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Time to Try Pilates

Go to the mat for a better body with our insider Pilates tips.

By Alyssa Shaffer

There's a group of women at the gym who hold themselves a certain way. They appear tall, confident and enviably lean. Their secret? Most likely it's Pilates. The popular workout uses your own body weight to build core strength and flexibility through a series of floor-based exercises. It helps you develop abs that any mom would envy and requires a concentration and focus that push out any nagging thoughts of that C your kid got in math class. "After I do a session, my head is totally calm and I'm energized!" notes Claire Danese, a Pilates instructor at Equinox Fitness in New York and mom of two. Take a class once, devotees insist, and you'll feel a difference almost immediately. Get svelte with our insider tips.

Pilates 101
When a workout has its own lingo, you need to decipher it to get the best results. Three terms you should know:

No Gym? No Problem!

There are plenty of affordable routines to try right in your own living room.

WIN IT: Three lucky readers will get a $100 gift certificate to Wello.com, where online instructors lead you through one-on-one or group workouts.


Originally published in the July 2013 issue of Family Circle magazine.