Pilates will make you feel the burn, even if you're in great shape. That's because many other forms of exercise do not engage the deep core muscles in the same way that Pilates does. A good class should show you how to properly perform each movement for your body: Modifications and variations are the key to an effective (and safe) Pilates workout at any skill level.

The routine below includes four foundational exercises to strengthen your core, even if you are too intimidated to sign up for a Pilates class just yet. Listen to your body and do what you can, and remember to breathe throughout each movement. Aim to do this series 1-2 times a week, and as you get stronger increase to 2-3 times a week. Don’t be afraid to challenge your core even more with harder variations or other Pilates exercises. Progression is key!

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