Insider's Guide to Pilates
Try It Now
Try it now because: It's a confidence booster. Women of all shapes, sizes, and athletic ability love the grace and power they feel after just a single Pilates session.
Try it now because: It's a great boredom buster. "Almost every exercise requires a laser-like focus, so you don't have a chance to get distracted," says Alycea Ungaro, a FITNESS advisory board member, author of The Pilates Promise, and owner of Real Pilates in New York City.
Try it now because: It'll help your aching back. One recent study found that Pilates is just as effective at reducing lower-back pain in chronic sufferers as traditional physical-therapy strengthening exercises.
The Workout: These seven mat exercises, compiled by Ungaro, make up the foundation of a Pilates program. They'll strengthen your core while also working your upper and lower body.
What you'll need: A mat or piece of plush carpeting
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