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The Women's Health Big Book of Exercises

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  732 ratings  ·  50 reviews
The Women's Health Big Book of Exercises is the essential workout guide for anyone who wants a better body. As the most comprehensive collection of exercises ever created, this makeover manual is a body-shaping power tool for both beginners and longtime fitness buffs alike. From start to finish, this 480-page makeover manual bulges with hundreds of useful tips, the latest ...more
Paperback, 472 pages
Published December 1st 2009 by Rodale Books (first published January 1st 2009)
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4.30  · 
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 ·  732 ratings  ·  50 reviews

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Maya Tessema
Feb 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Incredibly comprehensive and informative book about exercise (and to a lesser extent, nuitrition). It's glossy and full of pictures, but this is no fluff: there are 619 different exercises, most of which are modifications derived from "main moves" that you are expected to master before moving to the alternates. I am currently trying out the "World's Greatest 4 Week Exercise and Diet Program" as an intro to this book, and so far, I am already feeling a difference in week 1! Not to oversell this b ...more
Jul 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is my fitness bible. I absolutely love it. The exercises are well explained and the pictures are great references as well. I bring it to the gym with me all time and people frequently ask me about it. I used this book in combination with a personal trainer, gym membership and dramatic diet change...well it's actually a lifestyle change and lost 80+ lbs, if I can get into shape, anyone can
Aug 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fitness-wellness
A superb resource for fitness - I really liked the way that the book was laid out with categories and various modifications for many different exercises. The authors include several circuit trainings for full-body work, and each exercise is accompanied with a clear modeled photo and short description. Great for the beginner and the seasoned fitness person who wants some new variations.

Jul 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book has been a great resource for my workouts. I was feeling like I needed some new ideas to refresh my routines. This book has many, many new exercises and so many variations. I am actually excited about working out now. Every exercise had big, full color photos and detailed notes and tips. All the variations also have photos and notes. Each chapter focuses on different muscle groups so you can pick and choose exercises for your workout. But you don't have to put a workout together on you ...more
Jun 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
I'm not a sports person or big into exercise, but I want to get stronger, so I appreciate how this provides not just pictorial explanations of how to do strengthening exercises, but also explains how to modify your workouts to get the results you want (and avoid boredom) along with specific workouts for different fitness levels and interests, from sports training to quick 15-minute workouts to prenatal programs. There are certain things that I think I'd still want a real human to help me with be ...more
Dec 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
I love this book! Each exercise is shown with multiple photos and the instructions are very good. All chapters are easy to read and include reasons to weight lift, an FAQ chapter, and nutrition secrets (a really good chapter). The exercises are divided by muscle group and each group is a chapter. In addition, there are defined workouts for everything from "getting your body back" to the "bikini workout" to the "skinny jean workout" and more.

The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because th
Aug 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is the perfect resource for my current exercise wants and needs. I have been a 5-day-a-week cardio girl for years, but have needed a spring to jump off my plateau, a plateau that’s lacking in weights and toning exercises. I’ve wanted a simple routine that I can do at home with basic equipment.

I am currently on week three of “The Skinny Jeans Workout” from The Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises. I still do cardio 5 days a week, but have incorporated this workout on three of those days, in
May 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: health-and-diet
I think this is a great book. There is a men's version as well if you happen to be a man. The book gives you routines for various goals like getting ready for a wedding or fitting into jeans or whatever. Plus shows you how to do a lot of moves and has nutrition information at the beginning. I would recomment this to anyone getting started on a workout program for the first time. The only thing I'd like added is for routines to do using weight machines. I feel like I always kinda derp around lost ...more
Aug 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Awesome book. I struggled for years to find a book that explained how to do exercises in a way I understood and also described how to tell when I was doing them wrong. This book has just enough detail to help me. In addition to this, I love the concise descriptions of nutrition, the importance of weight lifting, and also muscle structure. None of these short sections required a medicinal background, a need to memorize acronyms, or an A&P to comprehend the material, but they weren't basic eit ...more
Apr 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
An excellent resource chock full of exercises using dumbbells, barbells and some machines. Offers lots of variations as well. Organized fairly well and also includes workout ideas, a section on dynamic stretching/warm ups and cardio drills. My only wish is that each exercise gave more specific information on the exact muscles being targeted. For instance, rear lateral raises are categorized under the BACK section but I would like to know which muscles are actually being worked.
Feb 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reference-books
This is a good workout reference for one good reason: it teaches you how to master a move, and then it gives you variations of that move with increasing intensity so that your body never acclimates to the movement. A lot of the exercises are pretty basic if you're a seasoned weight lifter, but it's still great for some fresh ideas on old favs (moves).
Scottsdale Public Library
This book was so excellent, I went out and bought it. It is completely illustrated with photos that demonstrate every exercise imaginable; thus making performing these exercises easier. This book focuses on all body parts and what exercises work those parts. Excellent for a beginner and one who is looking to put together an all over exercise routine. --Colleen G.
Oct 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reference
I think this is a must have book for any women who is interested in weight training. It has fantastic pre-fab workouts, as well as an extensive listing of alternatives for the same muscle groups so you can plan your workouts yourself. This book is really great for the beginner and helpful for everyone else. Coupled with my "Fitness Buddy" App this is everything I need for fabulous workouts.
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is a gold mine. Great weightlifting exercises and their variations for women. I ended up reading it all the way through and trying many of the exercises and routines. Many of the pages of this book will be photocopied for future use!
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Best for: Women interested in strength training who aren’t overwhelmed with a million (733, to be specific) options.

