also holds certifications from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and the Athletics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) in wellness coaching, strength coaching, and group fitness instruction.
In 2011, Micki founded MickiPhit, a wellness coaching company where she seamlessly integrates her expertise in Pilates, group fitness, and nutrition to empower her clients in achieving their wellness aspirations. In 2018, MickiPhit introduced an online Pilates studio based on a membership model, providing around-the-clock access to comprehensive instructional Pilates videos. These videos feature Micki’s simplified Pilates instructions, making it convenient for individuals to practice Pilates at home or on the go.
In 2019, Micki pioneered the PilatesPHIT and ChairPHIT fitness programs, complete with online certification courses. Her influence extends globally, with international teaching engagements in countries like Greece, Panama, Jamaica, and Aruba.
What is the book about?
Pilates for Everyone is a comprehensive guide that challenges common misconceptions about Pilates.
This book presents 50 meticulously explained Pilates exercises, offering clear insights into their typical movements and associated physical and mental benefits. Notably, each exercise is accompanied by a range of modifications, demonstrated by individuals from diverse backgrounds, ensuring that readers can select the adaptation that aligns with their personal circumstances. This inclusive approach ensures that regardless of the version performed, individuals can achieve similar fitness objectives.
Moreover, the book presents 10 well-structured routines that integrate exercises from its pages, aiming to optimise the benefits of a Pilates practice.
Micki Havard provides expert advice throughout the book, enriching readers with valuable insights to enhance their Pilates journey.
Three key takeaways from Pilates for Everyone
1Engaging in Pilates can enhance strength, flexibility, mobility, and body awareness
Pilates offers a range of benefits, including:
1. Core Strength and Balance: Pilates focuses on strengthening core muscles, improving balance and making daily activities feel more effortless.
2. Flexibility: Pilates incorporates dynamic stretching movements, enhancing flexibility, promoting better posture, mobility, and a positive mental state.
3. Spinal and Joint Mobility: By targeting core muscles, Pilates improves spinal stability and mobility, reducing back pain and enhancing overall body movements. It also boosts joint mobility and stimulates synovial fluid release for joint protection.
4. Body Awareness: Pilates fosters a strong mind-body connection, helping you understand and optimise your body’s movements and functions. Regular practice allows you to set and achieve exercise goals while discovering your full potential.
5. Overall Physical Strength: Pilates serves as a form of strength training, utilising body weight, small props, or equipment with spring tension. It targets both major and often overlooked muscle groups, ensuring comprehensive strength development from head to toe.
2Pilates is beneficial for everyone, regardless of age or fitness level
Whether you’re recovering from an injury, seeking to rebuild your strength, or a professional athlete aiming to maintain peak performance, Pilates principles are applicable to you. It’s a low-impact practice that can deliver high-intensity results, making it an ideal choice for those looking to enhance their fitness. The exercises in this book have been adapted to ensure that Pilates is accessible to all.
3There are two primary methods in Pilates
Pilates offers two primary methods: mat and reformer. Mat Pilates utilises body weight for exercises, while reformer Pilates employs specialised equipment with spring-loaded resistance. Mat Pilates focuses on core strength, often taught in group settings, making it cost-effective. Reformer Pilates, on the other hand, utilises a bed-like apparatus with straps, pulleys, and springs to target specific muscle groups and assist in proper form. Both methods enhance core strength and muscle toning, with the misconception that reformer Pilates is always harder. Consistent practice and adherence to Pilates principles are key for optimal results. This book exclusively covers mat Pilates exercises, which are accessible for home workouts without specialised equipment, making it an inclusive fitness option for everyone.
Table of contents
- Introduction to this book
- Author Feature: Micki Havard
- CHAPTER 1: PILATES FACTS
- CHAPTER 2: UPPER BODY
- CHAPTER 3: LOWER BODY
- CHAPTER 4: TOTAL BODY
- CHAPTER 5: STANDING PILATES
- CHAPTER 6: CHAIR PILATES
- CHAPTER 7: SEQUENCES
- About the Author / Acknowledgments
Strengths and weaknesses, according to readers’ reviews
Inclusivity: The book is highly praised for its inclusive approach, emphasising that Pilates is indeed for everyone. This message is particularly appreciated by Pilates professionals and trainers, who see it as a valuable addition to the fitness literature.
Clear and engaging instruction: Readers find the book’s instructions clear, concise, and well-organised, making it accessible to both beginners and experienced practitioners. The step-by-step cues are seen as beneficial for those who want to deepen their Pilates practice.
Variety of models: The diverse group of models featured in the book, including pregnant individuals, is considered a strong point. It showcases the versatility of Pilates and how it can be adapted to various body types and conditions.
Useful variations: Many readers appreciate the book’s inclusion of multiple variations for each exercise. This feature allows individuals to tailor their Pilates practice to their specific needs and restrictions.
Audience specificity: One review suggests that the book may be more aimed at older, pregnant, heavily unfit, or disabled individuals. While this inclusivity is seen as a strength by some, it may not resonate with readers who are looking for a more traditional Pilates approach.
Best quotes from Pilates for Everyone
“Who should do pilates? You – no matter who you are.”
“Flexibility is the most neglected component of fitness and adding a Pilates practice to your wellness plan is a wonderful way to gain more flexibility. Rather than using static stretches, Pilates focuses on movements while stretching. This means the muscles are warm as you stretch, allowing you to stretch further with less pain and injury."
Pilates for Everyone is a resourceful guide that promotes inclusivity and empowerment in the realm of Pilates, catering to a wide audience seeking to improve their physical and mental well-being.
Where to buy
You can buy Pilates for Everyone: 50 Exercises for Every Type of Body on Amazon, where it’s available in paperback and Kindle formats.
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