You know that I read like a fiend, right? The National Institutes of Health study postings, the New York Times, bloggers from around the world and tons of books about various body parts and how they work. Apparently, Kinesiology 1, 2, 3, 4, et al was not enough for me.  Since my clients often ask for recommendations, I’ve got a list of titles that fit the many of the topics of concern that they bring up. Here are the Top 10 that keep floating to the top of the pile:

genius of flexThe Genius of Flexibility. This is the best book I’ve run across for: hypermobile or super-tight people. (yup those are two ends of the flexibility/mobility spectrum) Hypermobile means: your joints move a lot, maybe more than is optimal. If you’re ‘double-jointed,’ the science-y word for this is…hypermobile. How can 1 book work for both categories? Well, ‘resistance stretch’ really is genius.  Dara Torres uses this system, touting it as a huge help in making it into her last round of Olympic Swimming in 2008 at age 41. Here’s her DVD

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i can make you sleepI Can Make you SleepIt comes with a CD that you listen to at bedtime. You can even skip reading the book and just play that baby. I dare you to stay awake through the entire 30 minutes. How does it work? Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) — it’s basically hypnosis. Shhhhh, don’t tell anyone — I used to use NLP techniques to hypnotize my yoga class participants to be happy.

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anti cancerAnti CancerIf you know someone who’s been diagnosed, or you’re interested in avoiding getting any variation, this is a must read. Written by a doctor and 2x cancer survivor, it weaves together his story and the tons of information he dug through to become a survivor. Lots & lots of easy to implement lifestyle recommendations. Disclaimer: it’s loooong and there’s a lot of info here. If you drive on a daily basis, consider getting the audio version and listening when you’re commuting. Tons more info on the author’s website.

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big book of pilatesThe Women’s Health Big Book of Pilates.  A huge compendium of Pilates mat exercises, plus variations using props.  Lots of easy to follow photos, lots of sequencing ideas, lots of awesomeness. I recommend this one for Pilates junkies and for Pilates and other movement teachers.

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pilates 2nd edPilates 2nd edition.  This is the one I recommend for my Pilates Reformer students who want photos they can flip through. Although it isn’t comprehensive of every Pilates exercise, it’s perfect for students who are working on their confidence in working out solo, without a teacher present. It covers: mat, reformer, cadillac, wunda chair, barrels, ped-a-pil, arm chair and magic circle exercises. *Note, my spring cheat sheets refer to the 1st edition of this book.  (Before I get a note from a cranky Pilates teacher: I don’t recommend learning equipment exercises from a book, but I do recommend using great notes like this when you’re practicing!)

foundationFoundation: Redefine Your Core, Conquer Back Pain, and Move with Confidence. I love the premise of this system: many people’s back pain and limited range of motion is connected to a weak ‘posterior chain.’ In real-people words: when the back of your body gets weak compared to the front, all hell breaks loose. Great photos and descriptions and it’s written from an athletic man’s perspective. DVDs are available too.

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pilates prescrip for back painPilates Prescription for Back Pain. Hands down, the best “corrective exercise for back pain book” that I’ve ever read. Period. Really. It seems to be out of print, but there are lots of used copies available. (btw – my momma told me that if I don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all. There are lots of crappy ‘back care’ books on the market. I will refrain from naming them. end rant.)

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every womans guideEvery Woman’s Guide to Foot Pain Relief. Let’s be honest, a huge piece of women’s foot pain traces directly back to our choice in shoes — heels, pointy toes and stiff soles. This sweet little book details out great exercises for reversing the effects of women’s shoes. They’re easy and they get the job done. ‘Nuff said.

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practical paleoPractical Paleo.
 I’ve had so much fun watching Diane rise from the blogger world to the New York Times Best Seller list, and there’s good reason for her success. She does a fab job of explaining in real-people words how food sometimes does not ‘do a body good.” If you’ve ever suspected that you’re sensitive to: grains, eggs, processed foods or anything else ‘edible’ OR if you’re just looking for a sensible way to feed yourself…Get This Book.

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joy dietThe Joy Diet: 10 Daily Practices for a Happier LifeIf you’re feeling like your mindset needs a re-set, this is a great read. Nothing heavy, nothing too woo-woo, just great, do-able tips from Oprah’s favorite Life Coach.

 

 

 

 

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