In a nutshell: Author Campbell provides an overview of lifting, a diet plan (boo), and chapters with body-part-specific target exercises.

Line that sticks with me:
“So whether you’re toting groceries or holding a baby, you’ll notice the difference.” Really, dude? Women use their arms for two things: shopping or children? Awesome.

Why I chose it: I’ve been consistent with my non-stren
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The best workout book. I use this daily and am on my second copy because I wore out my other one! It’s great for putting together your own weight lifting routine and finding exercises to target specific areas.
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Checking out the women's section. Simple, easy to follow routines.
Eliza Escamilla
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good beginners guide to fitness
Jan 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Both seasoned and novice female weight trainers will benefit from this fabulous book.

Proper form is clearly explained and displayed. Also, many exercies are offered in different positions, which results in slightly different areas of the same general body area to be worked. This is excellent not only for obvious reasons, but for mixing up what could otherwise turn into a boring routine.

Because the book is broken down into major body sections, one can workout every day for about a week without h
Jan 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fitness
This book is great for referring to for form and for alternate versions of workout moves. It really is a BIG book of exercises. It has everything you can think of, though it may be under different names than what is mainstream (ie: glute bridges are some sort of hip lift... thing, which made it kind of hard to log on fitocracy until I figured out they have a different name.) This book is a reference more than anything, and it is kind of bulky to drag with you to the gym, but it can be done. I'm ...more
Apr 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, paperback, own
A very useful guide!! Provides many alternatives for standard exercises and has a great intro section! Because it provides tips to get the right form, it is perfect for novices. I would imagine it would be a good reference for experienced lifters as well due to the sheer number of exercises available. Definitely worth the money!

Update 4/24/12: Pages within this book are unfortunately starting to fall out. Despite this, it will continue to be one of my favorites. I am, however, removing a star fo
May 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
As a reference book for exercises, this is an essential book. I would recommend this to anyone who exercises, especially at home. As far as I can tell, it has every exercise anyone currently has thought up. It's pictures and descriptions make performing the exercises easy to understand and perform. It also has complete workouts listed, interesting tidbits of info, and nutrition advice.
Jan 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reference, exercise
The subtitle is more than a bit eye-roll-inducing, but the actual book content is quite useful. Lots of information on how to do various exercises, what muscles they strengthen, how to put them together into actual workouts, pictures to show you proper form, and variations you can do with or without specific equipment.
Apr 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
Thinking of buying this book, bu wondering if it's worth it... I subscribe to Women's Health and frequently visit the website. I think all these are available on-line. Is it worth spending the $ on the comprehensive guide?
Brienne E.
Jan 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book was recommended to me by a personal trainer and I love it. Not only does it break down the exercises it has work-outs for each muscle group and at the back complete work-outs created by noted trainers. I pick it up weekly to get ready for the gym.
Janice Wu
Aug 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Complete. Clear. Very useful.

I got this from the public library and am sad to let it go. Maxing out the renewal time. I want to purchase this book for myself. Makes a great reference.

Highly recommended to any female getting into weight lifting or for those who want to mix up their routine.

Apr 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Thumbed through this one, and when the time comes that I need a reference for the subject matter, it is definitely a great book to get again.
Liberty Abbott-Sylvester
Mar 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Looking forward to getting my own copy and using it daily!
Bethany Hampton
Jun 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book is great to have around as a reference. I like how it's organized by body part, and has separate sections for warmups and foam rolling exercises.
Sep 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is great resource to ramp up an old work out routine. There are tons of pictures of examples of the exercise.
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