The central region of the body is also central to almost any exercise regimen. This easy-to-follow manual shows readers how to stabilize and strengthen the core, which is the muscles of the lower back, abdomen, and hips. Readers won't need a gym membership and will need minimal to no equipment. Included are several exercises, ranging from beginner to challenging, that can be performed individually or as part of one of several suggested routines. The step-by-step format and diagrams will appeal to readers at all fitness levels who have almost any fitness goal, from simply improving flexibility or boosting athleticism to sculpting the "six-pack" look.
Gr 9 Up-These excellent guides are primarily directed at adults, though interested teens will find them helpful. All four volumes make use of photos, diagrams, sidebars, and text boxes to offer well-written, step-by-step instructions to a variety of exercises and poses. Core Fitness contains 33 "core stabilizers," 30 "core strengtheners," three "cool downs," and 10 workouts, including an "Over-Fifty Workout" and a "Beach-Bod Bikini Workout." A well-toned adult models each exercise, and photos are accompanied by anatomical illustrations showing key muscles used. There are also sections on getting started and nutritional advice. Tai Chi has a longer introduction, which outlines the history and philosophy of this discipline. Yoga observes that along with a yoga mat, props such as blocks and straps can help beginners and more experienced students "improve their alignment and balance." Readers will also appreciate an icon index for cross-referencing. VERDICT Well-executed guides that will intrigue teens with an interest in fitness. © Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.