Thighs and Butt Workout by Michael King and Yolande Green

This is a small book, part of a series entitled: Pilates Personal Trainer. As the title says, it described a series of exercises which all focus on developing and shaping your thigh and… errr… rear end. Am I allowed to say “ass?”

I find it somewhat ironic, and arguably against the central tenants of Pilates, which is — as the early chapters explain — a holistic exercise system for the health of your entire body.

So I suppose some would say it’s not right to write and publish a book on Pilates devoted to only one part of the body. Well, they did it, undoubtedly because they know there’re many women who couldn’t care less about their holistic health or posture, but want a more shapely ass and thinner thighs.

The first forty pages or so are identical to the other books in the series. There’re a few chapters which explain the basics of Pilates for people not already familiar with it. There’re eight short chapters on the Vital Elements: Concentration, Breathing, Centering, Control, Neutral spine, Precision, and Isolation.

The workout is divided into Warm ups, Core elements and the exercises that explicitly work on your thighs and butt.

The warm up is similar but not identical to other warm ups in the series: Swinging, Runner stretch, Quad stretch, Hamstring stretch with dynaband, Balance 1 and Balance 2.

Next: The hundred, Control balance, Swimming, Push-up, Side kick, Side lifts, One leg circle (low), One leg circle (high), Single leg stretch, Hip twist, Knee circles, Side scissors, Scissors, Leg pull supine, Plank into leg prone, Shoulder bridge, Side kick kneeling, Double leg stretch, and The can can.

All of the exercises are described well, and illustrated with photographs.

As I see it, the main two obstacles are:

It’s difficult to effectively practice Pilates exercises most efficiently, because they demand mental concentration, which most of us are not used to applying to our body movements. Plus, on our own without a teacher, it’s difficult to determine with certainty whether we’re performing them accurately.

The second obstacle is that Pilates cannot overcome poor eating habits and large amounts of fat — flab — stored in your thighs and rear end. You can have develop terrific muscles in your thighs and butt, but nobody can see them if they’re all covered in pounds of extra fat tissue.

This is true of other places as well. Most guys have a six-pack of abs — but you can’t see it because it’s covered with fat.

Exercise is important, and Pilates is great at developing well-rounded, balanced whole bodies.

But if you want for your legs and ass to look less flabby, you’ll have to lose weight as well as exercise.

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